Donna Pescow Poster


Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (11)

Overview (2)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Height 5' 1" (1.55 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Donna Pescow was born on March 24 1954 in Brooklyn, New York. She got her big break co-starring with John Travolta in the iconic motion picture Saturday Night Fever (1977), she followed up as the star of the popular sitcom Angie (1979), and has been working steadily on stage, film and television ever since.

After her mother took her to see the Broadway show "Funny Girl" for her 13th birthday, Donna realized that the stage held the key to her future; she set her sights on becoming an actress. Awarded a scholarship to study at New York's prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts, upon graduation she landed a featured role in the touring company of "Ah Wilderness", starring Barbara Bel Geddes and Richard Kiley. After the play's run, she resumed her studies in New York City with the legendary Lee Strasburg, and later in Los Angeles with renowned teacher Milton Katselas.

Following the release of Saturday Night Fever (1977), and with the subsequent acclaim for her performance as Annette, Donna was nominated for "Best Supporting Actress" by the New York Film Critics Circle, among other accolades. For her role as Angie Falco, on the popular sitcom Angie (1979) with Robert Hays, she garnered a People's Choice Award nomination for "Favorite Actress in a Television Comedy", and a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Best Actress in a Comedy Series".

As a singer, Donna performed her successful cabaret act in New York City and Los Angeles; she also starred in productions of "A...My Name is Alice", "Grease", "Guys & Dolls", and the critically-acclaimed Wendy Wasserstein play "Isn't It Romantic".

Donna made history with a groundbreaking role on All My Children (1970), as Dr. Lynn Carson, the first lesbian character on daytime television. The limited run won the actress accolades and a Media Award from AGLA for her sensitive, stereotype-smashing portrayal. Another guest appearance on General Hospital (1963) delighted her daytime fans as the quirky and controlling Gertrude Morgan.

Donna starred on the fantasy sitcom Out of This World (1987) opposite the legendary voice of Burt Reynolds, and as Eileen Stevens, Shia LaBeouf's mother on Even Stevens (2000), for which she received three Emmy nominations. Donna is a constant presence in television and film, with guest-starring appearances on such series as NYPD Blue (1993), Nash Bridges (1996), Clueless (1996), The Sopranos (1999), Crossing Jordan (2001), Cold Case (2003), Body of Proof (2011), among many others. Films include Jake Speed (1986) with John Hurt, Dead Husbands (1998) with John Ritter, the HBO miniseries Glory Years (1987), the period drama The Day the Bubble Burst (1982), and Hallmark's Operation Cupcake (2012), not to mention several.

Donna has worked as a director as well an actress. Along with several theatre projects in Los Angeles and regionally, she has been behind the camera on the television series Harry and the Hendersons (1991), Even Stevens (2000) and That's So Raven (2003).

Donna currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband Arnold Zelonka and their son Jake Casey Zelonka.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: The Gage Group

Spouse (1)

Arnold Shepard Zelonka (November 1987 - present) (1 child)

Trivia (11)

Did not gain weight for her role in Saturday Night Fever (1977), however, she lost 15 lbs prior to the release.
Did not have a driver's license until she was 25 years old.
Studied at the American Academy of the Arts, where she lost her native Brooklyn accent. She had to relearn the accent for her role in Saturday Night Fever (1977).
She took drama classes with Rocky (1976) co-star Carl Weathers.
Her father owned and managed a news stand in downtown New York City at Battery Place. He had Donna's resume photo on display among others.
Auditioned six times for the role of Annette in Saturday Night Fever (1977) - three times for original director John G. Avildsen then, after he was fired, three more times for replacement director John Badham - before she got the role.
During the second season of the fantasy sitcom Out of This World (1987), Pescow became pregnant. Since this could not be explained how her character became pregnant while her husband was away fighting a war, Pescow was filmed using only close-up shots or position so that something was hiding her pregnancy.
Attended and graduated from Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1972.
Has one son: Jack Casey Zelonka (born 1989).
Currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
She is of Russian Jewish descent.

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