Michael Constantine, an Emmy Award-winning character actor who achieved worldwide fame playing the father of the bride with a bottle of Windex in the 2002 film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, has passed away. He was 94 years old.
Constantine died on Aug.31 at his home in Reading, Pa. Of natural causes, his family said. The news was confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday by his agent, Julia Buchwald.
Constantine has made appearances on TV shows such as “My Favorite Martian”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Bonanza”, “Hogan’s Heroes”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, “The Fugitive”, “Quincy, ME “,” The Love Boat “,” Remington Steele “,” MacGyver “and” Murder, She Wrote “. His big breakthrough came as a principal on “Room 222,” an ABC comedy-drama set in a racially diverse high school in Los Angeles, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Role. support in 1970.
But he became best known for his work in the independent comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which centers on a middle-class Greek-American woman who falls in love with an upper-middle-class white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Constantine reprized his role in the television series “My Big Fat Greek Life” and in the 2016 film, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” became the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time with nationwide gross of $ 241.4 million. It was based on the solo play by screenwriter Nia Vardalos and produced by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson for just $ 5 million.
“Michael has always been the nicest person,” Wilson wrote on Instagram. “He had time for everyone, and when you were with him he made you feel like you were the only person in the room. He will be with us forever in our hearts and for future generations who will watch his work. “
Constantine first auditioned for the role of Gus and told The Hollywood Reporter he was eager to read Vardalos’ script, wary of how he might portray the Greco-American experience.
“I was worried that someone would write something in Greek. Was this going to be nonsense or was it something from someone who really knows the Greeks? So I read the script and said, ‘Yes, that person obviously knows the Greeks,’ ”he said.
Vardalos paid homage to Constantine on Twitter, writing: “Taking action with him came with a surge of love and pleasure. I will cherish this man who brought Gus to life. He made us laugh so much and deserves a rest now.
Constantine was the son of Greek immigrants. He started his career on stage and was on Broadway in the late 1950s and early 1960s in shows such as “Arturo Ui”, “The Miracle Worker” and “Inherit the Wind”.
He made his big screen debut alongside Mickey Rooney in “The Last Mile” and has had roles in “The Hustler”, “Don’t Drink the Water”, “Prancer”, “The Reivers”, “My Life “and” The Juré. “
Constantine has been married and divorced twice. Survivors include her sisters, Patricia Gordon and Chris Dobbs.
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