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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 4 November 1963Rothesay, Scotland, UK
Date of Death 1 October 1999Cardiff, Wales, UK  (bronchial pneumonia)
Birth NameLena Hilda Zavaroni
Height 4' 10½" (1.49 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lena Zavaroni was born on the 4th of November in the town of Rothesay, on the Isle of Bute, just off the West coast of Scotland. Although Scottish, her family was of Italian descent and she grew up in a musical environment, performing at an early age. As a ten year old, she appeared on the Thames Television talent show Opportunity Knocks (1956) at the end of 1973 where she topped the viewers voting polls for five weeks. Her recording of 'Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me' was rush released and early in 1974 reached #10 in the British charts as well as making the US charts. This secured her a place as the youngest-ever artist to appear on BBC Television's Top of the Pops (1964) show. Other singles such as '(You've Got) Personality' (#33 on the UK chart), 'Some of These Days'and 'Smile' as well as albums followed. Notable LPs included 'If My Friends Could See Me Now' and 'Presenting Lena Zavaroni', released in 1977 and including her versions of Dawn's 'Say Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose' and the Lynsey de Paul song 'Won't Somebody Dance With Me'.

Live performances quickly followed, including a show-stopping performance in a Hollywood charity show starring Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball as well as guest-starring on the The Carol Burnett Show (1967). She was even invited to go to the White House to sing for President Gerald Ford in 1974 and performed in the 1976 'Royal Variety Show'.

Notable TV appearances included The Morecambe & Wise Show (1968), Hi! Summer (1977), The Val Doonican Show (1970) and her own TV series called 'Lena Zavaroni and Music', the first of which was screened on BBC Television in May 1979. Sadly, Lena developed anorexia and spent many years fighting this devastating disease until she died in 1999.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Peter Wiltshire (30 September 1989 - 1991) (divorced)

Trivia (1)

During the late 1990s, living alone in her flat, receiving disability and help from the show business charity "The Water Rats", Lena was convinced that her last hope was to have neurosurgery to deal with her long time depression and anorexia. In Wales, at a Cardiff hospital, she underwent a psychosurgical operation. The operation involved inserting a probe into the brain to sever nerve pathways that control emotion. Lena was just 4' 10" tall and had battled anorexia nervosa since age 13, and felt she could not live with the increasing suffering. She felt depersonalized, with no future. On 7 September 1999, she underwent the surgery, but only three weeks later developed a chest infection and died from bronchial pneumonia. Dr. Lawrence Addicott recorded a verdict of death by "natural causes".

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