[DMCForum] BTTF actress dies..
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[DMCForum] BTTF actress dies..
- From: Marc Levy <malevy_nj@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 08:11:11 -0800 (PST)
Wendie Jo Sperber did not appear in every movie of
the 1970s and 1980s. She was only in the ones that
seemed to make the summers go by faster.
Sperber, the boisterous character actress who chased
the Beatles in I Wanna Hold Your Hand, played Marty
McFly's sister in the Back to the Future franchise,
and kept Tom Hanks' cross-dressing secret in TV's
Bosom Buddies, died Tuesday, losing a long battle to
breast cancer. She was 47.
"The memory of Wendie Jo is that of a walking
inspiration," Hanks said in a statement Wednesday.
"...We are going to miss her as surely as we are all
better for knowing her."
Hanks was a booster of Sperber's weSPARK, a cancer
support center she founded in 2001 in Sherman Oaks,
California. "SPARK" stands for "Support, Prevention,
Acceptance, Recovery and Knowledge." Sperber found
that she needed to draw on all of those resources when
she received her first cancer diagnosis in 1997.
"The words 'you've got cancer' forever changed my
life," Sperber wrote in a recent message on the
organization's Website, weSPARK.org.
Shortly after the center opened its doors, Sperber's
cancer advanced to her lungs, bones and brain. "Once
again, I was shocked, frightened," she wrote, "but not
Sperber applied a similar spunk to her acting career.
Though not a star, she was a face--a familiar face.
Her specialty was hysteria, typified by her flying
leap from the moving car in I Wanna Hold Your
Hand--the better for her star-struck 1960s teenager to
try to snag tickets to see the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
Released in 1978, I Wanna Hold Your Hand was the Los
Angeles-born Sperber's first featured film role. It
also was the first feature for director Robert
Zemeckis, who later cast Sperber in his 1980 comedy
Used Cars and his 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future.
(Sperber also appeared in 1989's Back to the Future,
Part III.) Steven Spielberg, who executive
produced I Wanna Hold Your Hand, enlisted Sperber in
his first--and last--big-budget comedy, 1979's 1941.
Sperber's other Comedy Central-ready credits include
Corvette Summer, Moving Violations and Stewardess
On television, Sperber costarred with Hanks in his
breakthrough 1980-82 sitcom, Bosom Buddies. She later
appeared in his 1984 big-screen comedy, Bachelor
Party, yet another summer-vacation staple of basic
On Bosom Buddies, Hanks and Peter Scolari played two
men who dressed as women in order to rent an apartment
in an girls-only building; Sperber played their
neighbor--the only one with insider knowledge of their
charade. Sperber's character was hopelessly in love
with Scolari's character--hopelessly, because
Sperber's type didn't get the guy. Because Sperber's
type was, in two words, not thin.
Sperber's not-thinness led to steady supporting and
character work, and finally a lead in the 1990 Fox
sitcom, Babes, about three not-thin sisters. The show
lasted just one season.
Even after cancer struck, Sperber continued to amass
credits--from a 1998 episode of Murphy Brown dealing
with its title character's own chemotherapy woes, to a
recurring role on the 2002-05 sitcom, 8 Simple Rules.
Survivors include a son, a daughter and her "dream" of
a support organization.
Start your day with Yahoo! - Make it your home page!
YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
Back to the Home of PROJECT VIXEN