Remembering Zelda Rubinstein, for 'Poltergeist' and beyond

R.I.P., Zelda Rubinstein, you will be missed. This lady truly put the character in “character actress.” She’s best known for Poltergeist of course:

She was also great as Ginny in Picket Fences and the organist in Sixteen Candles. But don’t forget about Teen Witch or Southland Tales.

What was your favorite Rubinstein performance?

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  • commenter

    This house is clean!

    It lies to her. It says things only a child can understand….

    Love Poltergeist!

  • syn

    That’s not Carol-Anne… AWESOME!

  • schmed

    Check out her performance in “Anguish.”

  • michelle

    She was great in Poltergeist, and thank goodness she lived for a long time after that movie… so many died soon after or during the movie and its sequel.

  • Erin

    What about her little bitty role in 16 Candles? “Oh I need a drink.” as she walks away.

    • Kelly

      I like when her shoes squeek as she’s leaving the church.

      • Zo

        Me too! I haven’t seen that movie in years, but I still remember that squeaking so well! It’s funny how character actors can steal a movie away SO OFTEN with even the smallest roles. It’s always a nice surprise. :)

      • Blondie

        Weren’t they bottles in her purse clacking together?

      • pamlany

        They weren’t squeaking, they were sloshing, she was a drunk! Loved her!

  • Blue Silver

    My deepest condolences go out to her family! Her role was, indeed, the highlight of “Poltergeist”!

  • Celia

    She was a great little actress. I can’t believe she was only 76! She was a lot younger than I thought.

  • Lisa

    I forgot about Teen Witch!

  • Madd

    Teen Witch, definitely!

  • ObiHave

    Go to the light, Merry Munchkin.

  • sosgemini

    We must not forget her historic role in the fight against AIDS, playing “mother” in a series of ads. Zelda was the first celebrity to lend her name to fight against AIDS…before Liz Taylor and before Madonna. RIP, and thank you for being a trailblazer.

    • JM

      Take your liberal rhetoric somewhere else, will ya?

      • spike

        JM – we live in America. Please don’t EVER tell anyone what to think or what to say.

        And here’s a novel idea: Post a comment related to the post.

        RIP, Zelda.

      • sosgemini

        What? So when did HIV/AIDS become a liberal “issue”? My goodness, put down the crackpipe.

      • Desmond’s constant

        JM, until you grow a brain, do us all a favor and STFU. Zelda worked to promote HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. What the hell have you done?

    • Jen

      Aids is a hoorible disease that has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative. Take your bigoted, hateful, disgusting face and shove it up your ass.

  • Lizzy

    Hands down the organist “Oh my, I thought you’d had an accident” and the way she squished when she walked.

    • Sadie

      I thought that was the whiskey (or whatever liquor) she had in her purse sloshing around.

  • Elizabeth

    how about her narration on scariest places on earth…how truly terrifying…

    • dublin04

      I loved those episodes, her voice was so spooky!

    • Zo

      I forgot that she did that! It was the freakiest part of that series! Travel Channel, right?

  • Shari

    TEEN WITCH! RIP Zelda!!!

  • Gregoire

    I have always loved this woman and I’m very sad for her loss. She was a great person, an activist for HIV people, and a great and engaging actress. And her role in Poltergeist is one of the great performances in a modern horror film.

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