Oct. 8th, 1956
New York City, New York, USA
5' 5 1/2"
Stephanie Zimbalist's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born in Manhattan and raised in Los Angeles, Stephanie grew up swimming, riding, playing tennis, dancing, diving, clowning around, doing chores, and living the normal life of a tomboy in the great expanse of the San Fernando Valley. As a very young amateur theatrical entrepreneur, she produced, wrote, and directed pieces in her little bedroom hallway, in the stable, and on neighbors' fireplace hearths, earning her the title, "the boss."
But Stephanie's abiding love of theater was kindled at Brown Ledge Camp in Mallett's Bay, Vermont, where she acted, sang, and was nurtured in theater craft for six summers. Friends she made there count among her friends today.
Eager to get on with it, she created her own independent project in her senior year at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia: she returned to Los Angeles to study acting, movement, voice, tap and ballet. After graduating cum laude from high school, Stephanie's ambitions led her to choose a professional drama school over university, and she spent a challenging time in New York "getting a dose of it."
Returning to Los Angeles once again, she worked for her brother and sister-in-law's company, Correia Art Glass, while she made the audition rounds. In time she gave up packing glass to star in television movies, among them the Emmy Award-winning The Gathering (1977) (TV), "Centennial" (1978), The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) (TV), and Tomorrow's Child (1982) (TV), along with the occasional guest series role. After several such projects and two feature films - The Magic of Lassie (1978) with James Stewart (I) and The Awakening (1980) with Charlton Heston - Stephanie was offered the role of Laura Holt in the MTM series, "Remington Steele" (1982), which she played for five years with Pierce Brosnan and Doris Roberts on NBC. She appeared as Caroline? (1990) (TV) for Hallmark on CBS, which won three Emmys and earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Subsequently Stephanie starred in The Story Lady (1991) (TV) with Jessica Tandy, Incident in a Small Town (1994) (TV) for CBS with Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan (I), and Stop the World, I Want to Get Off (1996) (TV), the musical, on A&E, to name a few of her more than thirty television movie appearances.
Stephanie starred in Lifetime Television's 50th movie, Prison of Secrets (1997) (TV), followed by an episode of "Touched by an Angel" (1994), their highest-rated show to that date. She was happy to be back in the saddle, in Ventura and Ojai, no less, filming an independent movie with Dennis Hopper called The Prophet's Game (1999), followed by Borderline Normal (2000) in Saskatchewan, Malpractice in New Orleans, and another "Touched by an Angel" (1994). More recently she spent a happy time guesting on "Crossing Jordan" (2001).
Striving for excellence has always been very important to Stephanie, partly due to the standards set by her illustrious family. Alma Gluck, her grandmother, was one of the great sopranos of her day. Efrem Zimbalist Sr., her beloved grandfather, was a celebrated violinist, composer, and gifted teacher and director of the Curtis Institute of Music. Her aunt, Marcia Davenport, was a brilliant historical writer and novelist. Her wonderful father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., is a prize-winning Broadway producer (Gian Carlo Menotti's The Consul, The Medium, and The Telephone), gifted composer, and celebrated actor ("77 Sunset Strip" (1958), "The F.B.I." (1965), and many movies). His stunning Violin Sonata has been performed at several summer concert series. Her brother Efrem ("Skip") and his company, Active Interest Media, publish several magazines, and her niece Kristina is in constant demand as a freelance fashion writer in New York.
After debuting on stage in the musical Festival in 1979 at the Las Palmas Theater in Los Angeles with Gregory Harrison (I) and Brian Stokes Mitchell, Stephanie appeared as Miranda in The Tempest with Anthony Hopkins and Brent Carver at the Mark Taper Forum. Other theater includes The Cherry Orchard at the Long Wharf Theater, Summer and Smoke and Barbarians at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and the national tour of My One And Only with Tommy Tune. In 1989 she initiated a play to be written for her and Linda Purl, and directed by Jenny Sullivan (I) - The Baby Dance by Jane Anderson (II) - which they produced and starred in at the Pasadena Playhouse. The production moved to Williamstown and Long Wharf, and culminated in a critically acclaimed run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. She played Polly Peacham in The Threepenny Opera with Betty Buckley (I) at Williamstown, and had a wonderful time with 'Tracy Lord' in The Philadelphia Story at the Cleveland PlayHouse. In 1994 Stephanie took on the double roles of an Irish peasant and a New Bedford fisherman's wife in the original production of The Crimson Thread in Connecticut (which she co-produced), and the Pasadena Playhouse. A second tread on the L.A. boards under Jenny Sullivan (I)'s direction was the hilarious, tour-de-force turn as a nail-spitting media barracuda in the West Coast premiere of AdWars with the wonderful David Dukes (I) (R.I.P.).
At L.A.'s Coronet Theater for many months, Stephanie kicked up a lotta sand as the loveable dog in 'A.R.Gurney''s Sylvia. In 1998 she starred in the world premiere of Jane Martin's Mr. Bundy at the Humana Festival of Actors Theatre of Louisville, and happily played opposite Lucie Arnaz in Wonderful Town for the Reprise! series in L.A. Stephanie was thrilled to be reunited with her dear Baby Dance friends John Bennett Perry and Jenny Sullivan (I) for the Rubicon Theatre's award-winning, double run of The Rainmaker. A dream came true, tackling the towering role of Terry in Warren Leight (I)'s knockout Side Man at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, followed by a tour of Accomplice on the east coast (after a month's holiday in London, St. Petersberg, Moscow, Rostov [birthplace of her grandfather, Efrem Zimbalist Sr.], Istanbul, Athens, and sailing the Dodecanes!).
For several springs now, Stephanie has opened the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival with a reading of one of his plays at their Gala event - she's happily shared those boards with Alec Baldwin, Elizabeth Ashley (I), John Goodman (I), Patricia Neal, Linda Hart, and the charming Rex Reed. Having worked in New Orleans with the Festival and in Malpractice (2001) and made friends in Nola, the recent tragedies there hit especially hard.
Stephanie had another dream come true, to play Varya in The Cherry Orchard, with the added thrill of playing opposite one of her acting heroes, the amazing and delightful Alfred Molina (I). Recently she played Ursula in Nicholas Wright's wonderful play Vincent in Brixton at the Pasadena Playhouse. Also at the Rubicon Theatre she's played in Brian Friel (I)'s Dancing at Lughnasa, Jane Anderson (II)'s Defying Gravity, and trod the boards with her father Efrem Zimbalist Jr. for the first time, in Tennessee Williams's The Night of the Iguana.
- Was born on the same day New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen tossed the only perfect game in World Series history, against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Yankee Stadium.
- Was originally cast as Anne Lewis in RoboCop, but had to give up part to Nancy Allen when called back to resume filming episodes of _"Remington Steele" (1982)_ (qv).
- Has a half-brother, Efrem Zimbalist III, and a sister, Nancy.
- Studied classical singing for six years with Natalie Bodanya of the Met, who studied with Marcella Sembrich, who also coached her grandmother Alma Gluck. Alma Gluck was the first singer to sell a million records. Alma Gluck had three sets of teeth. When Alma Gluck's dog So-So ran away, it made the front page of the New York Times.
- Co-starred alongside father 'Efrem Zimbalist Jr.' (qv) in _The Best Place to Be (1979) (TV)_ (qv), also starring the late 'Donna Reed' (qv).
- Turned 21 while working on location at the Hop Kiln Winery in Sonoma on _The Magic of Lassie (1978)_ (qv) with Jimmy Stewart - couldn't get carded for a pitcher of beer that night. In an interview for Video Review years later, Stewart said she was his favorite actress today.
- Is an honorary member of the Stuntwomen's Association. Finally learned a deep-water start on a slalom ski while on location in Acapulco on _"Remington Steele" (1982)_ (qv). Made it a point to water-ski in every seaside location after that. Got terribly lost with 'Rue McClanahan' (qv) in the streets of Madrid for over an hour while shooting _The Man in the Brown Suit (1989) (TV)_ (qv).
- Is the third of five generations of women in her family (so far) to go to Brown Ledge Camp in Mallett's Bay, Vermont. Used to muck out stalls every day before she went to school. Dived for Alan Pinson, legendary Olympic coach, when she was 13, and had to opt out to stay in school and study. Accelerated her senior year of high school to return to Los Angeles and study acting and dance. Left most of her college essay applications in the back well of a taxi the week before they were due.
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