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Mikis Theodorakis among Those Commemorated in Oscars “In Memoriam”

LOS ANGELES – The 94th Academy Awards were handed out on March 27 and were certainly memorable for various reasons, including the historic Best Picture win for the deaf family drama CODA, the first time ever that a streaming service, Apple+ in this case, took home Hollywood’s top award. The Oscars also featured the legendary Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis in the In Memoriam portion of the telecast, along with Greek-Americans Olympia Dukakis, Betty White, and Michael Constantine. The three were honored among the long list of icons of the entertainment industry who passed away last year. The complete list is available online: https://aframe.oscars.org/news/in-memoriam.

Mikis Theodorakis is perhaps best known to cinephiles for his scores for the Oscar-winning films Zorba the Greek (1964) and Z (1969), as well as the Oscar-nominated Serpico (1973). He passed away at the age of 96 on September 2, 2021.

FILE - In this April 11, 1988 file photo, Olympia Dukakis holds her Oscar  at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angles after being honored at the 60th Academy Awards as best supporting actress for her role in "Moonstrck." (AP Photo/Lennox Mcleondon, File)
FILE – In this April 11, 1988 file photo, Olympia Dukakis holds her Oscar at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angles after being honored at the 60th Academy Awards as best supporting actress for her role in “Moonstrck.” (AP Photo/Lennox Mcleondon, File)

Olympia Dukakis, born in Lowell, Massachusetts, won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Moonstruck (1987) as her cousin Michael Dukakis was running for President of the United States. She passed away at 89 on May 1, 2021.

Betty White had a long career in film and television beginning with her first role in a short film in 1945. In 2017, after 70 years in the industry, White was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. At age 95, she was the oldest new member at the time. She was the only child of Christine Tess (née Cachikis), a homemaker, and Horace Logan White, a lighting company executive from Michigan. On December 31, 2021, White passed away. She would have turned 100 on January 17, 2022.

FILE – Actress Betty White poses for a portrait on the set of the television show “Hot in Cleveland” in Studio City section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

Michael Constantine, the Emmy-winning character actor, was best known for his role as the patriarch of the Portokalos family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. The son of Theoharis Ioannides, a steelworker, and Andromache Foteadou, Constantine was born Constantine Ioannides in Reading, PA, on May 22, 1927. “He settled early on an acting career, an idea reinforced after a youthful visit to a friend who was studying acting in New York,” the New York Times reported. He passed away on August 31, 2021, at the age of 94.

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