Michael Constantine played Nia Vardalos’s father Gus in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” in the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time, and died on August 31. He was 94 years old.
Constantine’s agent confirmed the news of his death to Variety Show. He died of natural causes. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” had an internal box office of $241 million in 2002; “What Women Want” ranked second, with a box office of $183 million. The film was nominated for the SAG Award for the outstanding performance of its dramatic film actors.
As Roger Ebert said, Gus of Constantine looks for the Greek root of any word (even “kimono”) and raises a toast. He explained that “Miller” can be traced back to the Greek word “apple”, and “Portokalos” is based on Orange means orange in Greek, so he triumphantly concluded: “In the end, we are all fruits.”
Constantine replayed her role in the short-lived CBS series “My Big Fat Greek Life,” starring Vardalos and Lainie Kazan in 2003 and the sequel to the 2016 movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,”. The wedding was a wedding that required another ceremony after the procedural flaws in the original wedding of Gus and Maria of Kazan discovered in Greece.
In a review of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” the Los Angeles Times said, “Constantine delivers an appealing mixture of bravado and bumbling as Gus, a man claiming cultural superiority who doesn’t know how to use a computer mouse. According to Gus, the Greeks invented everything, even Italy, and now he’s on an Internet quest to confirm that he is a direct descendant of Alexander the Great. In a sequence that will feel familiar to anyone who has ever introduced an older relative to Google, this quest will take a village.”
Before the “Big Fat Greek Wedding” phenomenon, Constantine was best known as a TV actor who played the director West in the popular TV high school comedy “Room 222” by James L. Brooks. Mo Kaufman. The play aired on ABC in 1969. -74 and also starred Lloyd Haynes as teacher Pete Dixon; Denise Nicholas as school counselor Liz McIntyre; and Karen Valentine as student-teacher Alice Johnson.
For his work on “Room 222,” Constantine was twice Emmy assigned, in 1970 and 1971, winning the first run-through.
He repeated as the Sorcerer on “Electra Woman and Dyna Girl” in 1976 — that very year he got his own show, a precursor of “Night Court” called “Sirota’s Court,” an NBC parody in which he featured as Judge Matthew Sirota. It ran for 13 scenes.
Likewise in 1976, Constantine played one of numerous German Jews trying to escape the Nazis in the element “Journey of the Damned” (1976), featuring Faye Dunaway, Oskar Werner, and Lee Grant.
He played the dad of Kristy McNichol’s person in the prominent TV film “Summer of My German Soldier” (1978) and had a little part in “Roots: The Next Generations” (1979).
He guested on a wide assortment of TV series for quite a long time, repeating on “Remington Steele” as an eccentric money manager — and showing up importantly in a 1994 scene of “Law and Order.”
Constantine played the dad of Patrick Dempsey’s “Sonny” Wisecarver, a 15-year-old who steals away with a 21-year-old played by Talia Balsam, in the 1987 rom-com “In the Mood.”
The entertainer had two film gigs in 1996, playing the adjudicator in court spine chiller “The Juror,” featuring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin, and depicting the one who puts a revile on the quick in and out the driver who killed his girl in “Stephen King’s Thinner.” Then “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” hit in 2002.
Constantine Joanides was brought into the world in Reading, Penn.
He started his vocation on the New York stage (however the entertainer made his little screen debut in the beginning of the medium with a solitary appearance on NBC’s “The Big Story” in 1949). In 1955 he filled in as understudy to Paul Muni, who played Henry Drummond in the first Broadway creation of “Acquire the Wind.” Constantine’s acting tutors likewise included Howard Da Silva.
He showed up on Broadway in “Impulse,” a play dependent on the Leopold and Loeb case featuring Dean Stockwell and Roddy McDowall, in 1957-58, and in 1959 he showed up in the first Broadway creation of “The Miracle Worker” as Mr. Anagnos, the superintendent of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Anne Bancroft’s Annie Sullivan prepared. He thusly showed up in “The Egg” and “Arturo Ui,” yet both had very short runs in 1962 and 1963, individually.
While showing up on Broadway and on different stages, he got by filling in as a night gatekeeper and a barker in a shooting display.
Constantine made his film debut in Howard W. Koch’s death row picture “The Last Mile,” featuring Mickey Rooney. In spite of the commonality of the material, the New York Times raved about the film, pronouncing: “The acting, nearly through and through — we rehash, nearly — is fine. As Mr. Rooney’s kindred detainees, Clifford David, Harry Millard, John McCurry, Ford Rainey, John Seven, Michael Constantine, John Vari, and George Marcy are totally trustworthy.”
Constantine played a noteworthy supporting part as Big John in Robert Rossen’s exemplary 1961 pool picture “The Hustler,” featuring Paul Newman.
During the 1960s the entertainer guested on “Dr. Kildare,” “The Untouchables,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Perry Mason,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “My Favorite Martian,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” to give some examples. He repeated on NBC’s 1966-67 parody “Hello, Landlord” as John “Jack” Ellenhorn.
On the big screen he showed up in the Delbert Mann-coordinated, Antarctic-set parody “Speedy Before It Melts” (1964), featuring George Maharis and Robert Morse; the 1966 “Playmate Geste” change; George Roy Hill’s “Hawaii,” featuring Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow; 1968’s infamous “Skidoo,” “Otto Preminger’s amazing discharge failure of a nonconformity satire,” in the expressions of the Austin Chronicle; travelog satire “In case It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium” (1969), in which he played a previous G.I. in Italy looking for a tragically missing affection; the illegitimate “Justine” (1969); and “Don’t Drink the Water,” a variation of Woody Allen’s play in which Constantine played Krojack, top of the Vulgarian secret police.
While showing up on “Room 222,” Constantine kept a bustling timetable, proceeding to visitors on different shows.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” was his last credit.
Vardalos honored her on-screen father on Twitter, stating: “Michael Constantine, the father to our cast-family, a gift to the composed word, and consistently a companion. Acting with him accompanied a surge of affection and fun. I will love this man who rejuvenated Gus. He gave us such a lot of giggling and merits a rest now. We love you, Michael.”