Michael Constantine, father in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ dies at 94

Michael Constantine, who performed Gus, the daddy of Nia Vardalos’ Toula Portokalos in “My Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony,” the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, has died on August 31. He’s 94 years outdated. .

Constantine’s agent confirmed the information of his loss of life. He died of pure causes.

“My Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony” grossed $241 million domestically in 2002; Second on the listing is “What Girls Need” with $183 million. The movie earned a SAG Award nomination for excellent efficiency by the forged of a theatrical characteristic movie.

As Roger Ebert recounts, Constantine’s Gus “specialised to find the Greek root for any phrase (even ‘kimono’), and introduced up a toast through which he defined that ‘Miller’ goes again to the phrase ‘Miller’. Greek for apple, and ‘Portokalos’ is predicated on the Greek phrase for orange, and thus he triumphantly concludes, ‘In the long run, we’re all fruit.’ “

Selection stated: “Constantine is greatest suited as a staunch traditionalist patriarch who can also be a dim lightbulb with an enormous coronary heart.”

Constantine reprized her function in a short-lived CBS sequence additionally starring Vardalos and Lainie Kazan in 2003, “My Large Fats Greek Life” and its 2016 movie sequel, “My Large Fats Greek” Marriage ceremony 2″, the place Gus and Kazan’s Maria married after a procedural defect of their unique marriage ceremony in Greece was found, they wanted one other ceremony.

Previous to the “Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony” phenomenon, Constantine was greatest often known as a tv actor who performed principal Seymour Kaufman within the James L. Brooks, which aired on ABC from 1969-74 and in addition stars Lloyd Haynes as instructor Pete Dixon; Denise Nicholas as college counselor Liz McIntyre; and Karen Valentine as scholar instructor Alice Johnson.

For “Room 222,” Constantine was twice nominated for an Emmy, in 1970 and 1971, profitable for the primary time.

He reprized his function because the Sorcerer in “Electra Girl and Dyna Woman” in 1976 – the identical yr he acquired his personal present, a precursor to “Evening Court docket” known as “Sirota’s Court docket”, an NBC comedy through which He performs Decide Matthew Sirota. It ran for 13 episodes.

Additionally in 1976, Constantine performed one in every of many German Jews making an attempt to flee the Nazis within the movie “The Damned’s Journey”, starring Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner and Lee Grant.

He performed the daddy of Kristy McNichol’s character within the in style TV sequence “Summer season of My German Soldier” (1978) and had a small function in “Roots: The Subsequent Generations” (1979).

He has starred in quite a few TV sequence over the a long time, recurring on “Remington Steele” as a businessman together with his personal type – and making a memorable look in an episode of “Regulation & Order” in 1994.

Constantine performed Patrick Dempsey “Sonny” Wisecarver’s father, a 15-year-old runaway with a 21-year-old performed by Talia Balsam, within the 1987 romantic comedy “Within the Temper”.

The actor had two movie gigs in 1996, enjoying the decide within the courtroom thriller “The Juror,” starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin, and enjoying the person who units the stage. curse on the motive force who killed his daughter in “Stephen King’s Thinner.” Then got here the hit “My Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony” in 2002.

Constantine Joanides was born in Studying, Penn.

He started his profession on the New York stage (though the actor made his small display debut within the early days of media with a single look on NBC’s “The Large Story” in 2005. 1949). In 1955, he served for Paul Muni, who performed Henry Drummond within the unique Broadway manufacturing of “Inherit the Wind”. Constantine’s performing mentors additionally embody Howard Da Silva.

He appeared on Broadway in “Compulsion”, a play based mostly on the Leopold and Loeb affair starring Dean Stockwell and Roddy McDowall, in 1957-58, and in 1959, he appeared within the Broadway play. unique “The Miracle Employee” as Mr. Anagnos, principal of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the varsity the place Anne Bancroft’s Annie Sullivan skilled. He later appeared in “The Egg” and “Arturo Ui”, however each have been extraordinarily short-lived in 1962 and 1963 respectively.

Whereas showing on Broadway and different levels, he earned his residing as an evening watchman and barker in a taking pictures gallery.

Constantine made his movie debut in Howard W. Koch’s portray “The Final Mile,” starring Mickey Rooney. He had a memorable supporting function as Large John in Robert Rossen’s 1961 basic pool set “The Hustler”, starring Paul Newman.

Within the Sixties, the actor participated within the reveals “Dr. Kildare”, “The Untouchables”, “The Twilight Zone”, “Perry Mason”, “Hogan’s Heroes”, “My Favourite Martian”, “The Dick”. Van Dyke Present”, to call however just a few. He reappeared within the 1966-67 NBC comedy “Hey, Landlord” as John “Jack” Ellenhorn.

On the massive display, he appeared within the Delbert Mann-directed Antarctic comedy, “Fast Earlier than It Melts” (1964), starring George Maharis and Robert Morse; the 1966 “Beau Geste” remake; “Hawaii” by George Roy Hill, starring Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow; The notorious 1968 “Skidoo,” “a grandiose countercultural comedy by Otto Preminger,” within the phrases of the Austin Chronicle; the journey comedy “If It is Tuesday, This Should Be Belgium” (1969), through which he performed a former GI in Italy looking for an extended misplaced love; “Justine” (1969) is confused; and “Do not Drink the Water”, an adaptation of a Woody Allen play, through which Constantine performs Krojack, the top of the Vulgarian secret police.

Whereas showing on “Room 222,” Constantine maintained a busy schedule, persevering with to guest-star on different reveals.

“My Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony 2” was his final work.

Constantine was married to actress Julianna McCarthy from 1953 till their divorce in 1969.

He’s survived by daughter Thea Eileen Constantine and son Brendan Neil Constantine.

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