Wendi Jo Sperber
- Wendie Jo Sperber
- Hollywood CA
- United States
- Lovely Face Pleasingly Plump Figure
- Weight Issues Cancer
Wendie Jo Sperber (September 15, 1958 – November 29, 2005) was an American actress, best known for her performances in the films I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Bachelor Party (1984) and Back to the Future (1985) as well as the hit ABC-TV television sitcom Bosom Buddies (1980–1982).
Wendi Jo Sperber Introduction
Early life and career
Wendie was born in Hollywood and aimed for a performing-arts career from high school onward. She attended the summer Teenage Drama Workshop at California State University, Northridge, during the 1970s, and began her screen career at a young age when she was cast in the small role of "Kuchinsky", in Matthew Robbins' 1978 teen comedy Corvette Summer, alongside Mark Hamill. She appeared in Robert Zemeckis' period comedy I Wanna Hold Your Hand, as the irrepressible "Rosie Petrofsky." Wendie Jo was overweight, but was able to move quickly on screen (Entertainment Weekly described Rosie Petrofsky as "a screaming Beatlemaniac who, among other things, climbed through elevator shafts and leapt from a moving car"), and her “girl-next-door” appearance helped her to overcome the stigma of her weight.
Wendie Jo played the title role in the ABC Afterschool Special feature Dinky Hocker, which dealt with a teenager's attempts to hide her feelings by eating, and engaged in physical comedy in Steven Spielberg's 1941. Zemeckis, who also worked on 1941, brought Sperber back to the big screen in 1980 with a role in his comedy Used Cars, but it was on television that year that Sperber finally began to receive more serious attention. She was cast in the role of "Amy Cassidy;" a character that was funny, romantic, and exuberant— in the series Bosom Buddies, starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari. Following its cancellation in 1982, Sperber appeared in the comedy The First Time, and worked a year on the CBS-TV series Private Benjamin. She then resumed her feature work in the Tom Hanks theatrical vehicle Bachelor Party, directed by Neal Israel. Israel used her again in Moving Violations in 1985. That same year, she appeared as Linda McFly in Zemeckis' highly successful Back to the Future.
Sperber's roles grew larger in the wake of Back to the Future, and over the next decade she starred in the series Babes (a comedy about three zaftig women; her costar Susan Peretz would also lose her fight with breast cancer several years later), and had a major supporting part in the series Hearts Afire, as well as numerous big-screen comedies interspersed with the occasional drama. By her own account, however, she preferred comedy if given the choice. As she told TV Guide in 1990, “I'm an actress who likes to say something funny—everybody laughs and your job is done.”
Wendi Jo Sperber Family, health and personal issues
In 1983, Sperber married Richard Velasquez and had a son, Preston, in 1986, and a daughter, Pearl, in 1990. Pearl also goes by the name "Daphne." The marriage ended in divorce in 1994. In 1997, Sperber was diagnosed with breast cancer, which seemed to go into remission following treatment. She revealed in April of 2002, though, that the cancer had reappeared and spread throughout her body. She continued to work in television and movies during this period, including episodes of Unhappily Ever After, Home Improvement, Will & Grace, Grounded for Life, and the movies Desperate But Not Serious (1999) and Sorority Boys (2002). She died on November 29, 2005. Her last work was lending her voice to "Roger 'n' Me", an episode of American Dad in 2006, which aired after her death. The producers of the show renamed her character as Wendie Jo in honor of the actress.
Involvement in social causes
In addition to her work on TV and movies, Wendie Jo also was the founder of weSPARK Cancer Support Center, an independent organization formed in 2001 to advance and help support individuals and their families fighting various forms of cancer through free emotional support, information and social events/activities. In addition to being the founder, Sperber also served on the board of directors and wrote the quarterly newsletter. Each year, weSPARK has put on an extravagant benefit show called weSPARKLE to raise funds for the organization. The event has been attended by many of Sperber's friends and colleagues, including Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, John Ritter, and Eric McCormack. In 1998, Sperber also helped the United States Postal Service unveil and promote a breast-cancer stamp.
Wendi Jo Sperber on the Web
Dead or Alive? - Wendie Jo Sperber Use this page to find out if Wendie Jo Sperber is dead or alive. Very user friendly navigation and includes a search function and interactive quizzes.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month's Connection to 'Back to ... Come to find out, the actress who played Marty's sister, Linda, died of Breast Cancer in 2005. Wendi Jo Sperber was only 47 when she died. From TV.com –. In 1997, Sperber was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following this ...