Zohra Lampert

Active - 1959 - 2010  |   Born - May 13, 1937 in New York, New York, United States  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Born in New York City, Zohra Lampert attended the University of Chicago, began her acting career in regional stock, then returned to Manhattan to make her 1956 Broadway bow in a revival of Major Barbara. Zohra's pneumatic but soothing voice is equally adaptable to comedy and tragedy, while her soft semitic facial features have enabled her to portray women of many nationalities. She made her film debut in Pay or Die (1960), playing a hysterical Italian-American victim of Mafia persecution. While she prefers the theatre to movies and televsion, Zohra has accepted several supporting parts in films like Splendor in the Grass (1961), Bye Bye Braverman (1968) and John Cassavetes' Opening Night (1978), and his been a regular on three TV series: Where the Heart is (1969), Girl With Something Extra (1973), Doctors Hospital (1975) Zohra Lampert's portrayal of a villainous gypsy seer on a 1975 Kojak television episode won her an Emmy Award.

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  • Has Russian Jewish heritage.
  • Earned 2 Tony Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play, one for Look, We've Come Through and one for Mother Courage and Her Children.
  • Played the titular Jessica in the 1971 cult horror film Let's Scare Jessica to Death.
  • Winner of the first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, for her role as gypsy Marina Sheldon in the episode "Queen of the Gypsies" of Kojak.
  • Was the spokesperson for Goya Beans throughout the 1980s.