Lovely, lithe and light-haired Zina Bethune, noted ballet dancer,choreographer and teacher, also had a promising acting career duringthe late 1950s and 1960s. The native New Yorker was born on February 17, 1945, the daughter ofWilliam Charles Bethune (who died in 1950 when Zina was 5) andestablished actress 'Ivy Bethune' (née Vigner) of "General Hospital" (1963) fame. Zina's mother was a RussianJewish immigrant, born in Sevastopol. Formally trained in dance from age 6, she was a student at'George Balanchine' 's School of American Ballet, and performedwith the New York City Ballet as a teen despite the fact she wasdiagnosed at various times with scoliosis, lymphedema and hipdysplasia.
As an adolescent, she appeared in several daytime TV dramas, including abreakthrough part (1956-1958) as the first "Robin Lang" on the serial "The Guiding Light" (1952) . Over time, she joined the cast ofother soaps, including a lengthy running part on "Love of Life" (1951) from 1965-1971 and, many years later, arecurring part on "Santa Barbara" (1984) . Zina co-starred with'Shirl Conway' on the TV drama "The Nurses" (1962) [bestknown as "The Nurses," the series was later entitled "The Doctors andthe Nurses"], and won touching reviews for her naive student nurserole. She also played the sensitive role of "Amy" in one of several TVadaptations of 'Louisa May Alcott' 's beloved Little Women (1958) (TV) . As a young adult, she continued todemonstrate a formidable dramatic flair on such popular shows as "Route 66" (1960) , "Naked City" (1958) , "Gunsmoke" (1955) , "Lancer" (1968) , "The Invaders" (1967) , "Emergency!" (1972) and "CHiPs" (1977) .
Making her first movie appearance as one of the Roosevelt children in Sunrise at Campobello (1960) starring 'Ralph Bellamy' and'Greer Garson' , she did not make as indelible a mark in film aspromised, but did earn semi-cult notice for her moving streetwise roleopposite 'Harvey Keitel' in 'Martin Scorsese' 'sautobiographical feature-length debut I Call First (1967) [akaWho's That Knocking at My Door?], a notable predecessor to hisacclaimed star-maker Mean Streets (1973) . Zina graced many musicals as a singer/dancer and made her Broadway debutat age 11 playing "Tessie" in "The Most Happy Fella". A number oftouring productions came her way in the form of "Sweet Charity","Oklahoma!", "Damn Yankees!", "Carnival", "Carousel" and "TheUnsinkable Molly Brown". Non-musical offerings came in the form of "TheMember of the Wedding", "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Owl and thePussycat". In 1992, Zina returned to Broadway as a replacement in"Grand Hotel" in which she portrayed Russian ballerina "ElizavetaGrushinskaya".
Ms. Bethune's ultimate passion and commitment, however, has remained inthe art of dance. . . and on many levels.
In her prime, she was ahighly-regarded prima ballerina. Among her many credits were "SwanLake", "Le Corsair", "Romeo and Juliet", "Black Swan", "Giselle", "DonQuixote" and "Sleeping Beauty", not to mention Balanchine's own"Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux". A guest artist with The Royal Danish Ballet,Nevada Dance Theatre and San Francisco Ballet Theatre, she went on toform her own New York-based company in 1969 -- Zina Bethune andCompany. Her career as a dance director and choreographer hasencompassed over 50 plays, films, videos and ballets. Throughout her life, she has remained steadfast in her contribution tochildren with physical and mental disabilities.
Helping them embracethe art of dance as a means of self-expression and therapy, she wasprompted by her own physical ailments diagnosed while growing up. Inaddition to the Theatredance performance company she founded in 1980,she also organized Dance Outreach (now known as Infinite Dreams) in1982, which continues to enroll disabled young children indance-related activities throughout Southern California. .
|1||Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder||1987||as Paula|
|2||Pantomime Quiz||1947||as Herself - Guest Panelist|
|3||The United States Steel Hour||1953||as Ann Hilton|
|4||Young Dr. Malone||1958||as Lisha Steele #1 (1959)|
|5||Forgotten City of the Planet of the Apes||1981||as Arn|
|6||Hollywood Mavericks||1990||as Girl|
|7||I Call First||1967||as Girl|
|8||L.A. Woman||2013||as Herself|
|9||Little Women||1958||as Amy March|
|10||Special for Women: The Cold Woman||1960||as The Daughter|
|11||Sunrise at Campobello||1960||as Anna Roosevelt|
|12||The Boost||1988||as Dance Teacher/Choreographer|
|13||Wings of Legacy||2006||as Eva|
|14||ABC Afterschool Specials||1972||as Leslie Wade|
|15||Cains Hundred||1961||as Lucinda Jackson|
|17||Emergency!||1972||as Beth Johnson|
|19||Kraft Television Theatre||1947||as Willie - Story #1|
|20||Lancer||1968||as Callie Buford|
|21||Love of Life||1951||as Barbara Sterling #3 (1965-1970, 1971)|
|22||Naked City||1958||as Jessica|
|23||Party of Five||1994||as Ballet Teacher|
|24||Planet of the Apes||1974||as Arn|
|25||Play of the Week||1959||as Anne|
|26||Police Story||1973||as Shay's Neighbor|
|27||Route 66||1960||as Bonnie Clayton|
|28||Santa Barbara||1984||as Dr. Priscilla MacIntosh|
|29||Sunday Showcase||1959||as Carol Reed|
|30||The Guiding Light||1952||as Robin Lang|
|31||The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries||1977||as Janice Cutler|
|32||The Invaders||1967||as Sister Claire|
|33||The Next Step Beyond||1978||as Diane Hollis|
|34||The Nurses||1962||as Gail Lucas|