Olympia Dukakis

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Olympia Dukakis (June 20, 1931 – May 1, 2021)) was an American actress. She performed in more than 130 stage productions, more than 60 films and in 50 television series.


  • Growing up I was always feeling like an outsider, being Greek in communities that were not very ethnic. I felt like an outsider in the Greek community, too, because women were expected to behave and socialize in a certain way, and I didn't. Also being an actor I felt like an outsider, because not many Greek American women were actors then. But once you realize that you are an outsider, there can be a freedom in that. You can find your own way.
  • [1] Olympia speak about growing up in 2007.
  • I believe that in the theater you really can't do anything that doesn't have some political consequence. My work has been about finding my own voice and a way to express myself.
    • [2] Olympia speak on her project in 2007.
  • If you are convinced this is what you want to do, don't be afraid, go forward. You have to know what you want and go for it. Don't let the money be an issue. You can always pay your bills if you're willing to work.
    • [3] Olympia advice young people in 2007.
  • Critics were surprised that I was convincing as the southern Clarey in Steel Magnolias. The bias is still there but not as much.
    • [4] Olympia talk about change of name in 2008.
  • I really enjoy that sort of exploration in a community of people. That's what I really like. All those people come, and sit together, and then we all go through this experience, and some aspect of our humanity is touched.
    • [5] Olympia share experience on new play with theater-goers in 2009.
  • It is hard. And as you get older it's harder. Not to do the work, that's not the frustrating part. What's hard is raising the money, building the board, staying abreast of the current things that are happening that want to sabotage and submerge you.
    • [6] Olympia speak on trials in building theatre company in 2009.
  • Because now I am a grandmother, and I love it. It's like a free ride. Your kids are doing all the worrying, and scrambling. Children and grandchildren can make you really happy. You walk in the room and there is like a glow. I often think about how fortunate we are as a family.
    • [7] Olympia talk about being a grandmother in 2009.
  • You know when you get to my age, it's nice to be intact. Physically surviving is important.
    • [8] Olympia talk about surviving in 2009.
  • I feel the audience is very much there, It’s a big thing — to let an audience in, let them affect and move you.
    • [9] Olympia speak on the role of audience in her performance on stage in 2012.
  • I don’t know, you get old enough and your hair gets white and somebody notices and they give you a star.
    • [10] Olympia talk about recognition in 2012.
  • This is not a humiliating experience. This is not a humiliating experience.
    • [11] Olympia describe how she show up at auditions in 2015.
  • It took my family a long time to realize that something was wrong. My brother and I were in complete denial; we loved our mother so much and we didn’t want to admit that her health was deteriorating.
    • [12] Olympia share her family’s alzheimer’s journey in 2020.

Quotes about Olympia Dukakis[edit]

  • My goal every day was to free Olympia to do the things that only she could do. These included memorizing her lines, going for a costume fitting and working out with her yoga instructor. I did everything else and I did it for 25 years.
    • [13] Bonnie Low-Kramen speak on her role as the personal assistant to the actress in 2017.

External links[edit]

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