Childhood & Early Life
Wendie Jo Sperber was born on September 15, 1958, in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Burton and Charlene Sperber were her parents. There is no public information about her siblings.
From her high school days, Sperber was interested in building a career in performing arts. She attended the ‘Teenage Drama Workshop’ conducted by the ‘California State University,’ which helped her to kick-start her acting career.Career
In 1978, Sperber started her career in movies. During the drama workshop that Sperber attended, she was noticed by producer, Allan Carr. He offered her an unbilled role in his musical comedy movie, ‘Grease.’ In the same year, Sperber was offered the role of ‘Kuchinsky,’ in the adventure comedy movie, ‘Corvette Summer.’
In 1978, Wendie Jo Sperber was offered a major role in the comedy movie, ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ The film was about the extreme fan frenzy around the English rock band, ‘Beatles.’ In the movie, Sperber performed as ‘Rosie Petrofsky.’ Though it was not a success at the box office, the movie helped Sperber in establishing herself as an actress.
In 1979, Sperber was cast in the lead role in the TV movie, ‘Dinky Hocker.’ It was a teen drama movie about an oversized teenager who turned to food as a source of comfort, when she felt neglected by everyone. Sperber performed as the protagonist, ‘Susan “Dinky” Hocker.’ In the same year, Sperber performed as ‘Maxine Dexheimer,’ in the period comedy movie, ‘1941.’ It was directed by Steven Spielberg.
In 1980, Wendie Jo Sperber was cast in the sitcom, ‘Bosom Buddies,’ which was aired on the ‘NBC’ network. It told the story of two single men who disguised themselves as women, so that they could live in affordable apartments. In the series, Sperber performed as ‘Amy Cassidy,’ who was a co-worker of the protagonists, and knew all their secrets. In the series, Sperber co-starred with Tom Hanks. She remained on the show till 1982.
From 1982 to 1983, Sperber performed as ‘Pvt. Stacy Kouchalakas,’ in the American sitcom, ‘Private Benjamin.’ It was based on a movie of the same name, and was aired on the ‘CBS’ network. It was about a young socialite trying to adjust to life in the army. In 1984, Sperber performed as ‘Dr. Tina Gassko,’ in the American comedy movie, ‘Bachelor Party.’
In 1984, Wendie Jo Sperber was seen in a supporting role in the comedy movie, ‘Moving Violations.’ She performed as ‘Joan Pudillo.’ In the same year, she performed as ‘Linda McFly,’ in the science fiction movie, ‘Back to the Future.’ In 1987, Sperber performed as ‘Pam,’ in the sitcom, ‘Women in Prison,’ which was aired on the ‘Fox’ network. The show told the story of a group of female prisoners.
In 1990, Sperber reprised the character of ‘Linda McFly,’ in the movie, ‘Back to the Future Part III.’ In the same year, she performed as ‘Anita Cox,’ in the drama movie, ‘The Image.’ From 1990 to 1991, Sperber performed the lead role in the TV series, ‘Babes.’ It was aired on the ‘Fox’ network. The series was a light hearted comedy that told the story of three sisters who were obese. Sperber performed as one of the sisters, ‘Charlene Gilbert.’
In the 1990s, Sperber was cast in single episodes of series such as ‘Fortune Hunter,’ ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘Will and Grace,’ and ‘Unhappily Ever After.’ From 1992 to 1993, she performed as ‘Mavis Davis,’ in the TV sitcom, ‘Hearts Afire.’ Sperber performed in several movies too, which included ‘Love Affair,’ ‘Mr. Payback: An Interactive Movie,’ and ‘Desperate But Not Serious.’
In 2002, Sperber performed as ‘Professor Bendler,’ in the comedy movie, ‘Sorority Boys.’ In 2003, she was seen in single episodes of the series, ‘JAG,’ and ‘Touched by an Angel.’ Sperber’s last work was lending voice for the series, ‘American Dad!’ which was aired after her death.
Family & Personal Life
In 1983, Wendie Jo Sperber married Richard Velasquez. They have two children, son Preston, and daughter Pearl. The couple got divorced in 1994.
In 1997, Sperber was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent treatment, and remained active in her profession even during this period. In 2001, she founded the organization, ‘weSPARK Cancer Support Center.’ It was aimed at providing emotional support to individuals suffering from cancer, and guiding their families in the right way.
In 2002, Sperber’s cancer resurfaced. It had spread throughout her body. Although Sperber underwent an experimental brain radiation therapy, it did not yield results. She breathed her last on November 29, 2005. She was forty seven years old.
Sperber was the subject of the documentary, ‘The Show Must Go On,’ directed by Beth Murphy. It shows the spirit with which Sperber battled her illness.