‘Back to the Future’ actress Wendie Jo Sperber dead at 47
Wendie Jo Sperber, best known for her roles as Amy Cassidy in the Tom Hanks-Peter Scolari early ’80s sitcom Bosom Buddies and as Linda McFly in the Robert Zemeckis-directed blockbuster Back to the Future, died at her home in the Los Angeles suburb of Sherman Oaks on November 29, 2005, following an eight-year battle with breast cancer. Sperber (born in Los Angeles on Sep. 15, 1958) was 47.
Wendie Jo Sperber movies: Major scene-stealer
Wendie Jo Sperber was featured in about 20 films over the course of a quarter of a century. Among these were Robert Zemeckis’ Beatlemania-themed box office disappointment I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), toplining Nancy Allen; Steven Spielberg’s costly comedy flop 1941 (1979), in which Sperber’s wild jitterbugging is the film’s hilarious highlight; the teen-oriented comedy Bachelor Party (1984), stealing the show from fellow Bosom Buddies alumnus Tom Hanks; and Glenn Gordon Caron’s poorly received remake of Leo McCarey’s Love Affair (1939) and An Affair to Remember (1957) – Love Affair (1994), starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and notable as veteran Katharine Hepburn’s last film appearance.*
Additionally, Sperber was featured in two other Robert Zemeckis movies, both considerably more successful than their late ’70s collaboration: the aforementioned Back to the Future (1985) and one of its sequels, Back to the Future Part III (1990), both starring Michael J. Fox. In the films, Sperber played Linda McFly, the older sister of Fox’s Marty McFly.
According to the IMDb, Wendie Jo Sperber’s final big-screen role was in the 2003 release My Dinner with Jimi, directed by Bill Fishman, and featuring Kramer vs. Kramer‘s Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Justin Henry.
On television, besides Bosom Buddies (1980-1982), Wendie Jo Sperber had recurring roles in a handful of sitcoms, including Private Benjamin (1981-1983), starring Lona Patterson, and Babes (1990-1991), also featuring Lesley Boone and Susan Peretz.
Sperber also had guest roles in about thirty other TV shows, among them Knots Landing, Designing Women, Murphy Brown, Will & Grace, Married with Children, Touched by an Angel, and Home Improvement. She was last seen in American Dad‘s 2006 episode “Roger ‘n’ Me.”
weSPARK Cancer Support Center
After her breast cancer diagnosis in 1997, Wendie Jo Sperber dedicated herself to fighting the disease and to helping others cope with it, founding the weSPARK Cancer Support Center in Sherman Oaks in 2001. Two years earlier, she had been named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women.