Well we lost another icon… Zelda Rubinstein passed away at the age of 76.
From the LA Times:
Zelda Rubinstein, the diminutive character actress with the childlike voice who was best known as the psychic called in to rid a suburban home of demonic forces in the 1982 horror movie “Poltergeist,” has died. She was 76.
She entered the film industry comparatively late, upon returning to the United States after living in [London] for several years. Poltergeist was her first major film role. She has remained active in film ever since, frequently portraying various psychic characters. She is also the spooky-voiced announcer on the television series, Scariest Places on Earth, which airs in the US on ABC Family and in Canada on YTV.
Rubinstein became active in the fight against AIDS/HIV in 1984, long before it because chic or even acceptable for famous people to do so. She appeared in a series of advertisements, directed towards gay men specifically, promoting safe sex and AIDS awareness. Rubinstein did so at risk to her own career, especially so shortly after her rise to fame, and admitted later that she did “pay a price, career-wise”. She attended the first AIDS Project Los Angeles AIDS Walk. 1
Rubinstein’s other minor/major film roles include Cages, Teen Witch, The Wildcard, Southland Tales and National Lampoon’s Last Resort. She has also done voice-over work for TV including Hey Arnold!, and The Flintstones. She has made numerous guest appearances on network TV shows, including Caroline in the City, Martin, Mr. Belvedere, and had a starring role on Picket Fences. She also appeared in an episode of Tales From The Crypt in which she played the mother of a girl who has been dead for 40 years.
Since 2006, she has done voiceovers in television commercials promoting movies such as Lady in the Water and products including Skittles candy. Her most recent film role came in 2007 when she made a cameo appearance in the horror film Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.