Wednesday, January 27, 2010

WOMAN OF THE WEEK 2.0: Zelda Rubenstein


"Cross over children. All are welcome. Go into the Light. There is peace and serenity in the Light." RIP Zelda Rubenstein 1933 -2010

This week, we are featuring a woman with arguably one of the most recognizable voices in the horror industry. [except maybe that of Jigsaw]. Character actress Zelda Rubinstein is one of those actresses that "everyone knows, but doesn't know who she is." It's about time we paid attention to a true talent, and a downright sweet woman. While she's best known as playing the off-beat medium Tangina Barrons in the Poltergeist series. She also has contributed many other roles and voice overs in the horror world.

Standing proud at a towering 4'0", Zelda was originally working in the medical field. She was hired for a few commercials but because of her very "different" voice, she was picked up as a regular on The Flintstones. She auditioned for the role in Poltergeist and made the role Tangina the iconic character she has become. I'm sure that people all over the place could hear the quote "This house is clean" and instantly think of her. Her haunting little voice gave her character a dose of terrifying, with a hint of sweet.

She did an episode of the cult classic television show Tales From The Crypt where she portrayed a mother of a daughter who has been dead for over 40 years. She did a few little small time movies here or there and even reprised her role as a psychic in the cult classic film Teen Witch. She plays a psychic witch who trains another girl who is in fact a witch. Gives her spells to make her more popular, you know, the usual.

Then one of my absolute favorite shows EVER aired on public television. Hosted by Linda Blair and narrated by Zelda Rubinstein, Scariest Places on Earth showed around the Halloween season for 6 years. When the show started to fall and the hauntings didn't seem real anymore, [maybe because the crew admits to staging events...]the one thing that kept the spook was Rubinstein's eerie voice telling tales of horror.

8 comment(s):

Christopher Zenga said...

Thanks for this, I doubt the acadamy will remember this one in there "who we have lost" segment so I'm glad you did.
"This house is clear"
Later days,
Christopher

Pax Romano said...

She was a terrific actress and a champion in AIDS causes as well.

Go into the light, Zelda.

Blooming Psycho said...

The media always makes a big hoopla about the "hotties" in movies, but I always feel like the character actors/actresses make the show.

Kristi Nommensen Dorson said...

Oh, that makes me really sad. :( Thank you for featuring her; I have been a fan of hers for a long time, since I saw Poltergeist so many years ago. Safe travels, Zelda.

John said...

I had no idea. I think it's time to IMDB her movie appearances and start up a ceremonial marathon.

Anonymous said...

and don't forget about 'Picket Fences'. i loved her in that because she had all the best lines. truly a 'giant' in the field. she will be missed.

brian

C.L. Hadden said...

I too, loved Scariest Places on Earth, and definately felt her voice lent a creepiness to that show.
And Poltergeist....what more is there to say? She MADE that film.

gilbertlavery said...

Damn it! Even after all these years the Poltergiest curse still claims those who worked with the film. Great piece BJ-C in all honestly though. I'm actually kind of sad that Ms Rubenstein is no longer with us now. Oh well, perhaps she'll be seeing us in the light telling us to come toward it.

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