Olympia Dukakis Comes Home

Olympia Dukakis, who was thrown a parade by the town of Montclair after winning the Oscar for her supporting role in “Moonstruck” in 1987, only to have the statue stolen from a table in her kitchen days later, came back to Montclair Thursday night for a screening of her new film, “Cloudburst,” in which she plays a foul-mouthed elderly lesbian. It was the first time she had seen the movie with an audience, and the sold-out Montclair Film Festival audience included her son Peter Zorich, running for councilor-at-large in Tuesday’s election.

The elegant Dukakis told the audience afterwards that the Robert Mapplethorpe controversy, which put government arts funding on the defensive, was the beginning of the end of the Whole Theatre Company, which she and husband Louis Zorich founded in 1973 and ran for 15 years. “It was like a house of cards,” she said. “Everybody got  less money. Corporations and foundations bailed.”

After a year or so of struggle, she simply was worn out with trying to cut expenses and raise money: “I remember I said, ‘Close the doors.’ You’ve got to get somebody who’s hungry. I’m not hungry like that.”

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  1. When my daughter was in elementary school back in the the late 80’s, it was her idea to invite Olympia Dukakis to read a story to the class. We did a little “detective work” to find out her home address and my daughter sent her a letter inviting her to the classroom. Ms. Dukakis answered the letter and accepted the invitation. She was warm and cordial and very down to earth ..it was a delightful experience.

  2. My dear Montclair friends — WAKE UP AND SMELL WHAT’S BREWING…The TEA PARTY, and they will eviscerate our garden of arts that includes film. How friggin ironic Peter and his RPM pals are so so anti-art. I love Olympia, too, but Peter’s running around telling everyone his mom left town because of high taxes. What a crock. He, likes his fellow RPMers, will say anything, generate ongodly amounts of B.S. in the media, and I might point out, assisted by MIchael Byrne, a guy who was point man for arch-conservative LONERGAN FOR GOV campaign. I am amazed these people have not been outed. Shame on everyone for sleeping through breakfast. WAKE UP!

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