Viola Davis, Bradley Whitford and More Pay Tribute to Olympia Dukakis: ‘An Actor’s Actor’

“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.”

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.”

“The West Wing” actor Bradley Whitford paid tribute to Dukakis, calling her a “brilliant, strong, hilarious soul. An actor’s actor.”

See more reactions below from Viola Davis, Alex Winter and more.

 

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