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Zelda May Rubinstein[1] (May 28, 1933[2] – January 27, 2010) was an American actress and human rights activist, known as eccentric medium Tangina Barrons in the Poltergeist
Poltergeist
film series.[3] Playing "Ginny", she was a regular on David E. Kelley's Emmy Award-winning television series Picket Fences
Picket Fences
for two seasons. She also made guest appearances in the TV show Poltergeist: The Legacy (1996), as seer Christina, and was the voice of Skittles candies in their long-running "Taste the Rainbow" ad campaign. Rubinstein was also known for her outspoken activism for little people and her early participation in the fight against HIV/AIDS.[4]

Contents

1 Early life 2 Acting career 3 Human rights and activism 4 Death 5 Filmography

5.1 Films

6 References 7 External links

Early life[edit] Rubinstein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 28, 1933 to Jewish
Jewish
immigrant parents from Poland, Dolores and George Rubinstein.[5][6] She was the youngest of three children and the only dwarf in her family.[7] Rubinstein did not become comfortable with her short stature until she was an adult.[7] In a 1992 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Rubinstein told the newspaper that she "had a rough childhood, [but] I became very verbally facile... I learned to meet everyone head-on."[7] She stood just 4 feet 3 inches (1.30 m) tall[8] due to a deficiency of the anterior pituitary gland, which produces growth hormone. Commenting in 2002 on the challenges of being a very short-statured person, Rubinstein said, "Midgets are societally handicapped. They have about two minutes to present themselves as equals—and if they don’t take advantage of that chance, then people fall back on the common assumption that 'less' is less."[9] Rubinstein won a scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her bachelor's degree in bacteriology and became a sister of the national sorority Phi Sigma Sigma.[7][10] She moved to Berkeley, California, at the age of 25,[5] studied at the University of California, Berkeley,[8] and worked as a medical lab technician at blood banks.[7] Acting career[edit] In 1978, Zelda decided to pursue an acting career. She studied acting at the University of California. Poltergeist
Poltergeist
was her first major film role. She remained active in film and television thereafter, frequently portraying various psychic characters, such as her appearance on Jennifer Slept Here. She also narrated the horror television series, Scariest Places on Earth, which aired in the U.S. on ABC Family
ABC Family
and in Canada on YTV.[7] Rubinstein's other minor/major film roles included Sixteen Candles, Under the Rainbow, Cages, Teen Witch, The Wildcard, Southland Tales and National Lampoon's Last Resort. She also contributed voice-over work for TV including Hey Arnold!, and The Flintstones. She made numerous guest appearances on network TV shows, including Caroline in the City, Martin, Mr. Belvedere, and had a starring role as Ginny Weedon in the TV series Picket Fences. Her character there was killed off in typical off-beat fashion, by falling into a freezer early in the third season. She also appeared in an episode of Tales From The Crypt in which she played the mother of a girl who has been dead for 40 years. In 1993, she made a cameo appearance in the campy thriller Acting on Impulse, which reunited her with Poltergeist
Poltergeist
III co-star Nancy Allen. She also starred in two different roles on the same show in 1984 and in 1990: Santa Barbara. Beginning in 1999, she did voiceovers in television starting with the Fox Family reality TV Show, Scariest Places On Earth, commercials promoting movies such as Lady in the Water, and products including Skittles candy. Her last film role came in 2007 when she made a cameo appearance in the horror film Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. She also appeared in a cameo as herself at the Revenge of the Mummy ride in Universal Studios Florida on the screens which shows various actors from the films warning the people to leave, telling them about the curse of Imhotep. Human rights and activism[edit] Rubinstein became active in the fight against HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS
in 1984. She appeared in a series of advertisements, directed towards gay men specifically, promoting safer sex and AIDS
AIDS
awareness.[4] Rubinstein did so at risk to her own career, especially so shortly after her rise to fame, and admitted later that she did "pay a price, career-wise." "I lost a friend to AIDS, one of the first public figures that died of AIDS," the actress said in an interview with The Advocate. "I knew it was not the kind of disease that would stay in anybody's backyard. It would climb the fences, get over the fences into all of our homes. It was not limited to one group of people."[11] She attended the first AIDS
AIDS
Project Los Angeles
Los Angeles
AIDS
AIDS
Walk.[12] Death[edit] Rubinstein died in Los Angeles, California, on January 27, 2010. She was 76. Eric Stevens, Rubinstein's agent for the past four years, said the actress had never recovered from a mild heart attack she suffered several months earlier, which he said left her a patient at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles. "She had several pre-existing conditions that she had been dealing with for years, and unfortunately they began to overtake her," Stevens said. Stevens also said that per Rubinstein's request, no funeral would be held.[11] Filmography[edit] Films[edit]

List of film credits

Year Title Role Notes

1979 Americathon Act

1981 Under the Rainbow Iris

1982 Poltergeist Tangina Barrons Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress

1982 Frances Mental Patient Credited as Zelda Rubenstein

1983 Chip of Glass Ruby, AA Chip of Glass Ruby Daughter

1984 Sixteen Candles Organist

1986 Poltergeist
Poltergeist
II: The Other Side Tangina Barrons Nominated-Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress

1987 Anguish Alice Pressman, the Mother Alternative title: Angustia

1988 Poltergeist
Poltergeist
III Tangina Barrons Nominated-Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress Nominated-Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress

1989 Teen Witch Madame Serena Alcott

1991 Guilty as Charged Edna

1994 National Lampoon's Last Resort Old Hermit Alternative titles: Last Resort, National Lampoon's Scuba School

1995 Timemaster Betting Clerk

1996 Lover's Knot Woman in Clinic

1996 Little Witches Mother Clodah

1997 Mama Dolly Mama Dolly

1997 Critics and Other Freaks Theatre Director

1998 Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights Princess Shalazar

1999 Frank in Five Waitress

2000 Maria & Jose Doctor

2002 Wishcraft Medical Examiner

2004 Wild Card, TheThe Wild Card Mrs. Stanfield Direct-to-DVD release

2005 Cages Liz

2005 Angels with Angles Zelda the Angel

2006 Unbeatable Harold Bunny

2006 Southland Tales Dr. Katarina Kuntzler

2006 Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Mrs. Collinwood Cameo

2014 Strange Matters Agnes Sampson (final film role)

List of television credits

Year Title Role Notes

1980 The Flintstone Comedy Show Atrocia Frankenstone (Voice) 1 episode

1983 Jennifer Slept Here

1 episode

1983 Matt Houston Flower Girl 1 episode

1984 Whiz Kids Madame Zerleena 1 episode

1984 Santa Barbara Mental Patient 1 episode

1986 ABC Weekend Special Ralph's Mother 1 episode

1987 Tortellis, TheThe Tortellis

1 episode

1987 Faerie Tale Theatre Old Woman 1 episode

1987 Reading Rainbow Herself (Voice) 1 episode

1987 Sable Sister Glory 1 episode

1990 Santa Barbara Gladys Bittleworth, ghost psychic 5 episodes

1990 Mr. Belvedere Murphy 1 episode

1991 Darkwing Duck Voice 1 episode

1991 Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, TheThe Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw Butterfingers O'Malley Television movie

1992 Stormy Weathers Rosamund Television movie

1992 Tales from the Crypt Nora 1 episode

1992–1994 Picket Fences Ginny Weedon 44 episodes

1993 Acting on Impulse Nosy Lady Television movie

1996 Poltergeist: The Legacy Christina 1 episode

1997 Martin Nurse Froyd 1 episode

1997 Chock 2 - Kött Mother Television movie

1998 Caroline in the City Phyllis 1 episode

1999 Hey Arnold! Patty's Mother (Voice) 1 episode

2000 Pretender, TheThe Pretender Pawn shop lady 1 episode

2000–2006 Scariest Places on Earth Narrator 41 episodes

2001 Flintstones: On the Rocks, TheThe Flintstones: On the Rocks Psychiatrist (Voice) Television movie

References[edit]

^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VM8Q-1MF ^ McLellan, Dennis (2010-01-27). "Zelda Rubinstein, who played psychic in 'Poltergeist', dies at 76". kdvr.com. Retrieved 27 January 2010.  ^ Obituary London Independent, April 22, 2010. ^ a b Broverman, Neal (January 27, 2010). " Poltergeist
Poltergeist
Star and HIV Activist Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein
Dies at Age 77". Shewired.com. Retrieved January 31, 2010.  ^ a b Rizzo, Frank (2010-02-02). ""Poltergeist"'s Zelda Rubinstein Dies; Starred in Hartford Project". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2010-02-26.  ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQ6J-4H7 ^ a b c d e f McLellan, Dennis (2010-01-28). " Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein
dies at 76; actress played psychic in 'Poltergeist'". Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Times. Retrieved 2010-02-26.  ^ a b Fox, Margalit (2010-01-29). "Zelda Rubinstein, 76, 'Poltergeist' Actress". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-26.  ^ Thomas-Matej, Elisabeth (2002). "What's in a Diagnosis? A Medical Biography of Michael Dunn". NCTC.net. Retrieved 2008-06-08.  ^ "Zelda Rubinstein, Iota - University of Pittsburgh". Phisigmasigma.org. Retrieved 2012-01-16.  ^ a b "'Poltergeist' actress dies at age 76". CNN. January 28, 2010.  ^ Actress Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein
taken off life support : LGBT POV

External links[edit]

Biography portal

Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein
on IMDb Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein
at Find a Grave

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 87031894 LCCN: no2005011110 ISNI: 0000 0000 7690 1113 SUDOC: 162051611 BNF: cb14222894b (data) BNE: XX1266752

v t e

Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress

Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino
(1974/75) Bette Davis
Bette Davis
(1976) Susan Tyrrell
Susan Tyrrell
(1977) Dyan Cannon
Dyan Cannon
(1978) Veronica Cartwright
Veronica Cartwright
(1979) Eve Brent
Eve Brent
(1980) Frances Sternhagen
Frances Sternhagen
(1981) Zelda Rubinstein
Zelda Rubinstein
(1982) Candy Clark (1983) Polly Holliday
Polly Holliday
(1984) Anne Ramsey
Anne Ramsey
(1985) Jenette Goldstein (1986) Anne Ramsey
Anne Ramsey
(1987) Sylvia Sidney
Sylvia Sidney
(1988) Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg
(1989/90) Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes Ruehl
(1991) Isabella Rossellini
Isabella Rossellini
(1992) Amanda Plummer
Amanda Plummer
(1993) Mia Sara (1994) Bonnie Hunt
Bonnie Hunt
(1995) Alice Krige
Alice Krige
(1996) Gloria Stuart
Gloria Stuart
(1997) Joan Allen
Joan Allen
(1998) Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
(1999) Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (2000) Fionnula Flanagan
Fionnula Flanagan
(2001) Samantha Morton
Samantha Morton
(2002) Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
(2003) Daryl Hannah
Daryl Hannah
(2004) Summer Glau
Summer Glau
(2005) Famke Janssen
Famke Janssen
(2006) Marcia Gay
Gay
Harden (2007) Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton
(2008) Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver
(2009) Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis
(2010) Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt
(2011) Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
(2012) Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson
(2013) Rene Russo
Rene Russo
(2014) Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain
(2015) Ti

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