Daily Archives: March 13, 2008

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Eye on Hollywood: The Other Zelda

March 13, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as ,

by Bobbie Cimo

I know being writers, probably the first person you think of when you hear the name Zelda, is the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. But actually there is another well known Zelda–or at least there is to us who work at CBS. Last year, while giving our 2007 Co-Presidents, Sue Phillips and Sandy Chvostal, a personal after-hours tour, I introduced them to her.

Meeting Zelda at first, you might think as though she’s led the same kind of life as the other famous Zelda– disheveled, and as thin as a rail. As a matter of fact, the bottom part of her body is a rail. Okay, it’s really a pole. You see, Zelda is a mannequin that gets rolled from stage to stage to check the color balance for our cameras–not so much now with the new technology. But back when color was new to TV, CBS use to hire models just to stand in front of the cameras to see how well different colors came across on the monitors. And whenever they couldn’t get a model for the job, they’d have to end up calling upon one of the secretaries and asking them to come to the stage to do the job for them.

When hiring a model or taking someone away from their job ended up being too costly, someone got the bright idea of getting mannequin, putting a black sweater on her and pinning swatches of material to her chest . . . and that’s how Zelda was invented. Below is a picture of the lovely lady, whose been a CBS icon, as far back as I can remember. Photographic credit goes to Sue Phillips and her wonderful camera.


Bobbie Cimo is the OCC/RWA Programs Director who has brought us such notable speakers as Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, Jackie Collins and Robert Crais.

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