Laurette Spang-McCook

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Laurette Spang-McCook
Born Laurette Spang
(1951-05-16) May 16, 1951 (age 63)
Buffalo, New York,
United States
Occupation Actress
Spouse(s) John McCook (1980-present) 3 children

Laurette Spang-McCook (born May 16, 1951) is an American television actress. She portrayed Cassiopeia in the original Battlestar Galactica.


Early life/family[edit]

Spang was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Prior to her starting out, she was an active letter-writer, penning letters to actors. She was also a fan of the gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows and of the television western, Bonanza.

At 16, she accompanied her father on a business trip to New York City, where she waited at the stage door of Dark Shadows. The stage guard allowed her to walk in, leading her to actress Kathryn Leigh Scott. After their meeting, Spang would answer Scott's fan mail through high-school.

The summer of her junior year, she auditioned to be an apprentice at Williamstown Summer Theater. A year later, Scott set up an audition for Spang at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She received a scholarship and graduated from there two years later. Following graduation in 1969, Laurette returned to Michigan where she attended Adrian College, living dorm life on a small campus, but not far from her family in Ann Arbor.

She was spotted by a Universal Studios talent agent in 1972, where she signed a 7-year contract. The contract led to guest starring roles in Emergency!, Adam-12 (Episode: Venice Division), The Streets of San Francisco, The Six Million Dollar Man, Happy Days, Chase, Isis, Charlie's Angels, and Lou Grant. This also led to television movies, including Short Walk to Daylight, Runaway!, Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, and The Day the Bubble Burst. She also co starred with Jean Peters, William Windom, and Joseph Bottoms in a production of "Winesburg, Ohio" on KCET's Hollywood Television Theatre.

After leaving the contract system, she was cast as Cassiopeia in the Battlestar Galactica TV movie, "Saga of a Star World." An initial draft would have led to her being eaten by the Ovions; however, this death was averted and the network kept her on in a regular role but with a change of profession. Standards and Practices would no longer allow her to be a socialator so they switched her character to a medtech in the series.

Her last known acting performances were in 1981's Love Boat, "Aloha Paradise" with Debbie Reynolds, Fantasy Island, and finally Magnum, P.I. alongside Tom Selleck. Laurette appeared on The Dukes of Hazzard in the 1981 episode "The Fugitive" as Mindy Lou Hale. She later appeared in the Battlestar Galactica episode of Sciography documentary series on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.

Personal life[edit]

Laurette married John McCook on February 16, 1980, and in 1984 she retired from acting. She had three children with McCook: Jake, Rebecca and Molly. Jake became a film editor and filmmaker, Becky became an assistant kindergarten teacher, and Molly is an actress/singer who has appeared on such shows as Monk, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Glee. She is also stepmother to Seth McCook from John McCook's previous marriage to Juliet Prowse