‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ Star Michael Constantine Dies at 94



Emmy-winning actor and star in “My Big Fat Wedding,” Michael Constantine, has passed away at 94. According to Legacy, he died from natural causes on Aug. 31, 2021, in his Reading, Pennsylvania, home.

Julia Buchwald, his agent, confirmed his passing.

He was born on May 22, 1927, in Reading. His name at birth was Constantine Joanides. His Greek parents were Theoharis Ioannides and Andromache Fotuadou. His father was a steelworker.

On April 21, 1955, he made his Broadway debut in the hit play “Inherit the Wind.” After 806 performances, the play closed its curtains on June 22, 1957.

After that, he performed at the Ambassador Theatre in “Compulsion.” In this play, he played three parts: Dr. Ball, Jonathan Wilk, the defense attorney, and Al, the speakeasy owner.

ConstantineHis first movie performance was in the 1959 film “The Last Mile.” He can also be seen on TV teleplays “Armstrong Circle Theatre,” “Play of the Week,” and “The Untouchables.” In addition, Constantine can be seen in the films “The Hustler,” the movie version of Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water,” and “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium.”

In “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” he played the father — Gus Portokalos — who turned to Windex to cure everything “from psoriasis to poison ivy.”

On Oct. 5, 1953, he married his first wife, Julianna McCarthy. They had two children, Thea Eileen and Brendan Neil, before their divorce in July 1972. He married his second wife, Kathleen Patricia Christopherson, in September 1974. They were divorced on August 15, 1980.

He is survived by his children, family, and friends. May he rest in peace.

Written by Sheena Robertson


Legacy: Michael Constantine (1927–2021), “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” dad; by Linnea Crowther
IMDb: Michael Constantine; by Jon C. Hopwood
The New York Times: Michael Constantine, Father in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ Dies at 94; by Margalit Fox

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Jayme Frye’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License