Bummer: Zelda Rubinstein 1933-2010

Probably best known for her role as Tangina in the Poltergeist films, Ms. Rubinstein left this world for the next today at the age of 76. She was never a major player in Hollywood but if you bothered to watch any B-pictures or late night TV throughout the 80’s and 90’s, chances are you saw her and said, “Hey! It’s that lady!”

I remember her mostly as the organist in Sixteen Candles and as the creepy, yet somehow lovable librarian in Behind the Mask (2006).

Her agent Eric Stevens confirmed that she died of natural causes at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles on Wednesday. She was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center about two months ago after suffering from a mild heart attack and in December, she was taken off of life support following the failure of two of her major organs. “She had ongoing health issues and unfortunatley they finally overtook her,” Stevens said.

Sorry to see her go, but we’ll keep watching for her on the screen.


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David Brook

I saw her in a crazy retro horror movie recently, Anguish. Directed by Bigas Luna, it's utterly bonkers, but Zelda was great in it; hammy but in a good way given the context.