Michael Constantine, the Father in ‘My Mountainous Plump Greek Wedding,’ Dies at 94

Michael Constantine, the Emmy-profitable actor from the 1970s sitcom Room 222 who later portrayed the Windex-spritzing father of Nia Vardalos’ personality in My Mountainous Plump Greek Wedding, has died. He became 94.

Constantine died Aug. 31 in his dwelling in his native Reading, Pennsylvania, his family launched. He had been in heart-broken health for some time, they acknowledged.

The son of Greek immigrants, Constantine is warmly remembered for his flip as Gus Portokalos, the husband of Lainie Kazan’s Maria Portokalos, in the unlikely field-workplace shatter My Mountainous Plump Greek Wedding and its 2016 sequel. The main installment, made for $5 million and released in 2002, grossed on the subject of $370 million worldwide.

“I needed to audition for the section,” he recalled in a 2016 interview. “Forward of that, I asked to learn the script, due to this of I became very leery. I didn’t know Nia then [she also penned the screenplay], and I became anxious about any individual writing some Greek inform. Became once it going to be baloney or became it going to be something by any individual who in actuality knows Greeks? So I learn the script and I acknowledged, ‘Yes, this individual obviously knows Greeks.’”

The know-it-all Gus became current for thinking that Windex would cure glorious about any ailment. “I’m essentially sick of Windex,” he acknowledged. “There will have to were hundreds of bottles despatched to me, and then there were all these of us who asked me to autograph their Windex bottles.”

He additionally reprised the characteristic for the brief-lived 2003 CBS sitcom My Mountainous Plump Greek Lifestyles.

On Wednesday, Vardalos paid tribute to the man who played her boisterous Greek father on Twitter, writing: “Michael Constantine, the dad to our solid-family, a reward to the written notice, and constantly a friend. Acting with him came with a mosey of admire and enjoyable. I may fancy this man who brought Gus to lifestyles. He gave us so grand laughter and deserves a relaxation now. We like you Michael.”

Michael Constantine, the dad to our solid-family, a reward to the written notice, and constantly a friend. Acting with him came with a mosey of admire and enjoyable. I may fancy this man who brought Gus to lifestyles. He gave us so grand laughter and deserves a relaxation now. We like you Michael. 🇬🇷 pic.twitter.com/PV0sIBtaUX

— Nia Vardalos (@NiaVardalos) September 9, 2021

For taking part in Seymour Kaufman, the jaded predominant at L.A.’s fictional Walt Whitman High, on ABC’s Room 222, Constantine won the Emmy for simplest supporting actor in a comedy in 1970 and became nominated the following year as effectively.

The sequence, created by the almost at present-to-be legendary Mary Tyler Moore Sing and The Simpsons co-creator James L. Brooks, became earlier than its time, featuring an constructed-in solid that tackled excessive up to date components at some stage in its 5-season (1969-74) mosey.

Constantine additionally portrayed Mountainous John, a pool-playing accomplice of Minnesota Fat (Jackie Gleason), in Robert Rossen’s atmospheric The Hustler (1961); became amongst these taking a whirlwind tour of Europe in If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969); and played an intelligence officer from in the abet of the Iron Curtain in Don’t Drink the Water (1969), a movie version of Woody Allen’s Broadway hit.

On the stage, Constantine served as Paul Muni’s understudy in the distinctive 1955-57 production of Inherit the Wind on Broadway and then looked with Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker, playing the prime of the institute for the blind.

He became born Gus Efstration on Might presumably well maybe 22, 1927, the son of an iron employee. After Reading High Faculty and a stint as the supervisor of the dairy department at his native grocery store, he didn’t in actuality know what he wished to build for a residing. A possibility bump into with a friend who had left for Original York to alter into an actress overjoyed him to observe her lead.

Constantine eventually studied performing with Howard Da Silva (Broadway’s Oklahoma!) and spent on the subject of nearly two years with the Inherit the Wind firm. He then played a personality based fully on attorney Clarence Darrow reverse Dean Stockwell, Roddy McDowall and Da Silva in Compulsion, a dramatization of the Leopold and Loeb extinguish trial.

In The Miracle Worker, he portrayed Anagnos, the man who build Annie Sullivan (Bancroft) with the Keller family.

Constantine made his gigantic-show debut alongside Mickey Rooney in the Loss of life Row-build The Final Mile (1959), directed by Howard W. Koch. He almost at present proved adept at TV customer-starring roles in the 1960s, performing on The Defenders, Bare Metropolis, Dr. Kildare, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Ironside and The Flying Nun.

Constantine had a on every day basis characteristic as undoubtedly one of the most dwelling-constructing residents, a photographer, on the 1966-67 NBC sitcom Hi there, Landlord, created by Garry Marshall and Jerry Belson, and he starred as a night court deem on the 1976-77 NBC comedy Sirota’s Court docket (that model additionally featured Fred Willard and Ted Ross).

On NBC’s Remington Steele, Constantine confirmed up on about a episodes as interested businessman George Edward Mulch.

His movie résumé additionally incorporated Beau Geste (1966), Steve McQueen’s The Reivers (1969), The North Avenue Irregulars (1979), Prancer (1989), My Lifestyles (1993) and The Juror (1996).

Constantine became married and divorced twice. Survivors consist of his sisters, Patricia and Chris.

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