RIP Michael Constantine, Legendary Character Actor, Great Star of “Room 222” and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”

Home Television RIP Michael Constantine, Legendary Character Actor, Great Star of “Room 222” and…

Michael Constantine is the legendary character actor who played the ultra sympathetic principal on “Room 222” back in the day. He won an Emmy Award for his work there in 1970. Thirty two years later he was a star again as the father in “My Great Big Greek Wedding.” He died yesterday at age 94.

Constantine whether young or old always made his characters seem wise and understanding. He was also very funny. He was Greek American but really he was all American, born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1927. But he always seemed like an old soul, and in touch with his roots. He was the kind of journeyman actor that makes Hollywood work. He was in every TV show, and you’d always say, That guy, I love that guy.

Constantine also had his own short lived series in 1977, called “Sirota’s Court.” Before “Room 222” he was in dozens of series in the 60s, too including “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke,” and both “Dr. Kildare” and “Ben Casey.”

Rita Wilson, who produced “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” posted a lovely tribute to Constantine on Instagram. I include it here.


Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive,” a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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