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Zelda Rubinstein (1933)

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Zelda Rubinstein (May 28, 1933 – January 27, 2010) was an American actress and human rights activist, best known as eccentric medium Tangina Barrons in the movie Poltergeist and its sequels, Poltergeist II: The Other Side , and Poltergeist III . Playing 'Ginny', she was a regular on David E. Kelley's Emmy Award winning television series Picket Fences for several seasons. She also made guest appearances in the TV show Poltergeist: The Legacy , 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.

  Biography  

 early life
Rubinstein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 28, 1933, to Polish immigrant parents. She was the youngest of three children and the only little person in her family. Rubinstein did not become comfortable with her short stature until she was an adult. In a 1992 interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Rubinstein told the newspaper that she "had a rough childhood, I became very verbally facile. . . . I learned to meet everyone head-on."

She stood just 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, "Little People 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."

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. She moved to Berkeley, California, at the age of 25, studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and worked as a medical lab technician at blood banks.

 acting career
In 1978 Zelda decided to pursue an acting career. She studied acting at the University of California. Poltergeist was her first major film role. She remained active in film and television from thereon, frequently portraying various psychic characters, such as her appearance on the Ann Jillian show, Jennifer Slept Here. She also narrated the horror television series, Scariest Places on Earth, which aired in the U.S. on ABC Family and in Canada on YTV.

Rubinstein's other minor/major film roles included Sixteen Candles with Molly Ringwald, Under the Rainbow with Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher, 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. 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 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.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Zelda Rubinstein", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.