The veteran character actor, who was known for his role as a Windex-obsessed patriarch in the film, died of natural causes.
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Michael Constantine, the Emmy-winning character actor best known for his role as the gruff patriarch in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, died of natural causes at his home in Reading, Pa., on Aug. 31, his agent Julia Buchwald confirmed to EW. Constantine was 94. According to his family, he had been ill for several years, though the nature of his illness wasn't disclosed.

Born Gus Efstratiou in Reading in 1927, Constantine was the son of two Greek immigrants. His acting career began as an understudy in Inherit the Wind on the New York stage, where he met his first wife Julianna McCarthy.

Constantine had a long career as a character actor, appearing across film and TV. His most notable roles included long-suffering high school principal Seymour Kaufman on the ABC series Room 222, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1970, and of course as the Windex-obsessed patriarch Kostas "Gus" Portokalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
Credit: Everett Collection

That independent comedy film, written by star Nia Vardalos, became a surprise smash hit and even earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Constantine went on to reprise his role in the 2016 sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. There were even plans for a third film.

"Michael Constantine, the dad to our cast-family, a gift to the written word, and always a friend," Vardalos tweeted alongside a cast photo after the news broke of Constantine's death. "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."

Vardalos also included a picture of Constantine alongside her own father, the model for his character, from the set of the 2016 sequel. "May both dads rest in peace," she wrote.

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