Zelda May Rubinstein
May 28, 1933
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|January 27, 2010 (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
University of Pittsburgh
|Actress, human rights activist
Zelda Rubinstein was known for her petite stature. She was 4 feet 3 inches tall (about 1.30 meters). This distinct physical characteristic, along with her unique voice, contributed to her memorable presence in the roles she portrayed throughout her acting career.
Zelda rubinstein birthday
She was born on May 28, 1933, Zelda May Rubinstein sadly passed away on January 27, 2010.
Zelda Rubinstein was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a distinguished American actress and human rights activist. Notably, she is recognized for her portrayal of the eccentric medium Tangina Barrons in the “Poltergeist” film series. Her other notable work includes her regular role as ‘Ginny’ on David E. Kelley’s Emmy Award-winning television series “Picket Fences” and guest appearances in the TV show “Poltergeist: The Legacy” (1996) as ‘Christina’. Rubinstein was also renowned for her advocacy for little people and her early activism in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which she joined in 1984. She appeared in a series of advertisements promoting safer sex and AIDS awareness, specifically directed towards gay men, at a time when it was risky for her career.
Rubinstein’s journey into acting was unique. She worked in medical labs for several decades before moving to Europe in the late 1970s. After traveling through Europe and Africa, she returned to the United States in 1980 and decided to pursue acting. Her first job was as a voice-over artist on the animated “Flintstone Comedy Hour” (CBS, 1980). Her live-action screen debut came in 1981 with the film “Under the Rainbow.” However, it was her role in “Poltergeist” (1982) that brought her international fame. Throughout her career, she appeared in various films and TV shows, including “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “Teen Witch” (1989), and “Little Witches” (1996). Rubinstein was also the voice of Skittles candies in their ‘Taste the Rainbow’ ad campaign. Sadly, she passed away on January 27, 2010, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 76, due to kidney and lung problems.
Rubinstein’s exceptional portrayal of the eccentric medium Tangina Barrons in the Poltergeist film series solidified her position as a highly skilled actress. Her memorable performance left an indelible mark on cinema, captivating audiences and earning her widespread recognition. Furthermore, Rubinstein showcased her acting prowess by gracing the small screen as “Ginny” in David E. Kelley’s critically acclaimed television series, Picket Fences. Her compelling presence and exceptional acting skills made her a regular cast member for two seasons, significantly contributing to the show’s success.
Rubinstein’s immense talent extended beyond her iconic roles. In 1996, she made notable guest appearances on the TV show Poltergeist: The Legacy, further showcasing her versatility as an actress. Captivating audiences once again, Rubinstein portrayed the seer Christina, leaving viewers mesmerized by her performance. Additionally, she lent her distinctive voice to the Skittles candies’ famous “Taste the Rainbow” advertising campaign, leaving a lasting impression on viewers and showcasing the breadth of her abilities.
Beyond her contributions to the entertainment industry, Rubinstein distinguished herself as a fervent activist. Particularly concerned with the rights of little people, she dedicated herself to advocating for their inclusivity and equality. Her unwavering commitment to this cause earned her considerable admiration and respect from both peers and fans alike. Furthermore, Rubinstein was at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS, actively participating in the early stages of the movement to combat the disease. Her efforts to raise awareness and support for this critical cause further cemented her status as a compassionate humanitarian.
Movies and Shows by Zelda Rubinstein
Poltergeist (1982) Zelda Rubinstein’s most iconic role is arguably that of Tangina Barrons in the supernatural horror film “Poltergeist.” Directed by Tobe Hooper, this film became a classic in the horror genre. Rubinstein’s character, a psychic medium, is critical to the storyline, helping the Freeling family deal with the haunting and abduction of their youngest daughter by malevolent spirits. Her famous line, “This house is clean,” became a memorable quote in cinema history. The film’s success led to several sequels and cements Rubinstein’s legacy in the horror genre.
Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986) In this sequel to the original “Poltergeist,” Rubinstein reprised her role as Tangina Barrons. The film continues the story of the Freeling family, who are again confronted with supernatural forces. Rubinstein’s performance remained a standout, bringing a mix of empathy and mystique to her character. Her ability to convey both the vulnerability and strength of Tangina played a significant role in the film’s appeal to audiences.
Poltergeist III (1988) The third installment of the “Poltergeist” series again sees Rubinstein returning as Tangina Barrons. Set in a Chicago skyscraper, the film diverges from the suburban setting of its predecessors but retains the eerie atmosphere. Rubinstein’s portrayal of Tangina in this film adds depth to her character, showing her dedication and resilience in battling supernatural forces. Although the film didn’t receive the same acclaim as the original, Rubinstein’s performance was praised for its consistency and emotional impact.
Teen Witch (1989) In “Teen Witch,” Rubinstein took on a lighter, more comedic role compared to her “Poltergeist” series. She played the quirky and lovable Madame Serena, a witch who helps the protagonist discover and harness her magical powers. Rubinstein’s comedic timing and charismatic screen presence added a unique charm to the film, making it a cult classic among fans of 80s teen movies.
Sixteen Candles (1984) Although a minor role, Rubinstein’s appearance in “Sixteen Candles,” a John Hughes classic, is memorable. The film, a cornerstone of 80s teen cinema, featured her in a unique and humorous role that showcased her versatility as an actress. Her brief but impactful performance added to the film’s overall charm and appeal.
Southland Tales (2006) In this science fiction drama directed by Richard Kelly, Rubinstein played the role of Dr. Katarina Kuntzler. The film, known for its complex narrative and an ensemble cast, gave Rubinstein a platform to showcase her talent in a genre different from her usual roles. Her performance, though in a supporting capacity, was noted for its depth and nuance.
Anguish (1987) “Anguish,” a psychological horror film, featured Rubinstein in a leading role. Her portrayal of an oppressive mother with a sinister side received critical acclaim. The film’s unique storytelling and Rubinstein’s intense performance made it a standout in the horror genre during the 80s.
Under the Rainbow (1981) In this comedy film, Rubinstein played one of the hotel guests. The film, set in Hollywood in 1938, provided a backdrop for Rubinstein to display her comedic skills. Though not a major role, her performance was well-received for its humor and timing.
Wishcraft (2002) “Wishcraft” is a horror film where Rubinstein played the role of a high school nurse. The film, centered around a teenager who receives mystical powers, allowed Rubinstein to return to her roots in the horror genre. Her role, although not central to the plot, was pivotal in adding a sense of mystery and intrigue to the story.
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) In this horror-comedy, Rubinstein appeared in a cameo role. The film pays homage to the slasher genre, and her participation added a layer of authenticity and nostalgia, given her iconic status in horror cinema.
National Lampoon’s Last Resort (1994) This comedy film featured Rubinstein in a supporting role. Known for its slapstick humor and absurd plot, the film allowed Rubinstein to explore the comedic genre further, showcasing her versatility as an actress.
Guilty as Charged (1991) In this black comedy, Rubinstein played the role of Edna. The film, which revolves around a vigilante judge, provided a platform for Rubinstein to display her skills in dark comedy and satire.
Cages (2005) “Cages,” a drama film, featured Rubinstein in a supporting role. The film’s exploration of human relationships and personal struggles offered Rubinstein a chance to delve into more serious and emotional acting, differing from her usual genre roles.
Little Witches (1996) In this horror film, Rubinstein played Mother Clodah. The film, centered around a group of teenage girls dabbling in witchcraft, echoed elements of her role in “Teen Witch,” but with a darker and more horror-centric focus.
The Flintstones (1994) Rubinstein had a cameo appearance in this live-action adaptation of the classic cartoon. Her brief role added a touch of humor and was a delightful nod to fans familiar with her work.
Timemaster (1995) In “Timemaster,” a science fiction film, Rubinstein played the role of the Innkeeper. The film’s exploration of time travel and alternate realities provided a new and challenging genre for Rubinstein to explore.
Four Rooms (1995) Rubinstein appeared in one segment of this anthology film. The film, featuring four different stories set in a hotel, allowed her to showcase her talent in a unique and stylized cinematic environment.
Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984) In this musical science fiction comedy, Rubinstein played a small but memorable role. The film’s blend of music, comedy, and sci-fi elements provided a unique backdrop for her performance.
The Offspring (1987) Also known as “From a Whisper to a Scream,” this horror anthology film featured Rubinstein in a segment. Her role in this dark and eerie film added to its atmospheric and chilling storytelling.
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (2015) In one of her final film roles, Rubinstein appeared in this action-adventure film. Though a departure from her usual genre, it showcased her ability to adapt to different styles of filmmaking and storytelling.
Was zelda rubinstein in the wizard of oz
How did zelda rubinstein died