66 (passed away Oct. 25th, 2014)
Apr. 28th, 1948
New York City, New York, USA
Marcia Strassman's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
This tall, willowy brunette (these days, frequently blonde) was born April 28, 1948, in New York City, one of four children. Raised in Passaic, New Jersey, she grew into a striking young teen and worked for a time as a model in a local children's department store. Trekking back to New York City equipped only with her modeling credentials and a natural singing talent, Marcia found herself performing in an off-Broadway show at the ripe old age of 15, replacing 17-year-old Liza Minnelli in the musical "Best Foot Forward." Inspired, Marcia ventured ahead with a number of stage roles, then broke into television and scored her first semi-regular role as an army nurse on the very first season of M*A*S*H (1972). Her big breakout role, and the one for which she will best be remembered, was as Gabe Kaplan's wife on the popular sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter (1975) for four seasons. Despite the steady work, she was fairly disillusioned at playing the relatively sane (i.e., overlooked) role of Julie Kotter. Most of the focus landed squarely on her husband, a Brooklyn schoolteacher (the show was based on Kaplan's real-life experiences as a teacher) and his interaction with student "Sweathogs" Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Ron Palillo and pre-megastar John Travolta. Stuck with essentially a reactive character, she gamely stayed with the show throughout its run. "Kotter" would be her only hit series despite a handful of attempts, but she managed to persevere in later years with guest spots on such shows as Magnum, P.I. (1980), Amazing Stories (1985), Highlander (1992), Sweet Justice (1994) and Providence (1999). She would regain major attention one more time as (again) a wholesome wife, playing nerdy Rick Moranis spouse in the surprise Disney hit Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). She reprised that role in the equally popular sequel, Honey I Blew Up the Kid (1992). In 1998 Marcia returned to her musical roots and performed with "Beauty and the Beast" star Susan Egan in "Hello Again," which was a revamped version of the Max Ophüls classic French film La ronde (1950). Here she played against type as a prostitute. Over the years Marcia has carved out a niche for herself not only as a fine actress but also as a social and labor activist, and has lent her skills and talents to many progressive causes.
Marcia Strassman has died at the age of 66 after a long battle with breast cancer, her sister Julie Strassman confirmed.
- She was one of eight actors on the steering committee for the Actors' Fund Benefit at the Hollywood Bowl during the 1980 strike.
- She's the daughter of an auto parts wholesaler.
- Daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1987.
- Has been very involved in causes, including AIDS Walks, DCC phone bank, Events for Tuesday's Child (organization for kids with AIDS) and the UCLA Breast Cancer Center.
- Her _Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)_ (qv) movie triggered a 3-D entertainment ride at the Disney theme parks.
- Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1982" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 34.
- In April of 1967 she attempted to launch a singing career with a recording of 'Jerry Goldstein (I)' (qv) and 'Lord Tim Hudson' (qv)'s "The Flower Children" song (these two coined the phrase "flower power"). The single was the #1 hit in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but failed to make it to the top 100 nationwide.
- Her grandmother was a "Ziegfeld Girl" back in the 1920s.
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