Monday, January 18, 2021

THE GREAT OLYMPIA DUKAKIS

Watching this new feature was like spending 1 hour and 40 minutes with a fabulous longtime friend who talked openly about everything -- work, art, love, sex, marriage, family, fears and Faye Dunaway.


  "Your life is going down the toilet." That is one of the memorable lines Olympia Dukakis says to Cher in the 1987 romantic comedy, MOONSTRUCK, directed by Norman Jewison. Cher won the Oscar for Best Actress. Olympia Dukakis won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Not long after Olympia won her Oscar, I had the first of two wonderful on-camera experiences with her. She was an earthy, funny, generous guest on my old VH1 talk show. Earthy because she was the first celebrity guest to say the word "shit" in an answer to an interview question, funny in telling us how much a Grateful Dead fan she was, and generous in that she treated me like I was Dick Cavett on his celebrated ABC talk show. Our young studio crew loved her. She loved talking about her Montclair, New Jersey theater company and she was one of the first celebrities to send me a thank-you note after our interview. The next experience I had with her was about 2005 at New York City's LGBTQ Center on W. 13th Street. She was onstage for one of its guest speaker nights and I, fortunately, was asked to be the interviewer. She hadn't changed. She was just as honest and charismatic and lovable as when I'd interviewed her on VH1. In our second interview, the audience learned that she was a background actor in several scenes of LILITH, a 1964 psychological drama starring Warren Beatty. The audience also learned that like Beah Richards opposite Sidney Poitier in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967), Angela Lansbury opposite Laurence Harvey in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), and Beulah Bondi opposite Thomas Mitchell in MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937), she's one of those actresses who played the mother opposite an actor even though they were in the same age category. She played the mother to Dustin Hoffman's character in 1969's JOHN AND MARY. She was only six years older than Hoffman. The crowd also learned that she got her Oscar-winning mother role in MOONSTRUCK after director Norman Jewison noticed her in a Broadway comedy called SOCIAL SECURITY that starred Marlo Thomas.


 The info about Jewison's discovery of her -- and footage of Jewison with Olympia -- are in a new production that each and every Olympia Dukakis fan should see. The gifted actress, fierce feminist and proud Greek is the focus of a wonderful documentary called OLYMPIA, smoothly directed and produced by Harry Mavromichalis. Every quality I loved about her in person and onscreen is in this entertaining, revealing and educational documentary. We get the real Olympia Dukakis, in all her glorious honesty, in a fascinating feature that takes us from California to New York to Greece. The actress has millions of fans who cherish her movie performances in MOONSTRUCK and 1989's STEEL MAGNOLIAS.   


 There's also her groundbreaking lead role as the transgender Anna Madrigal in the 1993 TV series adaptation of Armistead Maupin's TALES OF THE CITY novels. She was amazing in the 2019 closing chapter that I saw on Netflix.

The documentary shows us that the candid and totally cool Olympia Dukakis had a more extensive career that we realized. Onstage, she wowed audiences and fellow actors with her performances in great plays such as THREE SISTERS, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, THE SEAGULL, THE CHERRY ORCHARD, THE ROSE TATTOO, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and MOTHER COURAGE. The documentary is rich with archive photos, home movies, amateur footage and clips from her films. We hear from fellow actors Laura Linney, Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Ladd and Lainie Kazan. (For you young gay readers, Lainie Kazan was Barbra Streisand's understudy on Broadway in FUNNY GIRL). We see and hear from her actor husband, Lou Zorich, her children, and her cousin Michael Dukakis, the former Democratic presidential candidate.

We see Olympia Dukakis at age 80 in this feature. She seems hipper and wiser than folks half that age. As the doc opens, she's on the phone talking about an offer to do an East Coast stage play. When she hears what the pay is, she tickles you with her droll response "You wonder why actors flee to Hollywood." Her childhood fueled her "rebellious, independent" spirit. She broke through the limiting margins of 1950s social expectations placed on women. She defied her Greek mother -- and ultimately made her proud. Olympia Dukakis was her own woman occupationally, intellectually and sexually. Before she dated and fell in love with Lou Zorich, she described herself as "...the queen of one-night stands" and goes on to explain her reasons for her sexual independence.

Seeing Olympia Dukakis interact with fellow actors, family, friends and even strangers in Greece is pure gold. She is wise and also very witty. There's footage of her in a hotel room getting ready for the Oscars the night she won. Her banter about Faye Dunaway and cosmetic tape broke me up. I also howled with laughter at her trying to get an answer from Siri on her cellphone to a geographical question. Siri worked Olympia's last good nerve. Another sweet highlight is footage of her as the celebrity grand marshal one year at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade. While there in San Francisco, she gets a surprise visit from TALES OF THE CITY author, Armistead Maupin. 

Dukakis' marriage to Lou Zorich looks like it was absolute fun. They were married from 1962 to his passing in 2018. If you see OLYMPIA and keep thinking he looks familiar as you watch, he played the dad to Paul Reiser's character on the NBC sitcom, MAD ABOUT YOU.

There's not one dull, dishonest moment in OLYMPIA. Thank you, director Harry Mavromichalis. You made me fall in love with the unique, authentic Olympia Dukakis all over again. And I agree with what Ed Asner says in your captivating documentary. She's a "magnificent actress."

One more thing -- that "You're life is going down the toilet"  line from MOONSTRUCK? Olympia improvised it. OLYMPIA will be available on demand come March 23rd. I'll definitely be watching it again. To see a trailer and read other info about it, click onto this website:

www.OlympiaTheFilm.com.

9 comments:

  1. I'm 40 years old female I tested genital herpes (HSV1-2) positive in 2016. I was having bad outbreaks. EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I have try different kinds of drugs and treatment by the medical doctors all to know was avail. Six months ago I was desperately online searching for a helpful remedies for genital herpes (HSV1-2) cure, which I come across some helpful remedies on how Dr OYAGU have help so many people in curing genital herpes (HSV1-2) with the help of herbal treatment because I too believe there is someone somewhere in the world who can cure herpes completely. At of the past 2 months, however, I've been following his herpes protocol Via oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com or +2348101755322 and it stopped all outbreaks completely! To my greatest surprise I was cured completely by following the protocol of his herbal medicine . Don't be discouraged by the medical doctors. There is a cure for HSV with the help of herbs and roots by a herbalist Dr call Dr OYAGU he is so kind and truthful with his herbal treatment, kindly contact him for more information Via oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com or WhatsApp DR on +2348101755322 or visit his website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome you will be lucky as I am today

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is another testimony on how Chief Dr Lucky cured my HIV disease. Do you need a cure for your HIV disease? Do you want to be cured from your cancer disease? Or you want to be free from any type of disease. Kindly visit https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/ . He just cured my HIV disease and I’m very grateful to him, he is the only herbalist that can cure you.
      WhatsApp number : +2348132777335
      Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
      Thank you all for reading,
      God bless"

      Delete
  2. HSV is a terrible disease, if not for the help of Herbalist RAZOR Herbal Mixture my life would have been a mess! I was diagnosed with HSV II in 2018, based on a scientific report , they said there is no cure for HSV, and I was given some Antivirals to help me suppress the outbreaks. my life took a twist from that day on. But i got to know that "herbs are a gift to us from God and mother nature to cure so many deadly infections"  i kept believing that someday i will get cured with little hope , While Reading an online article i got to find out about the Excellent work of Herbalist RAZOR Herbal mixture, i decided to reach him with the herbalist details provided by the Young lady who was testifying about this Herbalist .After visiting his website : https://herbalistrazorherb.wixsite.com/drrazorherbalhome I Reached him on His email which was  drrazorherbalhome@gmail.com . After speaking with this herbalist, I am overwhelmed with joy that my life has been given a second chance. God bless you Sir RAZOR. WhatsApp/Call him on +2 3 4 9 0 6 5 4 2 0 4 4 2

    ReplyDelete
  3. Am Here To Give My Testimony About A Doctor Who Helped Me In My Life. I Was Infected With HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS In 2019, I Went To Many Hospitals For Cure But There Was No Solution, So I Was Thinking How Can I Get A Solution Out So That My Body Can Be Okay. One Day I Was In The River Side Thinking Where I Can Go To Get Solution. So A Lady Walked To Me Telling Me Why Am I So Sad And I Open Up All To Her Telling Her My Problem, She Told Me That She Can Help Me Out, She Introduce Me To A Doctor Who Uses Herbal Medication To Cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS And Gave Me His Email, So I Mail Him. He Told Me All The Things I Need To Do And Also Give Me Instructions To Take, Which I Followed Properly. Before I Knew What Is Happening After Two Weeks The HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS That Was In My Body Got Vanished . So If You Are Also Heart Broken And Also Need A Help, You Can Also contact Him Through Dr. Oyagu reach him oyaguherbalhome@gmail.com visit his website https://oyaguspellcaster.wixsite.com/oyaguherbalhome Or whatsapp him via +2348101755322

    ReplyDelete
  4. I want to give a Testimony on how I got Cured From HSV 1 and 2. Five Months ago I was Diagnosed with HSV 1&2. I was having some outbreaks. I went to see a Doctor and many Blood Tests were done on me. My Doctor told me that i have HSV 1&2 and there’s no cure for HSV 1&2. I felt bad, I went online searching for a possible cure for HSV 1&2, I saw a post of milton buckler, a herbal Dr called Dr Abiola cured him from HSV 1 . I contacted him and told him how I’m feeling and he said his herbal medicine can cure me. He sent me the medicine via DHL delivery service and I received the medicine some days after he sent it, i took the medicine as prescribed by him. for 14days Before the completion of the medication the symptoms stopped. I went to the Doctor and carried out another blood test, surprisingly I was Negative. I haven’t had any symptoms anymore, you can contact Dr Abiola through his email address via { drabiolasolutionhome@gmail.com } call or whatsApp Dr on this number now +2348100609098 Dr Abiola also have the cure for different types of diseases like1 cancer cure2 lupus cure3 ringing ear4 herpes cure5 Genital Wart cure6 hpv cure7 hiv and aids cure8 fibroid cure 9 bareness and infertility
    https://drabioladeadlydiseasescure.business.site/
    https://www.facebook.com/DrAbiolaHomeRemedy/
    http://hivcure431846097.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is another testimony on how Chief Dr Lucky cured my HIV disease. Do you need a cure for your HIV disease? Do you want to be cured from your cancer disease? Or you want to be free from any type of disease. Kindly visit https://chiefdrluckyherbaltherapy.wordpress.com/ . He just cured my HIV disease and I’m very grateful to him, he is the only herbalist that can cure you.
    WhatsApp number : +2348132777335
    Via Email : chiefdrlucky@gmail.com
    Thank you all for reading,
    God bless"

    ReplyDelete
  6. HOW I GOT CURED FROM CANCER I was diagnosed of cancer and i have tried all I can to get cured, but none of them work, until I saw a post in a health forum about a herbalist man who prepare hebal medications to cure all kind of diseases including cancer, at first I doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try, when I contacted this Dr Odion and he prepared a cancer herbal cure and sent it to me via UPS delivery company service, when I received this herbal medicine, he directed me on how to take the medicine, after taking it the way he instructed me to, l was totally cured of the deadly disease called cancer, all thanks to Dr Odion you can email drodionherbalhome12@gmial.com or WhatsApp him now +2349019421176
    [this great herbal doctor CAN ALSO CURE SICKNESS LIKE
    HIV / AIDS
    DIABETES
    EPILEPSY
    HSV
    HPV
    Herpes
    HEPATITIS
    LOVE SPELL
    SICKLE AND ANEMIA .. ETC

    ReplyDelete
  7. Herpes can be treated and cured permanently but only few believe it. I was diagnosed of HSV few years ago, my doctor told me there is no permanent cure for the disease, i was given antiviral medication to reduce the outbreak of the virus, at the initial stage it was not so bad till it progressed to the end middle stage were i had difficulties going about my daily functions I was totally devastated till I saw a comment about Dr.IGENE, who have used herbal medicines to cure virus like HERPES, HPV, ALS, when I contacted Dr.IGENE, via email, after a few discussion, he prepared the medicine and ship it to me, when I received the herbal medicine, I took it according to his instructions, few weeks later I went to the hospital to have a blood test and the test came back negative, i was cured and free from this Virus... That is why I am sharing my testimony so that people can also contact him for help, via his email:­ drigeneherbalhome516@gmail.com or on whatsapp +2349079935411} .

    ReplyDelete
  8. How can I explain this to the world that there is a man who can cure HERPES, I was diagnosed for the past 5 mouth I have being into HERPES since 5 mouth, so I decide to look for help in the internet then I found a post write about this great man called DR. Ehimare , people say good thing about him that this man have cured, a lot of people in the internet, him has power's to cure HSV1 AND HSV2 I don’t believe that there is a cure for Herpes Simplex Virus because though there is no cure for herpes that what I have in mind HERPES had no cure well , my HERPES is negative through the using of herbal cured of DR. Ehimare , I contacted this man for help because of what i see in the internet. if you need his cured just add him now on Hangouts Drehimare3@gmail.com , thank you DR.Ehimare i will never stop  shearing you testimony DR. Ehimare him Can as well CURE THE FOLLOWING DISEASE:-1, HIV/AIDS, 2, Diseases of the hear 3, Malignant tumors 4. Cardiovascular diseases 5. Diabetes mellifluous 6.Influenza and pneumonia 7.Alzheimer's disease 8. hsv1 - hsv2. If you need LOVE SPELL. E.T.C contact him Drehimare3@gmail.com or you whatsapp him on + 1 (267) 691-1087

    ReplyDelete

Denzel Does Shakespeare

The New York Film Festival is underway at Lincoln Center in New York City. This is like free tickets to and free rides in Disneyland for fil...