May 1, 2021 5:16 pm ET
Olympia Dukakis, the veteran stage and screen actress whose flair for maternal roles helped her win an Oscar as Cher’s mother in the 1987 romantic comedy “Moonstruck,” has died. She was 89.
Allison Levy, her agent at Innovative Artists, said that Ms. Dukakis died Saturday morning in her home in New York City. A cause of death wasn’t immediately released.
Ms. Dukakis won her Oscar through a surprising chain of circumstances, beginning with author Nora Ephron’s recommendation that she play Meryl Streep’s mother in the film version of Ms. Ephron’s novel “Heartburn.” Ms. Dukakis got the role, but her scenes were cut from the film.
To make it up to her, director Mike Nichols cast her in his hit play “Social Security.” Director Norman Jewison saw her in that role and cast her in “Moonstruck.”
Ms Dukakis won the Oscar for best supporting actress, and Cher took home the trophy for best actress.
(deleted an unsolicited ad)