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My Big Fat Greek Wedding Star Michael Constantine Has Died

Vulture.com logo Vulture.com 9/9/2021 Bethy Squires
Michael Constantine wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: HBO Max © HBO Max HBO Max

Michael Constantine, who played lovable crank Costas “Gus” Portokalos in both My Big Fat Greek Weddings has died. He was 94. His agent told Deadline Constantine died August 31, of natural causes. Nia Vardalos eulogized her on-screen father on Twitter, calling 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.”

Born Constantine Joanides in 1927, Michael Constantine worked in both film and television for decades. He won an Emmy in 1970 for his role on Room 222, an ABC dramedy about an American History class at a racially diverse Los Angeles high school. Lloyd Haynes starred as history teacher Pete Dixon, an idealistic Black educator who uses his classroom to tackle issues of the week. Constantine played the principal Walt Whitman High School. Constantine also had supporting roles in such films as The Hustler, Thinner, and acid trip fiasco Skidoo.

Vardalos also posted a photo of Constantine with her father, the real life inspiration for Gus. Per Deadline, A third My Big Fat Wedding was in planning stages, to be set in Greece.

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