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'This house is clean': 'Poltergeist' actor Zelda Rubinstein dies



Zelda-Rubinstein Zelda Rubinstein, best known for her role as the pint-sized clairvoyant in 1982's Poltergeist, died Wednesday at the age of 76.

The 4-foot-3-inch actor recently suffered a heart attack, her agent told the L.A. Times.

The role of the psychic "Tangina Barrons" was her first big movie role -- one she would reprise it in two sequels. Her signature line -- "This house is clean" -- might be the best "punch line" ever in a horror movie.

As John Hughes fans will recall, it wasn't her only '80s role. She also played the church organist in 1984's Sixteen Candles. (Loved the sloshing sound coming from her purse.) Other '80s work includes roles in 1981's Under the Rainbow and 1989's Teen Witch. In later years, she had a starring role in TV's Picket Fences.

If you want a telling quote to remember her by, look back on her other big line in Poltergeist: "There is no death. It is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:55pm]


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