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December 29, 2009 7:36 PM   Subscribe

Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist" will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. posted by Morrigan (21 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, no. I've always loved her and squealed with glee whenever I've seen her show up in anything. It seems pretty premature to put a dot in this thread, but... here's to you, Zelda. Kudos on carving such a great niche for yourself, and thanks for giving us such a great performance in Poltergeist.

(And I had no idea about the gay rights/AIDS stuff. Thanks for that, Morrigan.)
posted by brundlefly at 7:50 PM on December 29, 2009


.

Also, in that condom poster it looks like she's talking to Borat.
posted by tula at 7:51 PM on December 29, 2009


Ah, crap. Another good one skips out on us. Here's to you Zelda...what you lacked in height you made up for in heart.

"Don't cry because she's gone, smile because she was here."
posted by Quasimike at 8:11 PM on December 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


You might also remember her as the exhausted-looking organ player at the wedding scene in 16 Candles. There isn't a film that wasn't made more interesting and enjoyable by her presence.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:28 PM on December 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Like brundlefly, I have always gotten excited when I saw her in movies and never had a clue about her activism. I love her even more now. This is a sad, sad thing that she's leaving us.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:01 PM on December 29, 2009


I loved her in Poltergeist but just totally went heels over head for her when she started doing her PSAs for HIV/AIDS before any other celebrity that I can think of. That took some serious love, courage, and guts to do.

Go toward the light, Zelda. You are welcome there.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:37 PM on December 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Loved her in Angustia. I had no idea she was an AIDS activist. I wish her peace.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:21 PM on December 29, 2009


She was marvellous as Mrs. Collinwood in Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, an immensely enjoyable horror romp.

Sad news indeed.
posted by Tarn at 1:06 AM on December 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh no, I love her! I never even knew her name but I was always delighted to see her pop up. And what's weird is I don't even remember seeing any of the films listed in her filmography.
posted by DU at 4:34 AM on December 30, 2009


Aw, I love her!
posted by sarcasticah at 7:56 AM on December 30, 2009


In 1984 she was getting the message out. Talk about being ahead of the curve. That was right around the time that me and a bunch of other Idaho farmhand assholes were croaking out horrible gay-unfriendly dumb-bomb anecdotes involving Richard Gere and Jon Bon Jovi. I hate you, past me.

Pass on gently, Zelda.
posted by Skot at 8:38 AM on December 30, 2009


I didn't know about her advocacy, either. That poster made me smile.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:59 PM on December 30, 2009


She passed away today, sadly.
posted by heyho at 2:36 PM on January 27, 2010


.
posted by brundlefly at 5:03 PM on January 27, 2010


.
posted by hermitosis at 8:54 PM on January 27, 2010


.
posted by kellyblah at 9:40 PM on January 27, 2010


Go toward the light, Zelda. You are welcome there.

whether you actually believe, or not.
posted by philip-random at 10:05 PM on January 27, 2010


What a lady. Rest in peace, Zelda.

.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:42 AM on January 28, 2010


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:38 AM on January 28, 2010


Great quote in the NYT obit:

“I wanted a platform to be visible as a person who is different, as a representative of several varieties of differences. This is the most effective way for me to carry a message saying, ‘Yes you can.’ I took a look at these shoulders in the mirror and they’re pretty big. They can carry a lot of Sturm und Drang on them.”

posted by neroli at 8:30 AM on January 28, 2010


Rats. She was a great person and memorable actress.
.
posted by bearwife at 10:03 AM on January 28, 2010


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