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Saldana in 1981
August 20, 1954 |
New York, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Phil Peters (1989–present)|
Theresa Saldana (born August 20, 1954) is an American actress, known for her work in motion pictures and television. She is perhaps best known for her role as Rachel Scali, the wife of Police Commissioner Tony Scali, in the 1990s television series The Commish, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, in 1994. Major film roles include the part of 'Lenore La Motta', the wife of Joe Pesci's character, in the 1980 feature film Raging Bull and Robert Zemeckis's Beatle-mania ensemble I Wanna Hold Your Hand. She also appeared in Home Movies with Kirk Douglas and Nancy Allen for director Brian De Palma in 1980. She is also known for bringing the crime of stalking to early attention after surviving a brutal murder attempt by an obsessed fan in 1982.
On March 15, 1982, Saldana was the stalking victim of Arthur Richard Jackson, a 46-year-old drifter from Aberdeen, Scotland. Jackson became attracted to Saldana after seeing her in the 1980 film Defiance. He obtained Saldana's address by hiring a private investigator to obtain the unlisted phone number of Saldana's mother. Jackson then called Saldana's mother and posed as Martin Scorsese's assistant, saying he needed Saldana's residential address in order to contact her for replacing an actress in a film role in Europe.
Jackson approached Saldana in front of her West Hollywood residence in broad daylight and stabbed her in the torso 10 times with a 5 1⁄2-inch (14 cm) knife, nearly killing her. The attack was so fierce that he bent the blade. Although there were many nearby onlookers, the attack was only interrupted when delivery man Jeff Fenn heard her cries, rushed from the second floor of an apartment building, and subdued Jackson. Saldana recovered after four hours of surgery and a four-month hospital stay at the Motion Picture Hospital. She relived the incident in the made for TV movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story and again in an episode of Hunter.
Jackson served an almost 14-year prison term for both the assault and making subsequent threats against Saldana and her rescuer while in prison. He was then extradited to the United Kingdom in 1996 to be tried for a 1966 robbery/murder. Jackson (who once saw himself as "the benevolent angel of death") was found not guilty by diminished responsibility in 1997 and committed to a British mental hospital, where he died of heart failure in 2004 at age 68.
Fenn was awarded a Carnegie Medal and was compensated by the Carnegie Hero Fund for his actions. Fenn had long expressed an interest in Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department training and was immediately given the opportunity to take and pass the entrance exam, after which he graduated from the academy and became a deputy sheriff.
Following her long recovery, Saldana founded the Victims for Victims organization and participated in lobbying for the 1990 anti-stalking law and the 1994 Driver's Privacy Protection Act, both of which came into being partly as a consequence of the attack. The experience also inspired Saldana to play herself in the television movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, and she authored the book Beyond Survival, a memoir of her experiences after being attacked.
Performing arts advocacy
|1978||I Wanna Hold Your Hand||Grace Corrigan|
|1984||Evil That Men Do, TheThe Evil That Men Do||Rhiana Hidalgo / Nancy|
|1988||Night Before, TheThe Night Before||Rhonda|
|1988||Double Revenge||Angie Corello|
|1989||Of Men and Angels||Maria|
|1999||Carlo's Wake||Theresa Brock|
|2004||Gang Warz||Carmela Cruz|
|1979||240-Robert||Rosie||Episode: "The Applicant"|
|1980||Sophia Loren: Her Own Story||Maria Scicolone||TV film|
|1981||Nurse||Rita||Episode: "The Gifts"|
|1983||Seven Brides for Seven Brothers||Angelina||Episode: "Promised Land"|
|1983||T. J. Hooker||Maria Santini||Episode: "Too Late for Love"|
|1983||American Playhouse||Episode: "Miss Lonelyhearts"|
|1985||Twilight Zone, TheThe Twilight Zone||Inez||Episode: "Dead Woman's Shoes"|
|1985||Cagney & Lacey||Dr. Strathmore||Episode: "Old Ghosts"|
|1986||Simon & Simon||Mrs. Karnofsky||Episode: "Full Moon Blues"|
|1986||Matlock||Sonia Cardenas||Episode: "The Affair"|
|1986||Tales from the Darkside||Audrey Webster||Episode: "Black Widows"|
|1987||Hunter||Jennifer Hartman||Episode: "Any Second Now"|
|1987||Santa Barbara||Carlotta||Episode: "1.691"|
|1987||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Laura Chacon||Episode: "Juvi"|
|1987||Highwayman, TheThe Highwayman||Angela Brown||TV film|
|1988||Buck James||Marta Ortiz||Episode: "Lives in the Balance"|
|1988||Falcon Crest||Pretty Woman||Episode: "False Faces"|
|1990||MacGyver||Maria||Episode: "The Treasure of Manco"|
|1990||New Kids on the Block||Rosa (voice)||Regular role (15 episodes)|
|1991–1996||Commish, TheThe Commish||Rachel Scali||Regular role (92 episodes)|
|1991||Confessions of Crime||series host|
|1993||Shameful Secrets||Rachel Morales||TV film|
|1994||Captain Planet and the Planeteers||Mame Slaughter (voice)||Episodes: "Orangu-Tangle", "Horns a'Plenty"|
|1995||Law & Order||Juror||Episode: "House Counsel"|
|1995||Jonny Quest Versus the Cyber Insects||Dr. Eve Belage (voice)||TV film|
|1996||She Woke Up Pregnant||Doris Cantore||TV film|
|1996||Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, TheThe Real Adventures of Jonny Quest||Estella Velasquez (voice)||Episode: "The Mummies of Malengue"|
|1997||Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, TheThe Real Adventures of Jonny Quest||Estella Velasquez (voice)||Episode: "The Robot Spies"|
|1997||Diagnosis: Murder||Kirsten Foxx||Episode: "In Defense of Murder"|
|1997||Nothing Sacred||Paula||Episodes: "Parents and Children", "Roman Catholic Holiday"|
|1997||All My Children||Christina Vargas||TV series|
|1998||Martial Law||Maria Hamilton||Episode: "Bad Seed"|
|1999||Thrill Seekers||Cortez||TV film|
|2000||Ready to Run||Sonja Ortiz||TV film|
|2001||Batman Beyond||Mother (voice)||Episode: "Unmasked"|
|2003||Bernie Mac Show, TheThe Bernie Mac Show||Lydia||Episode: "Maid Man"|
- Theresa Saldana at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview on CNN Larry King Live with Saldana and Fenn on July 13, 2004.
- The Jazz Tap Ensemble