Documentary on Olympia Dukakis' Incredible Life Was Released 10 Months Before Her Death

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Glenn Garner
·2 min read
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Olympia Dukakis leaves behind a lifetime of memorable roles and an important legacy, following her death on Saturday at 89.

The Academy Award-winning actress was recently the subject of a self-titled documentary, which premiered less than a year before her passing. "It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Olympia's passing," Olympia filmmakers Harry Mavromichalis and Anthoula Katsimatides tell PEOPLE in a statement.

"She left an indelible mark on the hearts of everyone she met," they add. "We feel so blessed that we were able to capture her in her golden years and to create the revealing and insightful documentary that celebrates not only her enduring legacy as an actress but also captures her courage and determination to find her singular voice as a woman."

The documentary serves as a deeply personal cinema verite-style portrait of Dukakis' personal life, following her 80th birthday. It recounts the anti-Greek discrimination she faced before founding Whole Theater Co. in Montclair, New Jersey with her late husband of 55 years, Louis Zorich.

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RELATED: Cher Mourns the Death of 'Amazing' Moonstruck Costar Olympia Dukakis: 'I Talked to Her 3 Weeks Ago'

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The film also tracks important moments from her career, including her groundbreaking portrayal of trans character Anna Madrigal in Tales of the City (1993) and her breakout Oscar-winning role in Moonstruck (1987).

"I'm so worldly and sophisticated," she told PEOPLE ahead of the Oscars in 1988. "When I heard I'd been nominated, I jumped up and down 50 times, like a child."

RELATED: Olympia Dukakis, Oscar-Winning Moonstruck Actress, Dead at 89 After 'Many Months of Failing Health'

Cher, who played her daughter in Moonstruck, took to Twitter on Saturday to pay tribute to Dukakis. "Olympia Dukakis Was an Amazing Academy Award Winning Actress," she wrote. "Olympia Played My Mom In Moonstruck,& Even Though Her Part was That Of a Suffering Wife, We 馃槀 ALL The Time."

"She Would Tell Me How MUCH She Loved Louis, Her Handsome Talented, Husband," Cher concluded. "I Talked To Her 3Wks Ago. Rip Dear One."

Dukakis' death was announced Saturday on Facebook by her brother Apollo. "My beloved sister, Olympia Dukakis, passed away this morning in New York City," he wrote. "After many months of failing health she is finally at peace and with her Louis."