Michael Constantine, who played lovable crank Costas “Gus” Portokalos in both of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movies, has died. He was 94. His agent told Deadline that Constantine died on August 31 of natural causes. Nia Vardalos eulogized her onscreen father on Twitter, calling Constantine “the dad to our cast-family, a gift to the written word, and always a friend. Acting with him came with a rush of love and fun. I will treasure this man who brought Gus to life. He gave us so much laughter and deserves a rest now. We love you Michael.”
Born Constantine Joanides in 1927, Michael Constantine worked in both film and television for decades. He won an Emmy in 1970 for his role on Room 222, an ABC dramedy about an American history class at a racially diverse Los Angeles high school. Lloyd Haynes starred as history teacher Pete Dixon, an idealistic Black educator who uses his classroom to tackle issues of the week. Constantine played the principal of Walt Whitman High School. Constantine also had supporting roles in such films as The Hustler, Thinner, and acid-trip fiasco Skidoo.
Vardalos also posted a photo of Constantine with her father, the real-life inspiration for Gus. Per Deadline, a third My Big Fat Greek Wedding was in the planning stages, to be set in Greece.