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August 10, 2012

Zina Bethune, Dancer, Choreographer, Actress

In addition to her work as a dancer, Bethune had roles in several daytime dramas, including Guiding Light and Santa Barbara.

Michael Levin

Zina Bethune, actress and New York City Ballet soloist, died on February 12, 2012, after being struck by a car while trying to help an injured animal on the side of the road. She was 66.

Bethune, who was always a lover of animals, saw the injured animal, later determined to be a dead possum, and stopped to help. She was struck by a car going the opposite direction.

Before founding the Los Angeles multimedia dance and theatrical company Theatre Bethune in 1980, she danced ballet on television and in the theatre. She performed The Nutcracker on television, and had parts in The Doctors and the Nurses and Love of Life before jumping to Broadway for Grand Hotel.

Additional television credits included episodes of such series as Route 66, Emergency!, Police Story and Party of Five.

Initially told she couldn't be a dancer due to scoliosis, lymphedema and dysplastic hips, Bethune was drawn to work with dancers with disabilities long after she stopped dancing.

She is survived by her husband Sean and her mother Ivy.

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