Died June 25, 2011. Born August 28, 1947.
American actress and singer who began her career in 1959 in the Broadway musical Gypsy. Additional Broadway credits include Oliver!, Henry, Sweet Henry, Hello, Dolly!, Rumors, Seussical, and Caroline, or Change.
Her many off-Broadway credits include Promenade, The Last Sweet Days of Isaac, Up from Paradise, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Spoils of War, Four Short Operas, First Lady Suite, A Flea in Her Ear and National Lampoon's Lemmings.
Playten's screen credits include Ladybug Ladybug, I.Q., and Legend. She labored under heavy makeup and prosthetics in Legend, incidentally, to portray the character of 'Blixx', a major minion of the Lord of Darkness whom the latter addresses as his "most loathsome of goblins", she also dubbed the voice of Gump. She did voice work in several animated features, including Felix the Cat, Really Rosie, Heavy Metal, Doug and My Little Pony: The Movie.
She was a regular on the children's television series The Lost Saucer and That's Cat, appeared in National Lampoon's Disco Beaver from Outer Space during the early days of HBO, and has had guest shots on Frasier, Law & Order, Third Watch, and As the World Turns, among others.
Playten may be best-known for her role of the newlywed creating gastronomic delights for her husband (Terry Kiser) in a classic 1970 Alka-Seltzer commercial. Lying in bed, reliving the triumph of her first home-cooked meal (a single, monumental dumpling), she is oblivious to her spouse surreptitiously gulping a fizzy glassful behind her as she pores through a cookbook in search of recipes for her next menu. Her exultant cry of discovery, "marshmallowed meatballs and poached oysters!", became a popular catch phrase among television viewers throughout the country.