“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.
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 Alex Winter, Betty Buckley and more.
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
— 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
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
Legit crying over the news about Olympia Dukakis. She was *everything* in Moonstruck. And I loved her in Steel Magnolias in the role that gave me my life motto: “If you can’t say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me” ♥️♥️♥️ #OlympiaDukakis pic.twitter.com/0PiLv9wAv0
— Tara Dublin Wrote A Whole Book in Lockdown (@taradublinrocks) 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
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