Olympia Dukakis

Olympia Dukakis

Dukakis at the Montclair Film Festival in May 2015
Born (1931-06-20) June 20, 1931
Lowell, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1962–present
Spouse(s) Louis Zorich (m. 1962)
Children 3

Olympia Dukakis (born June 20, 1931) is an American actress. She started her career in the theatre, and won an Obie Award for Best Actress in 1963 for her Off-Broadway performance in Bertolt Brecht's Man Equals Man. She later transitioned to film acting and in 1987 she won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA nomination for her performance in Moonstruck. She received another Golden Globe nomination for Sinatra, and an Emmy Award nominations for Lucky Day, More Tales of the City and Joan of Arc.

Early life

Dukakis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the daughter of Alexandra (née Christos) and Constantine S. Dukakis. Her parents were Greek immigrants to the United States, her father from Anatolia and her mother from the Peloponnese.[1][2] She has a brother, Apollo, and is a cousin of Michael Dukakis, a former governor of Massachusetts and the Democratic nominee for president in 1988, for whom she was a delegate from New Jersey at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. She is an alumna of Arlington High School in Arlington, Massachusetts, and was educated at Boston University.


Dukakis at the Emmy Awards in 1998

Dukakis has held a career in a number of films, including Steel Magnolias, Mr. Holland's Opus, Jane Austen's Mafia!, The Thing About My Folks, and Moonstruck, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She also played the role of Anna Madrigal in the Tales of the City television mini-series, which garnered her an Emmy Award nomination, and appeared on Search for Tomorrow as Dr. Barbara Moreno, who romanced Stu Bergman. She appears as Dolly Sinatra (Frank's mother) in the mini-series of Frank Sinatra's life (1992). Her Broadway theatre credits include Who's Who in Hell, Social Security, and the one-woman play Rose. Her theater, film, and television work has also won her an Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, and a Golden Globe.

Dukakis at Malaparte for "Norman Jewison and Friends with Moonstruck", August 2011

Dukakis won Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Moonstruck and was nominated for the Canadian Academy Award for The Event. She provided the voice of Grandpa's love interest for The Simpsons episode "The Old Man and the Key". In 2003, Dukakis published her national bestselling autobiography Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress. Recent films include 3 Needles, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines, In the Land of Women, and Away From Her, the 2006 film which cast her alongside Gordon Pinsent as the spouses of two Alzheimers patients.

In 1998, she starred as Charlotte Kiszko in the British TV drama A Life for a Life (ITV), based on the real-life story of Stefan Kiszko, a man wrongfully imprisoned for seventeen years for the murder of a child, Lesley Molseed, after police suppressed evidence of his innocence.

She recently directed the world premiere production of Todd Logan's Botanic Garden at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.[3]

In the 2008 season of Hartford Stage, Dukakis starred in the revival of Tennessee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, opposite Kevin Anderson.

In 2008, Dukakis also co-adapted and starred in the world-premiere of Another Side of the Island, based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, at Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, Montana.

She starred in and executive-produced the 2013 film Montana Amazon, co-starring Haley Joel Osment.

In 2011, Dukakis guest-starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She played the role of Debby Marsh, an attorney.[4]

On May 24, 2013, she was honored with the 2,498th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, in the category of Live Theater.

Personal life

Dukakis has been married to actor Louis Zorich since 1962. They have three children.


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Twice a Man Young mother
1964 Lilith Patient Uncredited role
1969 Stiletto Mrs. Amato Uncredited role
1969 John and Mary John's mother
1971 Made for Each Other Mrs. Panimba
1973 Sisters Louise Wilanski Uncredited role
1974 Death Wish Cop at the precinct Uncredited role
1974 Rehearsal, TheThe Rehearsal
1979 Wanderers, TheThe Wanderers Joey's Mom
1979 Rich Kids Lawyer
1980 Idolmaker, TheThe Idolmaker Mrs. Vacarri
1982 National Lampoon Goes to the Movies Helena Naxos Segment: "Success Wanters"
1985 Walls of Glass Mary Flanagan
1987 Moonstruck Rose Castorini Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female Performer – Motion Picture or TV
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress
1988 Working Girl Personnel Director
1989 Look Who's Talking Rosie
1989 Steel Magnolias Clairee Belcher Nominated – American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
1989 Dad Bette Tremont
1990 In the Spirit Sue
1990 Look Who's Talking Too Rosie
1992 Over the Hill Alma Harris
1993 Cemetery Club, TheThe Cemetery Club Doris Silverman
1993 Digger Bea
1993 Look Who's Talking Now Rosie
1994 Dead Badge Dr. Doris Rice
1994 The Naked Gun 33 ⅓: The Final Insult Herself Uncredited role
1994 I Love Trouble Jeannie
1995 Jeffrey Mrs. Marcangelo
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Jocasta
1995 Mr. Holland's Opus Principal Helen Jacobs
1996 Mother Mrs. Jay
1996 Jerusalem Mrs. Gordon
1996 Milk & Money Goneril Plogg
1997 Balkan Island: The Last Story of the Century Mother
1997 Picture Perfect Rita Mosley
1998 Mafia! Sophia Cortino
1998 Better Living Nora
2000 Brooklyn Sonnet Helen Manners
2002 The Intended Erina
2003 Event, TheThe Event Lila Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
Nominated – Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
2003 Charlie's War Charlie
2005 Great New Wonderful, TheThe Great New Wonderful Judy Hillerman Segment: "Judy's Story"
2005 Thing About My Folks, TheThe Thing About My Folks Muriel Kleinman
2005 3 Needles Hilde
2005 Whiskey School Ellen Haywood
2005 Jesus, Mary and Joey Sophia Vitello
2006 Away from Her Marian
2006 Day on Fire Dr. Mary Wade
2006 Upside Out Dr. Walker
2007 In the Land of Women Phyllis
2011 Cloudburst Stella Nominated – Seattle International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
2011 Outliving Emily Emily Hanratty Short film
2013 Montana Amazon Ira Dunderhead Also executive producer
2013 The Last Keepers Rosmarie Carver
2013 A Little Game YaYa
2015 7 Chinese Brothers Grandma
2015 Emily & Tim Emily Segment: "6"
2016 The Infiltrator Aunt Vicky
2016 Broken Links Arlene
2016 Change in the Air Margaret Lemke Post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1951 Search for Tomorrow Dr. Barbara Moreno Television series
1962 The Nurses Ioana Chiriac Episode: "Frieda"
1962 Dr. Kildare Anna Nieves Episode: "The Legacy"
1974 Nicky's World Irene Kaminios Television film
1975 Great Performances Pauline Episode: "The Seagull"
1977 The Andros Targets Marina Angelis Episode: "The Beast of Athens"
1980 FDR: The Final Years Television film
1980 Breaking Away Episode: "The Cutters"
1982 American Playhouse Mama Nicola Episode: "King of America"
1982 One of the Boys Professor Episode: "His Cheatin' Heart"
1982 The Neighborhood Mrs. St. Paul Television film
1986 The Equalizer Judge Paula G. Walsh Episode: "Shades of Darkness"
1991 Lucky Day Katherine Campbell Television film
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
1991 The General Motors Playwrights Theater Laura Cunningham Episode: "The Last Act Is a Solo"
1991 Fire in the Dark Emily Miller Television film
1992 Sinatra Dolly Sinatra Television miniseries
4 episodes
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1993 Tales of the City Anna Madrigal Television miniseries
6 episodes
Nominated – British Academy Television Award for Best Actress
1995 Young at Heart Rose Garaventi Television film
1996 Touched by an Angel Clara Episode: "A Joyful Noise"
1997 Heaven Will Wait Diana Television film
1997 Match Made in Heaven, AA Match Made in Heaven Helen Rosner Television film
1998 Scattering Dad Molly Television film
1998 Pentagon Wars, TheThe Pentagon Wars Madam Chairwoman Television film
1998 More Tales of the City Anna Madrigal Television miniseries
6 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
1998 A Life for a Life Charlotte Kiszko Television film
1999 Joan of Arc Mother Babette Television miniseries
3 episodes
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
2000 The Last of the Blonde Bombshells Dinah Television film
2001 And Never Let Her Go Marguerite Capano Television film
2001 Ladies and the Champ Sara Stevens Television film
2001 Further Tales of the City Anna Madrigal Television miniseries
3 episodes
2001 My Beautiful Son Esther Lipman Television film
2002 Guilty Hearts Amanda Patterson Television film
2002 The Simpsons Zelda Voice role
Episode: "The Old Man and the Key"
2002 Frasier Caller #3 Voice role
Episode: "Frasier Has Spokane"
2003 Mafia Doctor Rose Television film
2003 It's All Relative Coleen O'Neil Episode: "Thanks, But No Thanks"
2004 The Librarian: Quest for the Spear Margie Carsen Television film
2004–05 Center of the Universe Marge Barnett 12 episodes
2006 Numbers Charlotte Yates Episode: "Hot Shot"
2006 The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines Margie Carsen Television film
2008 Worst Week June Episodes: "The Ring", "The Wedding"
2010–11 Bored to Death Belinda 4 episodes
2011 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Debby Marsh Episode: "Pop"
2013 The Christmas Spirit Gwen Hollander Television film
2013–15 Sex & Violence Alex Mandalakis Television miniseries
Also executive producer
12 episodes
2013–15 Forgive Me Novalea 9 episodes
2013 Mike & Molly Narrator on TV Episode: "The Princess and the Troll"
2014 F to 7th Marie Television series
Episode: "Down to Zero"
2014 Big Driver Doreen Television film
2016 TripTank Ma / Caller Voice role
4 episodes



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