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Zina Bethune (Zina Bethune)

Zina  Bethune

Actress, Disability Advocate. Perhaps best remembered for playing Gail Lucas in the TV series “The Nurses” (1962 to 1965). The daughter of an actress, her father died when she was five years old. She followed her mother’s path to the entertainment industry and at the age of six began taking lessons at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. She was diagnosed with scoliosis, dysplastic hips and lymphedema but inspite of these conditions, her sheer courage and willpower enabled her to move forward toward a much-accomplished career. She marked her TV debut in 1956 and for a run of two years (1956 to 1958), she played Robin Lang in the series “The Guiding Light”, while simultaneously performing in the Broadway musical “The Most Happy Fella” (1956 to 1957). Her motion picture debut was a role of substance playing Anna Roosevelt in “Sunrise at Campobello” (1960) and at the age of twenty-one, she had the distinction of starring (as The Girl) in Martin Scorsese’s first feature “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” (1967). During the 1970s, she continued to appear in guest spots on such programs as “Emergency!”, “CHiPs” and “Police Story”, among others however, she gradually reduced that facet of her career in order to focus on dancing and choreography. Bethune, who founded her first dance company during the late 1960s established the Los Angeles-based Theatre Bethune during the early 1980s. The innovative Infinite Dreams Program of the theatre which she conceived out of her passionate concern for the handicapped allows children with physical and mental disabilities to pursue activities as performers. The program has been acknowledged by Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. She died from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run automobile accident.


  • February, 17, 1945
  • USA
  • New York


  • February, 12, 2012
  • USA
  • California


  • Mount Sinai Memorial Park
  • California
  • USA

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