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.
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.
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.
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In