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Greek-American actor Michael Constantine passes away. RIP Mr Portokalos

Greek-American actor Michael Constantine, the legendary Gus Portokalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding,  passed away at the age of 94. Although already known in the USA, Constantine became famous worldwide as Gus Portokalos, father of Toula (Nia Vardalos) in the comedy film My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).

Gus Portokalos was a good-hearted but kind of grimmy Greek daddy living in America with two obsessions: the magical all-wounds-healer “Windex” and Greekness.

Michael Constantine was born Gus Efstratiou in Reading, Pennsylvania to parents being both immigrants from Greece.

He began his career on the New York stage and in the mid-1950s as understudy to Paul Muni in Inherit the Wind. While in the cast, he met and married actress Julianna McCarthy on October 5, 1953; they had two children and divorced in 1969.

He studied acting with such prominent mentors as Howard Da Silva and played character roles on and off Broadway in his mid-twenties, supplementing his income as a night watchman and shooting-gallery barker. I

His son-in-law made the news of Constantine’s death on August 31, 2021, only today, Sept 9.

Michael Constantine died of natural causes in his home in Reading surrounded by his family and friends.

Rest in Peace, Mr Portokalos, then in the end we are all fruit…

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