Sandra Zaiter

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Sandra Zaiter (born 21 November 1943) is an actress, television children's show host, singer, composer and former athlete in Puerto Rico.

Zaiter was born in the Dominican Republic, of Lebanese Maronite Christian ancestry. Early in her life she participated in church groups, and established her residence in Puerto Rico. Zaiter participated in the Puerto Rican production of Arriba la Gente. She soon started her television career formally by hosting the Puerto Rican version of Romper Room on WRIK-TV channel 7, then called Rikavisión.

Zaiter was also a professional diver and swimmer, until she suffered a life-threatening accident in the 1970s, when she hit her head against a rock during a dive at a beach in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The accident left her paralyzed and since then she has used a wheelchair. In 1976, she won the local OTI Festival as a composer.

Despite her life–changing accident, she continued hosting her children's shows with more energy than ever. During the late 1970s, Zaiter's fame grew as she started recording many well–known children's albums as a singer and hosted a daily television show on WRIK Rikalandia/WLUZ. It ran until channel 7 closed its doors temporarily.

Zaiter later moved on to WKAQ-TV, Telemundo, where she starred, produced, wrote, and hosted, alongside Lou Briel and Dagmar, a children's show called Teatrimundo, and later Telecómicas. She is the spokesperson for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in Puerto Rico, and an important sponsor of the association's telethon. She is acknowledged by most Puerto Ricans as a hero.

In the 1990s Puerto Rican actress and producer Angela Meyer wrote and produced a drama mini–series titled Gaviota de la Esperanza (The Hope Seagull), based on Zaiter's life. It was broadcast by Telemundo.

Zaiter hosts a weekly show called Contra Viento y Marea (Against Wind and Tide), broadcast by WIPR-TV. Its purpose is to give guidance and assistance to the handicapped. Zaiter does public appearances, especially for the yearly presentation of the Sandra Zaiter Award to those who have distinguished themselves helping the handicapped.

As a surprise to Zaiter, one of Telemundo's studios in Puerto Rico was named after her at the launch of the mid-day show Día a Día con Raymond y Dagmar in 2007.[citation needed]

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