Olympia Dukakis, the Academy Award-winning actress who lived for 30 years in Montclair, has died at age 89 at her home in New York City. Best known for “Moonstruck” and “Steel Magnolias,” Dukakis got her start in theater and was a founder and the producing artistic director of the Whole Theater Company in Montclair.
Dukakis returned to Montclair often to visit family and to discuss her films at Montclair Film Festival events. In 2019, she participated in Montclair Film Q&A following a screening of “Olympia”, a documentary that took an intimate look at her life.
“Her theatrical work was critical to the establishment and growth of Montclair’s arts community, her film and stage performances filled with humanity and power,” says Montclair Film’s executive director Tom Hall. “I was proud to welcome her back to Montclair, to the 2019 Montclair Film Festival, to share OLYMPIA, the documentary portrait of her life. It was wonderful to be able to meet her and hear her wonderful stories about art, life, love, and loss.”
Dukakis’ husband, Louis Zorich, died in 2018.