‘Room 222,’ ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ Star Michael Constantine Dies @ 94

RIP to Room 222 and My Big Fat Greek Wedding star Michael Constantine! Gosh, I always associated him as an Ed Asner type, and here they have died in quick succession, and in their nineties.

Laughing with Room 222 co-star Lloyd Hanes (1934-1987) (Image via ABC)

Mr. Constantine died August 31 at 94 in his hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania.

After working on Broadway in the '50s (imagine understudying Paul Muni — 1895-1967 — in Inherit the Wind, as Constantine did in 1955!!!), he made his film debut in 1959's The Last Mile, and went on to appear in such films as The Hustler (1961), If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), Don't Drink the Water (1969), Voyage of the Damned (1976) and Thinner (1996).

TV work included episodes of Dr. Kildare (1962), Ben Casey (1962), The Untouchables (1961-1963), 77 Sunset Strip (1963), The Twilight Zone (1964), The Outer Limits (1964), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1966), Ironside (1967), The Odd Couple (1971), Love, American Style (1972), The Streets of San Francisco (1973), McMillan & Wife (1976), a recurring part on the campy kiddie show Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1976), Quincy, M.E. (1979-1982), The Fall Guy (1983), Mama's Family (1983), Airwolf (1985), Remington Steele (1984 & 1986), Murder, She Wrote (1985 & 1988), Law & Order (1992 & 1994), Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), and his last TV gig, on Cold Case (2007).

This very much was not my school ... ! (Image via 20th Century Fox)

His two stand-out roles were as Principal Seymour Kaufman of Walt Whitman High on TV's Room 222 (1969-1974), a socially progressive series for which he won the Emmy, and as Windex-wielding papa Gus in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), the short-lived series My Big Fat Greek Life (2003) and the film's surprise sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016).

It was a win-win-Windex situation. (Image via IFC)

Divorced twice, he is survived by two SISTERS — that family seems to enjoy big, fat, Greek lifespans.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding writer and star Nia Vardalos tweeted of his passing:

"Michael 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." 

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