NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — Friends, family and fans gathered in North Hollywood Thursday evening to honor the late actress and dancer Zina Bethune, killed tragically in a hit-and-run accident last month.

Bethune stopped to help a wounded animal on Forest Lawn Drive when police say she was struck by two cars. Neither of the vehicle stopped, said authorities.They also said the second car dragged her more than 600 feet.

Thursday night many of her fans, students she taught dance to, and family stopped to recall her life.

Bethune — also known by the name Zina Feeley — was at a time an acclaimed dancer. She overcame scoliosis and lymphedema to perform with the New York City Ballet at 14-years old. Bethune also worked as an actress in television, often appearing on daytime soaps.

Friends say Bethune, who was 66 at the time of her death, graced the stage with her elegance and touched hearts with her generosity.

In 1982, she launched Infinite Dreams, a dance and drama outreach program for children with disabilities.

Bethune was married to her husband for 42 years.

Comments (3)
  1. luckyfela1 says:

    i USED TO live near that area of Forest Lawn near Burbank many years ago. I know that road, and it isn’t treacherous, but it is a straight road where many people speed. Unfortunately there are many bars, restaurants in that area, and I suspect those two drivers were intoxicated, or unlicensed, illegal aliens, suspended licenses, or something else. You can imagine what kind of human being would do this kind of violent behavior.
    What a wonderful woman to give of herself. She will be missed. Is it possible that the function, that get together was FILMED. I know it’s a long shot, but perhaps one or both of these creeps felt bad enough to go to this function because of a guilty conscience. I really doubt it, but you never know how people like this operate. The police have facial recognition now, so you never know.
    When I lived in New York, I had season tickets to the ballet. It was a highlight of my life. such a great time to enjoy Jacque D’Ambois, and Eddy Villella., not to mention so many other great dancers. It’s possible that I may have seen her as she danced there.
    Those that suffer now, are those who are still living; knowing how she will be missed by her family and friends.

  2. John O'Toole says:

    Thanks, luckyfela1. Zina always had her productions taped. Her producers made sure this one was recorded as well. Good idea you had, but the camera was in the booth behind the audience, and so it was unlikely that it picked up any faces.

    Zina danced in New York from the 50s through the 60s as Ballanchine’s juvenile lead, and later prima ballerina. In 1991 she played the female lead in the Broadway production of “Grand Hotel.” So you may well have seen her if those years matched your stay in NYC.

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