Who is Michael Constantine?
Gus Efstratiou, also known as Michael Constantine, was born on May 22, 1927, in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA. He is an American citizen and bears the zodiac sign of Gemini. He is an actor best known for playing Kostas “Gus” Portokalos, one of the main characters, in the romantic comedy film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which was written by Nia Vardalos and co-starred John Corbett. The film’s plot centers on a young Greek woman who is getting married to a non-Greek man and is planning a lavish Greek wedding to appease her parents.
The movie was a huge success, garnering 20 awards and 28 nominations. For his performance, Michael Constantine was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Hissy Fit, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture.
Childhood, Family, And Education
Michael was reared by a family of Greek immigrants as the only child. Michael’s name has been mispronounced due to his parents’ names: his mother Andromache Efstratiou was a homemaker, while his father Theoharis Ioannides worked in the steel industry.
He developed an interest in acting while still a high school student in the area, but because of his parents limited financial resources, he had no intention of enrolling in an acting program to hone his abilities.
After graduating in 1945, he worked to support himself while saving money for acting lessons. He ultimately began training and shot to fame after making an appearance in his first Broadway production, “Inherit the Wind,” in 1955. Before it ended on June 22, 1957, the play had been played 806 times and was a big smash all over the world. Following his initial triumph, he went on to make appearances in several other plays, including “The Miracle Worker,” “Conklin,” and “Compulsion.”
Roles In Films
We are about to discuss some of Michael’s most illustrious performances from his approximately 180 appearances in films and TV shows.
His first famous performance was in the 1959 drama picture “The Last Mile,” which also starred Mickey Rooney and was a remake of the 1932 film of the same name.
Michael was chosen to play the supporting role of Andy in the comedy “Island of Love” after appearing in Robert Rossen’s drama “The Hustler” two years later. The comedy centers on a scam artist who commissions a writer to produce a script for him, which he will then sell to a wealthy guy. He appeared in supporting roles in the comedic film “Quick Before it Melts” and the collection of brief biographies “Profiles in Courage” in 1964. His subsequent roles included those in the 1966 epic drama “Hawaii,” the 1968 comedy “Skidoo,” and the 1969 drama “Justine,” to name a few.
Michael starred as Luis Clasing in the military drama “Voyage of the Damned” the next year after making an appearance as Jess Wingate in the science fiction drama “The Night That Panicked America” in 1975.
He played Harry Bergen in the romantic war drama “Summer of My German Soldier” in 1978, which was based on Bette Greene’s book of the same name, and he played Yashir in the two-part movie “The Pirate,” which was based on Harold Robbins’ book.
In the 1983 drama film “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” based on Alex Hakobian’s eponymous novel about the Armenian Genocide in Musa Dagh, Michael received plaudits for his performance of Talaat Pasha. One of the three Pashas that presided over the Ottoman Empire during the First World War was Talaat Pasha, played by Michael. He later made an appearance as one of the main characters, Newman, in the martial arts action film “Pray for Death,” which also starred Sho Kosugi and James Booth. Some of his subsequent appearances were those in the comedies “In the Mood” (1987), “Prancer” (1989), and “My Life” (1993).
In the 1996 legal thriller “The Juror,” which also starred Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin, the body horror “Thinner,” and the 2016 romantic comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” Michael played three of his final parts in motion pictures before quitting acting.
TV Series Roles
Since then, Michael has been in a single episode of over 20 series, including the criminal drama “Target: The Corruptors!” in 1961 and the drama “Channing” in 1963. His first major performance in a series was in the science fiction “My Favorite Martian” in 1965. Before being chosen to guest feature in three episodes of the highly regarded American criminal thriller “The Fugitive,” he appeared in the medical drama “The Eleventh Hour” and The Eleventh Hour in 1964.
In 1966, he played a prominent supporting role in the secret agent adventure series “I Spy,” and from 1969 to 1974, he played Seymour Kaufman in the comedy-drama “Room 222.” For this role, Michael received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Comedy and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor – Television.
Before being asked to play one of the lead characters in the sitcom “Sirota’s Court,” which aired from 1 December 1976 to 13 April 1977 on NBC, Michael continued to guest star in individual episodes of numerous series. For his work in the sitcom, Michael was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical.
In 1977, he made an appearance in the miniseries “79 Park Avenue,” which starred Lesley Ann Warren, David Dukes, and Polly Bergen and was based on the final seven chapters of Alex Haley’s book “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” and in 1979, he appeared in the miniseries “Roots: The Next Generations,” which was about a teenage girl living in New York in the 1930s who starts working as a prostitute.
Michael appeared in four episodes of the mystery medical drama “Quincy, M. E.” as a guest star between 1979 and 1983. After that, he resumed making appearances in individual episodes of numerous series, including the action adventure “The Fall Guy” in 1983, the action military drama “Airwolf” in 1985, and the acclaimed crime drama “Magnum, P. I.” in 1986.
Michael made numerous television appearances over the next 17 years, but his first standout performance came in 2003 when he made an appearance in seven episodes of the sitcom “My Big Fat Greek Life,” which was loosely based on the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”
In the 2007 episode “Boy Crazy” of the crime thriller “Cold Case” and a single episode of the chat show “The Crossroads with Martin Anthony” in 2009, Michael played two of his final TV roles before quitting acting.
Before making his Broadway debut, Michael McCarthy had already met his first wife, Julianna McCarthy, an American actress. On October 5, 1953, the couple exchanged vows in front of only their closest family and friends. Julianna may be best known to some as the Matriarch Liz Foster from the 1973–1986 soap opera “The Young and the Restless.”
Thea and Brendan Constantine were born by her before Julianna and Michael got divorced in 1972.
Two years later, on September 29, 1974, Michael wed Kathleen Patricia Christopherson, a board-certified doctor. The couple stayed together for over six years before divorcing on August 15, 1980.
Since his second divorce, Michael has avoided discussing the specifics of his relationships with the media. As of September 2020, he is unmarried, has been married twice, and has two children.
Various Interests And Hobbies
Since he began acting, Michael has been interested in learning foreign languages, and his fluency in Italian, Russian, and French has helped him land several roles in both films and television shows.
During his 20s and 30s, he was more or less physically active since he occasionally played soccer with his friends and coworkers. However, he preferred to play board games like chess and checkers because he was so brilliant at them. However, he seldom found opponents because of his superior skill.
Traveling later became a hobby for him as he spent most of his career around the US while filming his movies and TV shows. He also traveled around Europe, visiting nations like Yugoslavia (separated in 1992), Germany, and France.
Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, and Whoopi Goldberg are some of Michael’s favorite performers and actresses, and “Casablanca,” “Ghost,” and “Anatomy of a Murder” are some of his favorite films.
Michael is 93 years old. He stands at a height of 6 feet 1 inch (1.87 meters), has brown eyes, and weighs about 185 lbs (83kgs).
His projected net worth as of September 2020 is greater than $1.5 million.