Olympia Dukakis / Everett CollectionOlympia Dukakis
/ Everett Collection

UPDATED, May 2: Olympia Dukakis, the veteran stage and screen actress whose flair for maternal roles helped her win an Oscar as Cher's mother in the romantic comedy "Moonstruck," has died. She was 89.

Dukakis, a 1949 graduate of Arlington High School, died Saturday morning, May 1, in her home in New York City, according to Allison Levy, her agent at Innovative Artists. A cause of death was not immediately released.

Dukakis won her Oscar through a surprising chain of circumstances, beginning with author Nora Ephron's recommendation that she play Meryl Streep's mother in the film version of Ephron's book Heartburn. Dukakis got the role, but her scenes were cut from the film.

To make it up to her, director Mike Nichols cast her in his hit play "Social Security." Director Norman Jewison saw her in that role and cast her in "Moonstruck."

Read the full story on Patch, a YourArlington partner >>

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This news summary by the Associated Press via Patch was published Saturday, May 1, 2021, and updated May 2, to add graduation year.