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Debbie Weems
Born Deborah Weems
February 3, 1951(1951-02-03)
Houston, Texas, United States
Died February 22, 1978 (aged 27)
New York City, New York, United States

Deborah "Debbie" Weems (February 3, 1951 - February 22, 1978) was an American actress and singer. She is best remembered for her recurring roles on Captain Kangaroo.

Contents

Biography

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Early life

Weems was born in Houston, Texas to Benjamin and Rowene Weems, in a family with five sisters. During childhood her parents separated and each remarried. The family later relocated to Marlin, a town northwest of Houston.

During the 1960s, Weems attended the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She played a lead role in productions such as Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, and The Miracle Worker, as well as smaller roles in many other productions. She also attended the Boston Conservatory of Music for two years ('68/'70) where she captured leading roles in two major productions - Carnival and Once Upon A Mattress. Weems later moved to New York City, where she appeared in an Off Broadway musical, Godspell. Weems was also a regular stock player at the Lakewood Theatre in Barnesville, Pennsylvania during 1970. Weems also appeared in various commercials.

Captain Kangaroo

From 1973 to 1977, Weems appeared as a regular on the hit CBS daily children's series, Captain Kangaroo. In 1976, songs from the television series sung by Weems was released on an album, Debbie Weems Sings Songs from Captain Kangaroo, published by Wonderland Records. She was later featured in an article in the October 23, 1976 edition of TV Guide, called Don’t Tell Your Mom About Debbie, which was about her career on Captain Kangaroo.

Final years

During her final years, Weems struggled with mental illness and reportedly chain smoked and used illegal drugs. Others have reported that Weems had relationship problems and that a failed courtship fueled her demise. Weems also suffered from typecasting, in which people always identified her as "that cute girl on Captain Kangaroo", hindering her ability to get roles for movies and television programs geared toward an audience other than children. During her tenure on the show, Weems' only other role during this time was in the 1977 movie, Between the Lines where she played a small role of "Annie One". Shortly before her death, Weems was admitted to a mental treatment facility.

Death

On February 22, 1978, Weems left a treatment facility with an attendant to return to her New York City apartment to get some personal items. Shortly after ariving, Weems escaped her escort and leaped to her death from the 16th floor of that building. Her death has been considered a suicide. Graveside funeral services were held February 25, 1978 at the family plot in Marlin, Texas.

Despite her death, episodes starring Weems continued to be televised through the Summer of 1978.[1]

References

Sources

  • Bob Keeshan, Growing Up Happy ISBN 0-425-12315-4

External links


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