Michael Constantine, star of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ dead at 94

Michael Constantine, the Emmy-winning star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and the basic TV sitcom “Room 222, died Wednesdayat his dwelling in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was 94.

The veteran character actor’s dying from pure causes was confirmed by his agent Julia Buchwald. Constantine had been sick for a number of years, however his official trigger of dying was not revealed, according to his hometown news outlet the Reading Eagle.

Born Constantine Ioannides — he additionally glided by Gus Efstration for a time — in Reading on May 22, 1927, he was maybe best-known for patriarch function as Greek-American Gus Portokalos, the Windex-obsessed papa in 2002’s breakout indie hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” reverse Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Andrea Martin and Lainie Kazan.

The authentic movie in a franchise that spawned a sequel and short-lived TV sequence — on which he reprised his function in 2003 — racked up greater than $360 million at the worldwide field office, rating as one of the highest-grossing romantic comedies of all-time, Deadline reported. There was reportedly a 3rd installment in improvement at the time of his dying, this time set within the household’s native Greece.

Vardalos, his onscreen daughter and screenwriter of the “Wedding” movies, took to Twitter to pay her respects: “Michael Constantine, the dad to our cast-family, a gift to the written word, and always a friend. 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.”

Classic TV followers will bear in mind Constantine from his 1970 Emmy-winning function as highschool principal Seymour Kaufman within the ABC sequence “Room 222,” which ran from 1969 to 1974. He was nominated for an Emmy a second time in 1971.

Lloyd Haynes, Karen Valentine and Michael Constantine in “Room 222,” which ran from 1969 to 1974 on ABC.
twentieth Century Fox
Actress Karen Valentine holding her 1970 Emmy for Best Supporting Performance by an Actress in a Comedy sequence, and actor Michael Constantine along with his Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy sequence. Both actors received for the TV sequence “Room 222.”
Bettmann Archive

He started his career on the Broadway stage in 1955 as an understudy to the the legendary Paul Muni, who starred because the character primarily based on lawyer Clarence Darrow in “Inherit the Wind.” Later Broadway stage roles included 1957’s “Compulsion” and “The Miracle Worker” with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke from 1959 to 1961.

Other notable movie appearances embrace 1961’s “The Hustler” with Paul Newman, a scene-stealing flip because the Gypsy in Stephen King’s “Thinner” from 1996, and the all-star “Voyage of the Damn” in 1976.

THE HUSTLER, Paul Newman, (left), Michael Constantine, (smoking cigar), 1961, © TM and Copyright 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. All Rights Reserved
Paul Newman (left) and Michael Constantine (smoking cigar) in 1961’s pool corridor basic, “The Hustler.”
twentieth Century Fox
Michael Constantine as the
Michael Constantine because the “Gypsy” within the darkly comedic 1996 suspense thriller “Thinner.”
Paramount/Everett Collection

His TV visitor spots ran the gamut from classics similar to “Naked City,” “Twilight Zone,” “Perry Mason,” “Kojak” and “Gunsmoke” to cult hits like “Airwolf,” and household faves a la “Murder She, Wrote.” And, sure, he did “Law & Order,” too.

“He was a great character actor, so when someone needed a character actor, they turned to him,” mentioned George Hatza, the now retired Reading Eagle leisure editor who new the actor personally, in Constantine’s hometown obituary. “He did everything.”

Constantine is survived by two youngsters, Thea Eileen and Brendan Neil, and two sisters, Patricia Gordon and Chris Dobbs. No memorial plans have been introduced.

Actor Michael Constantine during a conversation at his sister's home in Reading.
Actor Michael Constantine throughout a dialog at his sister’s dwelling in Reading. in 2016.
MediaNews Group through Getty Images

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Michael Constantine, star of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ dead at 94