News

Dolly Parton, Sally Field Remember Late 'Steel Magnolias' Co-Star Olympia Dukakis

Oscar-winning actor Olympia Dukakis passed away on Saturday, May 1 at the age of 89. Over the course of her incredible career, Dukakis was known for several iconic roles, from her Academy Award-winning portrayal of Rose Castorini, Cher's scene-stealing mother in Moonstruck, to the kindhearted principal in Mr. Holland's Opus, but none are more memorable than her role as Clairee Belcher in the southern family dramedy Steel Magnolias.

Dolly Parton and Sally Field, who co-starred with Dukakis in the 1989 film, were among those to honor the late actress.

Parton, who played Truvee in Steel Magnolias, remembered how much she loved working with Dukakis.

"I was so sorry to hear that Olympia Dukakis had passed away," Parton told Today. "She has been one of my favorite people that I have ever known or worked with"

The country superstar added that while she didn't get to see Dukakis much, she frequently thought of her and cherished their time together.

I really got very close to her and felt like we were good friends," Parton said. "Even though I didn't get to see her much, I thought of her often and knew that she was such a quality human being. She will be missed by her fans, her family, and those of us that were lucky enough to get to know her personally."

Sally Field, who portrayed M'Lynn in the film, shared her tribute on Twitter.

"What can I say but I loved her? Everyone loved her. She was a gift... unique and talented and one of a kind. Rest in peace, my friend Olympia," Field wrote.

Dukakis' portrayal of Clairee led to some of the movie's most memorable moments, such as when Clairee pushes M'Lynn to take out her anger over the loss of her daughter Shelby (Julia Roberts) by hitting Oiser (Shirley MacLaine), adding some levity to one of the film's most heartbreaking scenes.

Read More: 'Steel Magnolias': The Heartbreaking True Story Behind the Southern Classic

Dukakis' Moonstruck co-star Cher also remembered the late screen legend.

"Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing Academy Award Winning Actress," Cher wrote. "Olympia Played My Mom In Moonstruck,& Even Though Her Part was That Of a Suffering Wife, We 😂 ALL The Time. She Would Tell Me How MUCH She Loved Louis, Her Handsome Talented, Husband. I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One."

Dukakis died at home with her daughter Christina Zorich "by her side," according to a statement from her family.

Dukakis' brother Apollo announced her death in a statement on Facebook.

"My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City," he wrote on May 1. "After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her Louis."

Now Watch: Dolly Parton's Siblings: Then & Now

recommended for you

Dolly Parton, Sally Field Remember Late 'Steel Magnolias' Co-Star Olympia Dukakis