Olympia Dukakis Dead: Cher, Viola Davis, More Pay Tribute

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“I love you more than my luggage,” Olympia Dukakis’ Clairee Belcher says to Shirley MacLaine’s Ouiser Boudreaux in the beloved 1989 movie “Steel Magnolias.”

With the news of Dukakis’ death, Hollywood flocked to social media to express similar sentiments and pay their respects to the character actors’ illustrious legacy. Dukakis died on Saturday at age 89 in New York City. “After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her Louis,” brother Apollo Dukakis wrote in Facebook post.

Cher, who starred in “Moonstruck,” the film for which Dukakis’ won her Academy Award, paid tribute on Twitter. “Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing,Academy Award Winning Actress. Olympia Played My Mom In Moonstruck,& Even Though Her Part was That Of a Suffering Wife, We😂ALL The Time.She Would Tell Me How MUCH She Loved Louis,Her”Handsome Talented,Husband”.I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One,” she wrote. Later, she added that she recently spoke on the phone with Dukakis, who was “weak but happy.”

Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing,Academy Award Winning Actress.Olympia Played My Mom In Moonstruck,& Even Though Her Part was
That Of a Suffering Wife, We😂ALL The Time.She Would Tell Me How MUCH She Loved Louis,Her”Handsome Talented,Husband”.I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One pic.twitter.com/RcCZaeKFmz

— Cher (@cher) May 1, 2021

Wrote This Hrs Ago,But Didn’t hit Twt😔.Heard Olympia Was Sick So Called Her Daughter & Said Could I Talk 2 Her.She Said
“She might Not HEAR or SPEAK”.I Called In2 The Receiver”Olympia It’s Cher,I ❤️You”.Remember Moonstruck,She Said
“oh cher,I❣️you”She Was Weak But Happy. RIP O

— Cher (@cher) May 1, 2021

 

Viola Davis called Dukakis “the consummate actor.” “You made all around you step up their game,” Davis wrote. “A joy to work with. Rest well.”

RIP Olympia Dukakis…the consummate actor. You made all around you step up their game. A joy to work with. Rest well. “May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”.💛💛💛https://t.co/9uC2Ld4rTU

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 1, 2021

Dukakis’ “Steel Magnolias” cast mate, Sally Field, tweeted: “What can I say but I loved her? Everyone loved her. She was a gift… unique and talented and one of a kind. Rest in peace my friend Olympia.”

What can I say but I loved her? Everyone loved her. She was a gift..unique and talented and one of a kind. Rest in peace my friend Olympia.

— Sally Field (@sally_field) May 2, 2021

Invoking titles from Dukakis’ filmography, actor George Takei reflected on her talent. “Olympia Dukakis has departed our company. We were Moonstruck by her, as she told us Great Tales of the City. A true Steel Magnolia within a more common forest. Ah, what a life force, her later years her best. Rest now among the heaves, Olympia.”

Olympia Dukakis has departed our company. We were Moonstruck by her, as she told us great Tales of the City. A true Steel Magnolia within a more common forest. Ah, what a life force, her later years her best. Rest now among the heavens, Olympia.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 1, 2021

Actor Michael McKean also expressed his admiration for Dukakis and recalled the lessons he learned from her. Before appearing in “This is Spinal Tap,” McKean studied acting under Dukakis at New York University. “Olympia Dukakis was a great actress who loved the work and loved the theatre. She was the acting teacher who spoke to me (and many, many others) with clarity and humor and NO censor,” he wrote. “She would tell us: don’t forget that the reason you wanted to do this was that it looked like fun. And it is. Amid the sweat and the angst, don’t forget the fun. Rest in peace, Olympia.”

Olympia Dukakis was a great actress who loved the work and loved the theatre. She was the acting teacher who spoke to me (and many, many others) with clarity and humor and NO censor. 1/2

— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) May 1, 2021

“The West Wing” actor Bradley Whitford paid tribute to Dukakis, calling her a “brilliant, strong, hilarious soul. An actor’s actor.”

Brilliant, strong, hilarious soul. An actor’s actor. Rest In Peace Olympia Dukakis. https://t.co/4ZAwcBBd2O

— (((Bradley Whitford))) (@BradleyWhitford) May 1, 2021

See more reactions below from Kirstie Alley, Alex Winter and more.

Oh my.. Olympia Dukakis has passed away.. She will forever be young in my mind and be my loving movie mother. When will I learn that people do not live forever & the time to engage is NOW?.. RIP pic.twitter.com/TNWwcjFfu0

— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) May 1, 2021

RIP to my old Montclair neighbor, beautiful artist and co-founder of the Whole Theater company, Olympia Dukakis. pic.twitter.com/YQOLCz4hj4

— Alex Winter (@Winter) May 1, 2021

So very sad to hear this. Olympia Dukakis, such a wonderful actress & beautiful person. #RIP https://t.co/wr0uy38oFe

— Betty Buckley (@BettyBuckley) May 1, 2021

Thank U for so many timeless movie moments Olympia Dukakis🎬💔

— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) May 1, 2021

Some movies you watch because of an actor in it. You don’t need to know what it’s about, what genre, you just know, because that actor is in it, it’s going to be good.
Olympia Dukakis was one of those actors, RIP

— Titus (@TitusNation) May 1, 2021

We’re so sorry to hear about the passing of Olympia Dukakis. She was a legend, an actor’s actor, and a valued trustee. We were blessed to have her on the Geary stage as well as in A.C.T. classrooms. Our love is with her family. (Photos from A Mother, Hecuba, and Vigil) pic.twitter.com/idvd7Uu1Yg

— American Conservatory Theater (@ACTSanFrancisco) May 1, 2021

A sweet farewell to a great actress, Olympia Dukakis. I had the good fortune of working with her in “A Fire in the Dark”. Rest in Peace.

— Ray Wise (@therealraywise) May 1, 2021

I remember first seeing Olympia Dukakis in PEER GYNT in Central Park. I went to see Judy Collins in the show but left worshipping at the feet of Ms Dukakis. Stacy Keach wasn’t bad either. xoxoox

— Harvey Fierstein (@HarveyFierstein) May 1, 2021

 

 

RIP Olympia Dukakis, a wonderful actress, a delightful person and a legend in the theater community. She won an Oscar for Moonstruck, and audiences cherished her take-no-prisoners turn in Steel Magnolias. I worked with her on the movie of my play Jeffrey and she was bliss pic.twitter.com/Kz9c85nnaX

— Paul Rudnick (@PaulRudnickNY) May 1, 2021

Everyone on #TalesoftheCity set had a wild story about Olympia Dukakis. In prep to play Anna Madrigal, I watched everything she’d done on screen, and read her books. Sensitive, sassy, in love with her craft, full of wry humor and sharp intelligence. A broad for the ages. 💔 pic.twitter.com/lTlxgAWL8P

— Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen) May 1, 2021

So. so sad to hear of #OlympiaDukakis’s passing. I had the great joy of playing her son – twice. Such a radiant, powerful and supremely talented woman. I feel blessed to have known her. RIP “Ma.” I will always smile at the thought of you and sweet Louis together.

— Paul Reiser (@PaulReiser) May 1, 2021

 

It was 33 years ago that we gave her and @cher the Golden Globe for “Moonstruck” but I’ll never forget how gracious she was. Olympia Dukakis was pure class and tons of talent. RIP. pic.twitter.com/jiUpQLTZpQ

— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) May 1, 2021

Try to name a moment in a film that’s funnier than this moment. You can’t. You just can’t. RIP Olympia Dukakis. You were perfection.❤️ pic.twitter.com/x5aGeisj4H

— Matt Steele (@ItsMattSteele) May 1, 2021

Steel Magnolias is one of my favorite films because my mom is a hairdresser, Dolly Parton is in it, & Olympia Dukakis delivers one of the most hilarious, grief-cutting scenes ever here. Rest In Peace, Olympia. 🙌🏼 https://t.co/txika7p3js

— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) May 1, 2021

1/Lessons learned from Olympia Dukakis: First day I worked with her when I was 24 – “Where are we going for margaritas tonight?” I said I wanted to get an early night. She said ” We gotta have some laughs. Otherwise we’ll blow our fucking brains out.” We went for the margaritas.

— @realSarahPolley (@realsarahpolley) May 1, 2021

Among her many great performances, perhaps my favorite from Olympia Dukakis’s oeuvre was her turn as the Principal in MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS. Though a smaller role, it was delivered with understated, emotional impact. Her final goodbye to the lead character still resonates.

— Michael Varrati (@MichaelVarrati) May 1, 2021

Trailblazing and brilliant actress Olympia Dukakis has passed. RIP beautiful lady 🌟🌺 pic.twitter.com/mDJN9XFKFs

— Daphne Alexander (@alexdaphne) May 1, 2021

Olympia Dukakis brought warmth, humor and wit to the stage and screen for almost 60 years, including a stellar run of unforgettable roles in “Steel Magnolias” “Tales of the City” and “Moonstruck,” for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She will be missed. pic.twitter.com/TLuNTx32PI

— The Academy (@TheAcademy) May 1, 2021

RIP, Olympia Dukakis, who shouted out Cousin Michael and his campaign while accepting the Oscar for this performance.https://t.co/ES7KMka8So

— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) May 1, 2021

 

So sad to hear of the passing of the wonderful Olympia Dukakis. 😥 My very first day on “Search for Tomorrow” in 1983 was a scene with her & Jennifer Gatti. RIP, great lady!🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/xDc4QLRRuK

— Nelson Aspen (@NelsonAspen) May 1, 2021

Heartbreaking that we’ll never see a new performance by the brilliant Olympia Dukakis. RIP.

— Randi Mayem Singer (@rmayemsinger) May 1, 2021

 

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