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Theresa Saldana

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Occupation  Actress
Children  Tianna Peters
Role  Actress
Name  Theresa Saldana
Years active  1978–2004

Theresa Saldana darkdeedssusanfleetcominnovaeditorassetsBWT

Born  August 20, 1954 (age 61) (1954-08-20) New York, New York, U.S.
Books  Beyond Survival, The Almost Murder and Other Stories
Spouse  Phil Peters (m. 1989), Fred Feliciano
Parents  Tony Saldana, Divina Saldana
Movies and TV shows  Raging Bull, The Commish, The Evil That Men Do, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Defiance
Similar People  Cathy Moriarty, Rebecca Schaeffer, Kaj‑Erik Eriksen, Robert John Bardo, Jake LaMotta

Victim for victims the theresa saldana story 1984

Theresa Saldana (August 20, 1954 – June 6, 2016) was an American actress and author. She is known for her role as Rachel Scali, the wife of Police Commissioner Tony Scali, in the 1990s television series The Commish, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, in 1994. Major film roles include the part of 'Lenore La Motta', the wife of Joe Pesci's character, in the 1980 feature film Raging Bull and Robert Zemeckis's Beatlemania ensemble I Wanna Hold Your Hand. She was also known for raising public awareness of the crime of stalking, after surviving a murder attempt by an obsessed fan in 1982.


Theresa Saldana Theresa Saldana Shameful Secrets original 7x9 Photo K4588

Theresa Saldana inverviewed by Rian Keating

Early life

Theresa Saldana Theresa Saldana Sitcoms Online Photo Galleries

Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was adopted at five days old by Divina and Tony Saldana, a family of Puerto Rican and Italian-American heritage.

Theresa Saldana Theresa Saldana inverviewed by Rian Keating YouTube

Saldana took dance lessons as a child. After suffering a serious shoulder injury while part of a tumbling team, she enrolled in acting classes at age 12. After being spotted by a talent scout while performing in an Off Broadway musical called The New York City Street Show in 1977, she was cast in the 1978 film Nunzio.

Stalking incident

Theresa Saldana Raging Bull actress Theresa Saldana dead aged 61 three decades after

On March 15, 1982, Saldana was the stalking victim of Arthur Richard Jackson, a 46-year-old drifter from Aberdeen. Jackson became attracted to Saldana after seeing her in the 1980 films Defiance and Raging Bull. He obtained Saldana's address by hiring a private investigator to obtain the unlisted phone number of Saldana's mother. Jackson then called Saldana's mother and posed as Martin Scorsese's assistant, saying he needed Saldana's residential address in order to contact her for replacing an actress in a film role in Europe.

Jackson approached Saldana in front of her West Hollywood residence in broad daylight and stabbed her in the torso 10 times with a 5½-inch (14 cm) knife, nearly killing her. His attack was so fierce that the blade bent. Although there were many nearby onlookers including children, the attack was interrupted only when deliveryman Jeff Fenn intervened after hearing her cries, rushed from the second floor of an apartment building, and subdued Jackson. Saldana recovered after four hours of surgery and a four-month hospital stay at the Motion Picture Hospital. She relived the incident in the made-for-TV movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story and again in an episode of Hunter.

Theresa Saldana Raging Bull actress Theresa Saldana dies at 61 CBS News

Jackson served almost 14 years in prison for the assault and making subsequent threats against Saldana and her rescuer while in prison. He was then extradited to the United Kingdom in 1996 to be tried for a 1966 robbery and murder. Jackson (who once saw himself as "the benevolent angel of death") was found not guilty by diminished responsibility in 1997 and committed to a British psychiatric hospital, where he died of heart failure in 2004 at age 68.

Theresa Saldana The Commish and Raging Bull star Theresa Saldana dead at 61

Jackson's method to find and approach Saldana inspired stalker Robert John Bardo to hire a private investigator to contact Rebecca Schaeffer, a young actress whom he subsequently murdered, also in West Hollywood, in 1989.

Victim advocacy

Theresa Saldana Raging Bull star Theresa Saldana dies at age 61 Daily Mail Online

Following her long recovery, Saldana founded the Victims for Victims organization and participated in lobbying for the 1990 anti-stalking law and the 1994 Driver's Privacy Protection Act, both of which came into being partly as a consequence of the attack. The experience also inspired Saldana to play herself in the television movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, and she authored the book Beyond Survival, a memoir of her experiences after being attacked.

Performing arts advocacy

Saldana supported awareness for The Jazz Tap Ensemble, of which her daughter is a member. The group raises money for training gifted teenage dancers.


Saldana died at age 61 on June 6, 2016, following her hospitalization for pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Michael Chiklis, who played Saldana's husband on The Commish, wrote that it was "painful to hear the news".


  • Saldana, Theresa (1986). Beyond Survival. Toronto: Bantam Books. ISBN 9780553051339. OCLC 13582610. 
  • References

    Theresa Saldana Wikipedia