Over the course of his illustrious career, American actor Michael Constantine had appeared in more than 30 films and 50 TV shows but his most iconic performance came in the 2002 comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Prior to that, Constantine had already established himself as a top talent with award-winning work on the immensely popular series Room 222.
Constantine once commented: “My Big Fat Greek Wedding was far and away my favourite film role. We never expected the first film to be that successful. I used to say to people when we were shooting the first one, I hope at least that this breaks even so that we can do a sequel and all work together again. I loved working with all the actors –Andrea Martin and Louis Mandylor and Nia Vardalos. As a matter of fact, Nia and I decided that we were each other’s favourite scene partners.”
The actor passed away in his home on August 31 at the age of 94 due to natural causes which was recently confirmed by his agent Julia Buchwald. His fans have been pouring in with tributes for the legendary star of the screen whose work continues to inspire and move younger generations. Constantine’s final film role came in 2016 with the sequel to the original My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
During a conversation in 2017, Constantine insisted that his mother was a huge influence on his journey: “When I told my mother that I was going to New York to study acting, she was just so happy! She was happy that I was going to study something. She didn’t care what that was. I discovered over the years that there was a great artistic side to my mother. My mother knew more Greek poems than I suspect anybody doing a doctorate of literature in a university.
“She knew historical poems. She knew modern poems. She knew funny poems and she taught me. She would be ironing, and she would be reciting a poem. At three years old, I’d be sitting there – there was nothing else to do – and she’d be reciting this poem and I’d pick it up and learn it very quickly. Years later I found one of the poems that I knew in a book, and it was seven pages long. She was a woman without a tremendous amount of education, but with tremendous curiosity about things.”