"Though she be but little, she is fierce!" The words were written by Shakespeare for his play "A Midsummer Night's Dream," but he very well could have been talking about Zelda Rubinstein.
Standing tall at only 4'3", Zelda had a larger-than-life presence on film and TV. She started acting at 45, giving up a career in the medical field for something "more self-fulfilling." She said, "I had to do something creative. It was an internal feeling that I was sabotaging myself." In 1978 she broke into the movies, and soon found herself in demand. Eventually she would go on to star in over 53 films and TV series.
Zelda is best known for her horror roles, most notably the medium Tangina Barrons in the "Poltergeist" films; the film became an instant summertime hit and Zelda created absolute magic and wonderment with the testy role, receiving some of the movie's best reviews. She also starred in "Anguish," "Teen Witch," was the narrator for "The Scariest Places on Earth," and had her last role in "Behind the Mask: the Rise of Leslie Vernon." Her doll-like voice lent itself to a long and active career as a voice-over actor.
Rubinstein became active in the fight against HIV/AIDS in 1984, marking the beginning of a long career as a human rights activist. She was also a staunch advocate for the rights of little people who formed the nonprofit Michael Dunn Memorial Repertory Theater Company in Los Angeles.
Zelda Rubinstein is not only a female horror icon, but also represents what Women in Horror Recognition Month is all about: overcoming adversity, expressing yourself creatively, and never letting anything get in your way. She died in January 2010 after complications from a heart attack and will be forever missed.
Women in Horror Recognition Month (WiHM) assists underrepresented female genre artists in gaining opportunities, exposure, and education through altruistic events, printed material, articles, interviews, and online support. WiHM seeks to expose and break down social constructs and miscommunication between female professionals while simultaneously educating the public about discrimination and how they can assist the female gender in reaching equality.
More information can be found at: womeninhorrormonth.com