Zina Bethune

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Zina Bethune
Zina Bethune 1968.JPG
Bethune in 1968
Born
Zina Bianca Bethune

(1945-02-17)February 17, 1945
Staten Island, New York City, U.S.
DiedFebruary 12, 2012(2012-02-12) (aged 66)
Cause of deathHit-and-run accident
Resting place Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery
OccupationActor, ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher
Years active1951–2006
Known forTheater Bethune
Spouse(s)
Sean Feeley(m. 1970)
Parent(s)
  • William Charles Bethune
  • Ivy Bethune

Zina Bianca Bethune (February 17, 1945 – February 12, 2012) was an American actress, dancer, and choreographer.

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The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Contents

Early years

Bethune was born on Staten Island, the daughter of Ivy (née Vigder), an actress (born June 1, 1918, Sevastopol, Russia) and William Charles Bethune, a sculptor and painter who died in 1950 when Zina was 5 years old. [1] [2]

Staten Island Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Staten Island is one of the five boroughs of New York City, in the U.S. state of New York. Located in the southwest portion of the city, the borough is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay. With an estimated population of 479,458 in 2017, Staten Island is the least populated of the boroughs but is the third-largest in land area at 58.5 sq mi (152 km2).

Sevastopol Place in City with special status, Disputed:

Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a major Black Sea port. The city is administered as a federal city of the Russian Federation following Crimea's annexation by Russia in 2014, though Ukraine and most of the UN member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine.

Russia transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia

Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, excluding Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is the largest metropolitan area in Europe proper and one of the largest cities in the world; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.

Theater and Dance

Bethune began her formal ballet training aged 6 at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet. [3]

George Balanchine Georgian choreographer, dancer and ballet master

George Balanchine was one of the most influential 20th century choreographers. Styled as the father of American ballet, he co-founded the New York City Ballet and remained its Artistic Director for more than 35 years.

The School of American Ballet (SAB) is an American classical ballet school and is the associate school of the New York City Ballet, a ballet company based at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. The school trains students from the age of six, with professional vocational ballet training for students aged 11–18. Graduates of the school achieve employment with leading ballet companies worldwide, most notably in the United States with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet.

By age 14 she was dancing with the New York City Ballet as Clara in the original 1954 Balanchine production of "The Nutcracker" . Bethune performed in her first professional acting role at age 6, with a small part in the off-Broadway play "Monday's Heroes", produced by Stella Holt at the Greenwich Mews Theater. [4]

New York City Ballet American ballet company

New York City Ballet (NYCB) is a ballet company founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. Balanchine and Jerome Robbins are considered the founding choreographers of the company. Léon Barzin was the company's first music director. City Ballet grew out of earlier troupes: the Producing Company of the School of American Ballet, 1934; the American Ballet, 1935, and Ballet Caravan, 1936, which merged into American Ballet Caravan, 1941; and directly from the Ballet Society, 1946.

Stella Holt was an American theater producer who served as the managing director of the off-Broadway Greenwich Mews Theater in New York City for 15 years. Holt lost her sight at age 17, but said that she found her blindness "no real handicap." Holt was known for being one of the first producers in New York to use racially integrated casts.

Television

As a child performer, Bethune appeared in the original cast of The Most Happy Fella as well as several American daytime television dramas, including a stint as the first "Robin Lang" on The Guiding Light from May 1956 to April 1958. Bethune played President Franklin D. Roosevelt's daughter in Sunrise at Campobello in 1960.[ citation needed ]

<i>Guiding Light</i> television series

Guiding Light is an American television soap opera. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running drama in television in American history, broadcast on CBS for 57 years from June 30, 1952, until September 18, 2009, overlapping a 19-year broadcast on radio from 1937 to 1956. With it 72 years of radio and television runs, Guiding Light is the longest running soap opera before General Hospital and the fifth-longest running program in all of broadcast history; only the American country music radio program Grand Ole Opry, the BBC religious program The Daily Service (1928), the CBS religious program Music and the Spoken Word (1929), and the Norwegian children's radio program Lørdagsbarnetimen (1924-2010) have been on the air longer.

Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of the United States

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. He is often rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

<i>Sunrise at Campobello</i> 1960 film by Vincent J. Donehue

Sunrise at Campobello is a 1960 Warner Bros. biographical film telling the story of the struggles of future President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his family when Roosevelt was stricken with paralysis at the age of 39 in August 1921. Based on Dore Schary's Tony Award-winning Broadway play of the same name, the film was directed by Vincent J. Donehue and stars Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson, Hume Cronyn and Jean Hagen.

Newspaper columnist Dick Kleiner described Bethune's performance in a 1958 television production as a "shatteringly beautiful portrayal of Tennessee Williams' young heroine in This Property Is Condemned." [5]

In October 1958, she portrayed Amy March in the CBS musical adaptation of Little Women. [6]

She portrayed nurse Gail Lucas on The Nurses (1962–65), [7] and appeared in other series, including Kraft Television Theatre (with Martin Huston in the series finale), Route 66 , The Judy Garland Show , Pantomime Quiz , Hollywood Squares , Young Dr. Malone , Dr. Kildare , The Invaders and Emergency!

Film

Bethune starred as "The Girl" alongside Harvey Keitel in Martin Scorsese's first feature film, Who's That Knocking at My Door , released in 1967, although much of it (including Bethune's acting parts) was filmed in 1965 for Scorsese's stident film project at New York University.

Other work

Throughout her life, Bethune worked with disabled students. She herself was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 11, and at 17 she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

Bethune founded Bethune Theatredanse in 1981, a multimedia performance company which has been designated as the official resident company of the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

She founded Dance Outreach, now known as Infinite Dreams, in 1982, which currently enrolls about 1,000 disabled children in dance-related activities throughout Southern California.

Death

On February 12, 2012, five days before her 67th birthday, Zina Bethune was killed in an apparent hit and run accident while she was trying to help an injured opossum in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. She was survived by her husband, Sean Feeley, and her mother. [4]

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References

  1. Zina Bethune profile at FilmReference.com
  2. "Ivy Bethune profile at". filmreference.com. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
  3. Online biography at Dance Teacher Magazine website Archived December 17, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  4. 1 2 Hevesi, Dennis (February 18, 2012). "Zina Bethune Dies at 66; Actress, Dancer and Choreographer". The New York Times . p. A24.
  5. Kleiner, Dick (October 7, 1958). "Actress Wants to Dance". Shamokin News-Dispatch. Pennsylvania, Shamokin. p. 4. Retrieved August 8, 2016 via Newspapers.com. Open Access logo PLoS transparent.svg
  6. Ellenberger, Allan R. (2000). "Television". Margaret O'Brien: A Career Chronicle and Biography. McFarland & Company. p. 205. ISBN   0-7864-2155-X . Retrieved November 26, 2016 via Google Books.
  7. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7. P. 776.