Dukakis has received two OBIE Awards, for Bertolt Brecht's A MAN'S A MAN, and Christopher Durang's THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. Other notable appearances at the Public include Sam Shepard's CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS, TITUS ANDRONICUS, ELECTRA, and PEER GYNT.
Dukakis made her London debut in 1999 on stage at the Royal National Theatre in Martin Sherman's one-woman play, ROSE, to rave reviews, followed by the world premiere of Timberlake Wertenbaker's CREDIBLE WITNESS at London's Royal Court Theatre. She appeared on British television (BBC) in a made-for-TV movie A LIFE FOR A LIFE (BAFTA nomination) and on BBC Radio starring in HECUBA.
On Broadway, Dukakis opened ROSE in the Spring of 2000. In 2004, Dukakis starred as Clytemnestra in AGAMEMNON. She also performed at A.C.T. in THE MOTHER (World Premiere) by Gorky adapted by Constance Congdon.
As a founding member and Producing Artistic Director of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey for 19 years (1971-1990), she directed and appeared in many productions, winning accolades time and again. In 1992, Olympia Dukakis became the recipient of the New Jersey Governor's Walt Whitman Creative Arts Award. She is also a founding member of the Actor's Company and the Charles Playhouse, both in Boston.
Dukakis has appeared in over 130 productions Off-Broadway and regionally, at venues including A.C.T., Shakespeare in the Park, Studio Arena in Albany, American Place Theatre, APA Phoenix, Circle Rep and the Williamstown Summer Theatre Festival where she also served as Associate Director. Dukakis taught Acting in the graduate school at New York University for fifteen years and currently teaches master classes at various universities and colleges throughout the country.
Feature films to be released include IN THE LAND OF WOMEN with Meg Ryan, THREE NEEDLES (shot in S. Africa) and THE LIBRARIAN II. Recent films include the highly acclaimed THE EVENT, THE INTENDED (shot in Malaysia and directed by Kristian Levring) and THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS with Paul Reiser.
Other feature films include MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS with Richard Dreyfus, Woody Allen's MIGHTY APHRODITE, and I LOVE TROUBLE with Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts. Audiences continue to seek out videos of THE CEMETERY CLUB, STEEL MAGNOLIAS directed by Herbert Ross, DAD co-starring Jack Lemmon, and LOOK WHO'S TALKING I, II, & III with John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.
Dukakis co-starred in LAST OF THE BLOND BOMBSHELLS with Judi Dench for HBO and in LADIES AND THE CHAMP with Marion Ross for ABC. One of her favorite projects, TALES OF THE CITY, a 6-hour mini-series based on the novel by Armistead Maupin, was a controversial blockbuster for PBS. She went on to star in the sequels MORE TALES OF THE CITY and FURTHER TALES OF THE CITY (Showtime) for which she earned Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA nominations.
She starred with Frank Sinatra in YOUNG AT HEART on CBS (Emmy nomination). Other TV movie projects include STRANGE RELATIONS, SCATTERING DAD, A CENTURY OF WOMEN, a 6-hour mini-series for TBS, FIRE IN THE DARK for CBS, LUCKY DAY co-starring Amy Madigan for ABC for which she received an Emmy nomination, THE LAST ACT IS A SOLO for which she received an ACE Award, and SINATRA, a mini-series for CBS in which Dukakis portrayed Frank Sinatra's mother and was nominated for an Emmy.
Dukakis actively participated in first cousin Michael Dukakis' presidential campaign in 1988. She is a founding member of Voices of Earth, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and a member of several outstanding organizations including Survivors of Torture, Broadway Cares, NOW, Women in Film, Congress of Racial Equality, and Amnesty International. She continues to be a popular speaker at women's expos and conferences throughout the United States and has participated in nationwide awareness campaigns on the issues of domestic abuse, osteoporosis, senior services, and cholesterol.
Dukakis lives in New York City with her husband, actor Louis Zorich. They have three children, Christina, Peter and Stefan and three grandchildren Isabella, Sofia and Luka.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Olympia Dukakis Facts
|June 21, 1931 (92)
|Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
|1988 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (for Moonstruck)
|1988 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture (for Moonstruck)
|Fire in the Dark
|The Last Keepers
|The Misadventures of the Dunderheads
|The Librarian: Quest for the Spear
|Look Who's Talking