Laurette Spang-McCook

Laurette Spang-McCook (born May 16, 1951) is an American television actress. She is well known to science fiction fans for her portrayal of Cassiopeia in the original Battlestar Galactica. An official website for Spang was launched on April 16, 2005.


Early life

Spang was born in Buffalo and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Her father, Arthur W. Spang is a retired chemist who owned and operated Spang Microanalytical Laboratories. His specialty was organic microanalysis. Laurette's mother, Evelyn B. Stegath has a masters degree in social work and worked for a time as court counselor in the Ann Arbor court system. Laurette has an older brother, Richard, who is now a successful computer engineer and lives with his family on Whidbey Island, near Seattle, Washington. Laurette's younger sister, Marilyn Maysey is the manager of a popular consignment store, also in the Seattle area.


Laurette had what some would call an interesting start in show-business. Prior to her starting out, she was an active letter-writer, penning letters to actors. She was also a "huge fan" of the gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows and of the TV western, Bonanza.

At 16, she accompanied her father on a business trip to New York City, where she waited at the stage door of Dark Shadows. In an event likely out of place in today's society, the stage guard allowed her to walk right in, leading her to actress Kathryn Leigh Scott. After their meeting, Spang would answer Scott's fan mail through high-school.

The summer of her junior year, she auditioned to be an apprentice at Williamstown Summer Theater. A year later, Scott set up an audition for Spang at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She received a scholarship and graduated from there 2 years later. Following graduation in 1969, Laurette returned to Michigan where she attended Adrian College, living dorm life on a small campus, but not far from her family in Ann Arbor.

She was spotted by a Universal Studios talent agent in 1972, where she signed a 7 year contract. The contract led to guest starring roles in many shows, including Emergency!, Adam-12, The Streets of San Francisco, Happy Days and Charlie's Angels. This also led to television movies, including Short Walk to Daylight, Runaway!, and Sarah T. - Portrait of an Alcoholic and "The Day the Bubble Burst". She also co starred with Jean Peters, William Windom, and Joseph Bottoms in a production of "Winesburg, Ohio" on KCET's Hollywood Television Theatre.

After leaving the contract system, she was cast as Cassiopeia in the Battlestar Galactica TV movie, "Saga of a Star World". An initial draft would have led to her being eaten by the Ovions; however, this death was averted and the network kept her on in a regular role but with a change of profession. Standards and Practices would no longer allow her to be a "socialator" (prostitute) so they abruptly switched her character to a medtech) in the series.

Her last performances in were in 1981's Love Boat, "Aloha Paradise" with Debbie Reynolds, Fantasy Island and finally Magnum, P.I. Laurette appeared on the Dukes of Hazzard in the 1981 episode "The Fugitive" as Mindy Lou Hale. She later appeared in the Battlestar Galactica episode of Sciography, documentary series on the Sci-Fi Channel in 2002.

Personal life

She fell in love with John McCook and they married on February 16, 1980. In 1984, Spang retired to be an 'at home mom'. She has three children with McCook: Jake, Becky, and Molly. Jake is a film editor and filmmaker, Becky is an assistant kindergarten teacher and Molly is pursuing an acting and singing career.

Spang was a supporter of Glen A. Larson's initial revival efforts, believing that the creator had the right to do whatever he pleased with his creation.


External links

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