Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Spielberg Plans The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
Yet another potential directing job
First Jersey Boys Trailer
Clint Eastwood's musical adaptation is heating up
More Movie News

Zelda Rubinstein Dies
Poltergeist actress was 76

28 January 2010  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  

submit to reddit

Zelda Rubinstein, best known for her role as Poltergeist's diminutive psychic, has died in Los Angeles. She was 76.

The actress, who died at Barlow Respiratory Hospital after suffering a recent heart attack, made her screen debut in Chevy Chase's 1981 screwball farce Under The Rainbow. It was a year later, though, that she landed the part she'll be best remembered as Tangina Barrons, the Freeling family's guide to the spirit world in Poltergeist.

The New Yorker's Pauline Kael enthused that Tangina  "gives the movie new life, and she makes a large chunk of it work. . . . She emanates the eerie calm of someone who is used to dealing with tricky, deceiving ghosts."

Rubinstein went on to reprise the role in Poltergeist 2: The Other Side and Poltergeist 3. She also appeared in John Hughes' coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles, Teen Witch and most recently Southland Tales.

The character actress was a passionate campaigner for HIV/AIDs awareness from as early as 1984. At 4 foot 3 inches, she was also an often outspoken advocate for the rights of little people, setting up a theatre company and giving her charges the advice: "Become an actor and your world will get much bigger."

Rubinstein has no immediate surviving family members.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Cameron Wins Attenborough Award
While Up is Best Film
Todd Field Accepts The Creed Of Violence
Update: He's got the funds to make it

Your Comments

The Magic Munchkin Departs This Life
She may be dead, but Derek Acorah will be interviewing her next week from beyond the grave. Be afraid, be very afraid. More

Posted by BenTramer at 16:13 on 28 January 2010 | Report This Post

"This house is clean" RIP. More

Posted by vader100 at 15:19 on 28 January 2010 | Report This Post


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)