The actor’s household introduced the information to the native outlet of his Studying, Penn. hometown, the Reading Eagle. Within the announcement, the household said that he died peacefully of pure causes surrounded by shut household, together with his sisters. He had been battling an undisclosed sickness for a number of years, his brother-in-law, Michael Gordon, disclosed to the outlet.
Constantine, whose beginning identify was Gus Efstration, was born Could 22, 1927. He started his profession on stage in New York within the Nineteen Fifties earlier than pivoting over to tv, in the end touchdown the position that put him on the map as principal Seymour Kaufman on the fictional Los Angeles Walt Whitman Excessive On ABC’s “Room 222.” The position earned Constantine an Emmy award for greatest supporting actor in a comedy in 1970 earlier than the present concluded its five-season run in 1974.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Constantine’s most up-to-date declare to recognition was as Gus Portokalos in “My Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony.” Born to Greek immigrants himself, the position of an eccentric Greek household man was not a stretch for the achieved character actor. The actor mentioned in a 2016 interview that he was fearful the script can be inauthentic to the precise Greek-American expertise.
“I needed to audition for the half,” he recalled on the time. “Earlier than that, I requested to learn the script, as a result of I used to be very leery. I didn’t know Nia then [she also penned the screenplay], and I used to be anxious about somebody writing some Greek factor. Was it going to be baloney or was it going to be one thing by anyone who actually is aware of Greeks? So I learn the script and I mentioned, ‘Sure, this particular person clearly is aware of Greeks.'”
He additionally famous that followers took his character’s trait of pondering the family cleaner Windex might remedy any drawback. Nonetheless, he revealed he was “sick of Windex” after followers despatched him a whole lot of bottles after the movie’s premiere in 2002. He was additionally requested to signal many bottles as nicely.
Nonetheless, that didn’t cease him from reprising the position within the short-lived 2003 sitcom “My Large Fats Greek Life” or the 2016 movie sequel “My Large Fats Greek Marriage ceremony 2.”
On Wednesday, actress and co-writer of the franchise, Nia Vardalos, paid tribute to Constantine on Twitter.
“Michael Constantine, the dad to our cast-family, a present to the written phrase, and at all times a pal,” she wrote. “Performing with him got here with a rush of affection and enjoyable. I’ll treasure this man who introduced Gus to life. He gave us a lot laughter and deserves a relaxation now. We love you Michael.”
THR additionally notes that, along with his two hottest roles, Constantine studied appearing with Hoard Da Silva and spent almost two years within the “Inherit the Wind” firm. After just a few extra roles on stage, he made his big-screen debut alongside Mickey Rooney in “The Final Mile” and went on to seem in, “The Defenders,” “Bare Metropolis,” “Dr. Kildare,” “The Untouchables,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Perry Mason,” “Ironside” and “The Flying Nun.”