Egads! Another Zena Bethune?

8 08 2007

Not to be upstaged by her pesky brother, our cat ZenaB must have her share of the spotlight in this blog. We named her ZenaB after a not-so-well-known actress (at least to us) named Zena Bethune. When my sister Debbie and I were younger, we would always try to guess who a particular actress or actor was and my Dad would always pipe in (from his prone position on the couch), “It’s Zena Bethune!” No matter what movie, no matter whether the unidentified person was male or female, his answer was always the same. So throughout the years Debbie and I never realized there really was someone named Zena Bethune…that is, until a movie we were watching ended and in the credit listing was Zena Bethune’s name. (We apologize to Dad for thinking he made up the name).

When we got our born-in-a-barn-to-a-barn-cat-mamma kitten, we were searching for an appropriate and highly original (or so we thought) name…Michael and I were at a crossroads until Debbie reminded me of what Dad would always say when we were at a loss for a name….so that’s how ZenaB got her moniker. If Debbie hadn’t piped in, ZenaB would be Sexy Sadie or something to that effect…and given her clumsiness (ZenaB, not Debbie), that name would have definitely been a misnomer. On the other hand, judging by the not-so-ladylike shot of her sprawled out below, Sexy Sadie might have been a better fit.

I always thought it was Zena Bethume (with an “m”). In searching for information on Zena Bethune (the actress, not the cat) on the Web, I actually found another cat named Zena Bethume Apparently the owner of this cat and I think alike about the misspelling! And here we thought we were being original!

Regarding the human ZenaB, I’ve discovered she was on the soap opera, Guiding Light, for a number of years in the ’50s and was in the movie, Mean Streets, with Harvey Keitel in 1973. On one Website, (no, I’m not a dancer nor do I have a fascination with ballet…the Web took me to some seemingly disconnected places in my research on ZenaB), someone wrote, “Does anyone remember Zena Bethune? I thought it fascinating when I was young that a ballet dancer would become a soap opera actress. This was back in the 60s. She later went on to star in a TV show called “The Nurses.” I seem to remember that after her television experiences, she went back to the performing arts in some capacity.”

She apparently started a dance company at some point—Zena Bethune Theatre Dance Co.

So, there you have it…the human ZenaB was a dancer prior to becoming someone whose name has inspired us (and apparently at least one other cat owner).

In the bottom photo, ZenaB serves as a consultant (and silent partner) to Michael as he starts his new business, JumpStart Computing.


© 2007 Cindy Dyer, All rights reserved.



2 responses

17 08 2010
david schneider

I knew Zena, dated her as a high school senior in 1959. We had a nice relationship until she was cast with Ralph Bellamy in “Sunrise to Campobello”, at which time she moved to California and I never heard from her again. Nice to know that there are other people out there who remember her. She was a sweet and caring young lady.

19 08 2010

Hi David! Thanks for the scoop—I think I’ll add your comment to my posting to give it some more exposure!

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