Donna Pescow Biography

Donna Pescow

Birthday: March 24, 1954 (Aries)

Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Donna Pescow is an American actor and director. Although she had a flying start to her acting career, as a cast member of the acclaimed movie ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ she mostly accepted small-screen roles. She dreamed of pursuing an acting career since her childhood, influenced by her grandfather, who was part of the entertainment industry. She graduated from New York’s prestigious ‘The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.’ After several auditions, she earned a role in ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ Following the critical and commercial success of the movie, offers started pouring in. She ventured into TV with ‘One Life to Live.’ She was the lead in the sitcom ‘Angie’ and was part of many other famous series, such as ‘General Hospital,’ ‘Even Stevens,’ ‘Out of this World,’ and ‘The Flash.’ She was also cast in single episodes of well-known series such as ‘NYPD Blue,’ ‘Cold Case,’ ‘The Sopranos,’ and ‘Clueless.’
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Quick Facts

Age: 68 Years, 68 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Arnold Zelonka (m. 1987)

children: Jack Casey Zelonka

Born Country: United States

Actresses Directors

Height: 5'1" (155 cm), 5'1" Females

City: Brooklyn, New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Sheepshead Bay High School

Childhood & Early Life
Pescow was born on March 24, 1954, in Brooklyn, a borough in New York City, New York, the United States of America, to Marty and Rhoda. She is Jewish, with Russian ancestry.
Her father, Marty, owned and managed a newsstand at 17 Battery Place, downtown New York City. Her elder sister’s name is Sharon.
When she was 6 years old, her parents divorced. Following this, her mother married Irving Epstein.
Her grandfather, Jack Goldress, who was part of the entertainment industry, had a significant influence on her. He initially operated stage lights and then set up movie projectors in a movie theater.
At 8 or 9 years of age, Pescow would accompany her grandfather to his workplace and watch movies, sitting in the projectionist’s booth on Saturdays.
She attended ‘Shellbank Junior High’ and then ‘Sheepshead Bay High.’ She graduated from ‘Sheepshead’ in 1972. Later, she studied at ‘The American Academy of Dramatic Arts,’ New York. She graduated from the institute at the age of 21 in 1975.
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In approximately 1973, she played the lead character in ‘Poor Old Fool,’ an ‘Off-Off-Broadway’ musical.
In 1977, she played the role of ‘Annette’ in the iconic and culturally relevant movie ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ Her performance in the movie got her nominated for the ‘New York Film Critics Circle Award’ for the “Best Supporting Actress.” The same year, she bagged the role of ‘Celena Arquette’ in the TV series ‘One Life to Live.’
She appeared in the two TV movies ‘Human Feelings’ and ‘Rainbow’ in 1978. She was also seen as a panelist on the game show ‘Match Game.’
She starred as the titular character in the TV sitcom ‘Angie,’ which aired from 1979 to 1980. The same year, she was cast in one episode of the series ‘The Love Boat’ and also co-hosted seven episodes of ‘The Mike Douglas Show.’
She portrayed the character of ‘Dr. Lynn Carson’ in two episodes of ‘All My Children’ in 1983, breaking stereotypes by becoming the first female actor to play a lesbian character in a daytime soap opera.
From 1983 to 1987, she appeared in a lot of other TV series and TV movies. She also appeared as herself on many TV shows during this period. The most notable of such shows were ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘Finder of Lost Loves,’ ‘Obsessed with a Married Woman,’ ‘Mr. Belvedere,’ ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ ‘Jake Speed,’ ‘Hotel,’ ‘Glory Years,’ ‘Breakaway,’ and ‘Win, Lose or Draw.’
In 1987, she appeared as ‘Donna Garland,’ a main character in the American fantasy teen sitcom ‘Out of this World.’ She was seen in all 96 episodes of the series, till 1991. During these years, she appeared (as herself) on the TV shows ‘The Morning Exchange’ and ‘The New Hollywood Squares.’
For a significant part of the 1990s, she appeared in minor roles in single episodes of popular TV series such as ‘Clueless,’ ‘NYPD Blue,’ and ‘Pauly.’ Also, during this time, she acted in movies such as ‘Ivory Tower,’ ‘Dead Husbands,’ and ‘Jackie’s Back!’ She also appeared as herself on the shows ‘Maury’ and ‘Nash Bridges.’ She made her directorial debut in 1993, with the episode ‘Laid Up’ of the series ‘Harry and the Hendersons.’
In 1999, she became part of the ‘Guinness’ record-holding medical drama ‘General Hospital,’ as the villainous ‘Gertrude Morgan.’ She portrayed the character until 2001. Also in 1999, she appeared in the second episode of the TV documentary ‘VH-1 Where Are They Now?,’ which was based on her movie ‘Saturday Night Fever.’
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With the advent of the new millennium, she joined the cast of the ‘Disney’ teen sitcom ‘Even Stevens.’ She was seen in all 65 episodes of the series, from 2000 to 2003. She also directed three episodes of the series: ‘Quest for Coolness’ and ‘Wombat Wuv,’ both in 2001, and ‘Dirty Work’ in 2002. She also contributed to the soundtrack of two episodes, ‘Secrets and Spies’ and ‘Influenza: The Musical.’ The show culminated with a TV movie, ‘The Even Stevens Movie.’
Between 2000 and 2003, she appeared in the TV movie ‘Partners’ and one episode of the TV series ‘Philly.’
In 2004, she appeared as herself in the TV movie documentary ‘John Travolta: The Inside Story.’ The same year, she directed the episode ‘Leave it to Diva’ for the TV series ‘That’s So Raven.’
She appeared in eight shows (as herself), namely, TV Land Confidential,’ ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ ‘Saturday Night Fever: A 30 year Legacy,’ ‘Platforms and Polyester,’ ‘Making Soundtrack History,’ ‘Deejays and Discos,’ ‘Back to Bay Ridge,’ and ‘Famous,’ in 2007. Most of them were short documentaries, of which two were based on her movie ‘Saturday Night Fever.’
Between 2007 and 2010, she appeared in minor roles in the TV series ‘Crossing Jordan,’ ‘The Sopranos,’ and ‘Cold Case.’
From 2012 to 2017, she was cast in one-episode or two-episode roles in several series, such as ‘Body of Proof,’ ‘Operation Cupcake,’ ‘Child of the ‘70s,’ and ‘New Girl.’
In 2017, she was part of the TV movie documentary ‘Saturday Night Fever: The Ultimate Disco Movie.’ Between 2017 and 2018, she appeared in five episodes of ‘The Flash,’ as ‘Dr. Sharon Finkel.’
The year 2019 saw her appear in the movie ‘Carol of the Bells,’ portraying ‘Jackie.’
Family & Personal Life
In 1987, Pescow married Arnold Shepard Zelonka. They have a son, Jack Casey Zelonka, who was born in 1989. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
She had to audition six times for her role in the movie ‘Saturday Night Fever.’ The first three auditions were held for the initially appointed director, John G. Avildsen. The next three were held after his replacement, John Badham, took over.
She had to reacquire her Brooklyn accent for her role in the series. She had lost the accent while studying at ‘The Academy of Dramatic Arts.’
She acquired her driving license when she was 25 years old.

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