Olympia Dukakis played Rose Castorini, the meddling mother to Cher's Loretta in 1987's Moonstruck

By Nicholas Rice
May 01, 2021 06:15 PM
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Cher & Olympia Dukakis
Credit: Barry King/WireImage

Cher is remembering her beloved onscreen mother Olympia Dukakis.

On Saturday, shortly after news of Dukakis' death was made public, the 74-year-old singer reflected on her former Moonstruck costar's legacy and shared a tribute on social media.

Sharing her message on Twitter, Cher posted a carousel of photos of Dukakis with her late husband, Louis Zorich. "Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing Academy Award Winning Actress," Cher began her post. "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," she concluded. "I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One."

Dukakis' Steel Magnolias costar Sally Field also paid tribute on Twitter. "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," the actress wrote.

Dukakis' death was announced on Saturday by her brother, Apollo. She was 89.

Sharing the news of her death in a Facebook post, Apollo did not share Dukakis' cause of death but noted that she had been ill for some time. 

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Moonstruck
Credit: MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

"My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City. After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her Louis," Apollo wrote, citing Dukakis' late husband, Louis Zorich. 

Born in 1931 in Lowell, Massachusetts, the star was the daughter of a Greek-born, American-educated lawyer named Constantine, who died in 1975. Her mother, Alexandra, was also born in Greece and worked in cotton mills in Massachusetts.

Cher was not the only celebrity to pay tribute to Dukakis on social media. Actors Viola Davis, George Takei and Bradley Whitford were just some of Dukakis' famous peers who shared loving messages to the late star.

"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,' " Davis tweeted.

Olympia Dukakis
Credit: Mireya Acierto/Getty Images

Dukakis, the cousin of former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, began her career as a theater actress before entering the world of film with her Oscar-winning role in Moonstruck. In addition to the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, her performance earned her a Golden Globe and a BAFTA nomination. 

"I'm so worldly and sophisticated," she told PEOPLE ahead of the Oscars in 1988. "When I heard I'd been nominated, I jumped up and down 50 times, like a child." 

The romantic comedy, directed by Norman Jewison, featured Dukakis as Rose Castorini — the meddling mother to Cher's Loretta. The singer previously opened up to PEOPLE about working with Dukakis, noting the connection they formed while filming. 

"We have the same demeanor," Cher said of her and Dukakis at the time. "We laughed a lot. It was easy to step into our mother-daughter relationship. She even ad-libbed pinching me."