The Oscar winning actress, Olympia Dukakis, has died in New York at the age of 89.

Her agent said she died at her New York city home yesterday morning after months of failing health. Her daughter, Christina Zorich, was by her side.

Ms Dukakis worked for decades as a little known stage, film and TV actor before rocketing to fame after 'Moonstruck' for which she received an Oscar for best supporting actor in 1988.

The actress and singer, Cher, who starred alongside Ms Dukakis in 'Moonstruck', labelled her an "amazing" actress in a tribute shared on social media.

She was a cousin of Michael Dukakis who as the Democratic nominee lost heavily to George W Bush in the 1988 US presidential election.

Like her cousin, Olympia Dukakis embraced liberal views, advocating for causes including women's rights, gay rights and the environment.

"She had an incredible life and we were very proud of her", Michael Dukakis told the Boston Globe on Saturday.