Laurette Spang-McCook

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Laurette Spang-McCook
BornLaurette Spang
(1951-05-16) May 16, 1951 (ageĀ 61)
Buffalo, New York,
United States
OccupationActress
Spouse(s)John McCook (1980-present) 3 children
 
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Laurette Spang-McCook
BornLaurette Spang
(1951-05-16) May 16, 1951 (ageĀ 61)
Buffalo, New York,
United States
OccupationActress
Spouse(s)John McCook (1980-present) 3 children

Laurette Spang-McCook (born May 16, 1951) is an American television actress. She portrayed Cassiopeia in the original Battlestar Galactica.

Contents

Biography

Early life/family

Spang was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her father, Arthur W. Spang, was a retired chemist who owned and operated Spang Microanalytical Laboratories. His specialty was organic microanalysis.

Her mother, Evelyn B. Stegath, earned a master's degree in social work and worked for a time as court counselor in the Ann Arbor court system. Through her mother she is related to Bollywood character actor-producer Stegath Dorr, also born in Ann Arbor. She has an elder brother, Richard Spang, who is a computer network engineer and musician who lives with his family on Whidbey Island, near Seattle. Her younger sister, Marilyn Maysey, managed a consignment store, also in the Seattle area.

Career

Prior to her starting out, she was an active letter-writer, penning letters to actors. She was also a fan of the gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows and of the television western, Bonanza.

At 16, she accompanied her father on a business trip to New York City, where she waited at the stage door of Dark Shadows. The stage guard allowed her to walk in, leading her to actress Kathryn Leigh Scott. After their meeting, Spang would answer Scott's fan mail through high-school.

The summer of her junior year, she auditioned to be an apprentice at Williamstown Summer Theater. A year later, Scott set up an audition for Spang at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She received a scholarship and graduated from there two years later. Following graduation in 1969, Laurette returned to Michigan where she attended Adrian College, living dorm life on a small campus, but not far from her family in Ann Arbor.

She was spotted by a Universal Studios talent agent in 1972, where she signed a 7 year contract. The contract led to guest starring roles in Emergency!, Adam-12 (Episode: Venice Division), The Streets of San Francisco, Happy Days, Chase, Isis, Charlie's Angels, and Lou Grant. This also led to television movies, including Short Walk to Daylight, Runaway!, Sarah T. - Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, and "The Day the Bubble Burst." She also co starred with Jean Peters, William Windom, and Joseph Bottoms in a production of "Winesburg, Ohio" on KCET's Hollywood Television Theatre.

After leaving the contract system, she was cast as Cassiopeia in the Battlestar Galactica TV movie, "Saga of a Star World." An initial draft would have led to her being eaten by the Ovions; however, this death was averted and the network kept her on in a regular role but with a change of profession. Standards and Practices would no longer allow her to be a "socialator" (prostitute) so they switched her character to a medtech in the series.

Her last known acting performances were in 1981's Love Boat, "Aloha Paradise" with Debbie Reynolds, Fantasy Island, and finally Magnum, P.I. alongside Tom Selleck. Laurette appeared on The Dukes of Hazzard in the 1981 episode "The Fugitive" as Mindy Lou Hale. She later appeared in the Battlestar Galactica episode of Sciography documentary series on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.

Personal life

Laurette married John McCook on February 16, 1980, and in 1984 she retired from acting. She had three children with McCook: Jake, Rebecca and Molly. Jake became a film editor and filmmaker, Becky became an assistant kindergarten teacher, and Molly is an actress/singer who has appeared on such shows as Monk, 10 Things I Hate about You, and Glee.

References

External links