Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Michael Constantine, who played the dad in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding,' has died at 94
spotlight AP

Michael Constantine, who played the dad in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding,' has died at 94

  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
1315718494

Actor Michael Constantine at his sister's home in Reading.

Actor Michael Constantine, best-known for playing the proud father in the hit movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," died last week, his agent told CNN. He was 94 years old.

Constantine was a busy character actor for five decades, winning an Emmy for his role as school principal Seymour Kaufman in the ABC series "Room 222" in 1970.

But his most memorable role was as family patriarch Gus Portokalos in the surprise independent film hit "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

In that movie, Constantine played a loving but overprotective father who was immensely proud of his heritage and insisted that virtually all minor physical maladies could be cured with Windex. Constantine reprised the role in a film sequel, as well as the short-lived TV series "My Big Fat Greek Life."

MANDYLOR KAZAN CONSTANTINE WILSON VARDALOS GREY MCCALL ECKHOLDT MARTIN

The cast and producers of the new CBS television show "My Big Fat Greek Life" from left, Louis Mandylor, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Rita Wilson, Nia Vardalos, Brad Grey, Marsh McCall, Steven Eckholdt and Andrea Martin answer questions for reporters Monday, Jan. 13, 2003, in Los Angeles. 

Constantine's family says he died in Reading, Pennsylvania, on August 31 following a long illness, according to an article in the Reading Eagle which was confirmed to CNN by his agent, Julia Buchwald.

Constantine was a native of Reading and the son of Greek immigrants, the paper said.

In 1976, Constantine told "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson that growing up, "I really thought, well, I'm just going to be a bum," until he discovered his love of acting.

"Michael Constantine, the dad to our cast-family, a gift to the written word, and always a friend," Nia Vardalos, the writer and star of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," tweeted Wednesday. "Acting with him came with a rush of love and fun. I will treasure this man who brought Gus to life. He gave us so much laughter and deserves a rest now. We love you Michael."

The-CNN-Wire

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Staying in? We've got you covered

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

I’m limiting myself to one James Bond favorite. “Casino Royale” introduced us to a new 007, so it contains lots of Daniel Craig, as well as the signature gun-barrel bit, a sly hint at what’s going on with Eva Green’s character and playful animation that nods to the lethal card game at the movie’s climax — all to the tune of my controversial choice for best Bond theme, the late Chris Cornell’s ferocious “You Know My Name.”

  • Updated

They’re the first thing in a movie and they’re packed with information, but we rarely know much about them.

  • Updated

Rosie Perez doesn’t have an especially big part, but it’s hard to imagine a splashier debut than the one Spike Lee gives her. The credits are nothing but her dancing to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” and her fierce, angry movement sets the tone for the bold movie, the combativeness of which is foreshadowed by her busting a move in a boxer’s outfit.

The best local coverage, unlimited

Sign up for a digital subscription to The Press of Atlantic City now and take advantage of a great offer.

LEARN MORE

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News