Biography

Petite brunette leading lady Theresa Saldana made her first film appearance in 1978's I Wanna Hold Your Hand. In 1980, Saldana was seen as Jake LaMotta's sister-in-law in Raging Bull and as Sophia Loren's sister Maria in the made-for-TV Sophia Loren: Her Own Story. That same year, she showed up in a traditional woman-in-peril role in Defiance. One of the most fervent fans of that film was a drifter by the name of Arthur Richard Jackson, who couldn't stand the thought of his beloved Saldana (whom he'd never met) being subjected to danger and evil. Reportedly, he decided then and there to "save" the actress by killing her himself. On March 15, 1982, Saldana was assaulted and nearly stabbed to death by Jackson. After a long and traumatic recuperation period, she organized Victims for Victims, a support group for other people who'd survived near-fatal attacks from "devoted admirers." Her own story was dramatized in the 1984 TV movie Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, in which she played herself. More recently, Theresa Saldana co-starred as Rachel Scale, wife of the title character, in the 1990s TV series The Commish, and hosted the Lifetime Cable Network "reality" series Confessions of Crime (1991). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi