A Dutch South African, Musetta Vander was raised without that most basic of modern conveniences–television! Radio programming, childhood books and weekend trips to the drive-in introduced her to the magical world of movies. It was not until the mid-’70s that South Africa finally got television, and the big black box in the family living room “miraculously” sprang to life.
However, as the daughter of a ballet teacher, Musetta was no stranger to the entertainment world and debuted on stage at the age of four. Her childhood was filled with numerous dance performances including “Giselle”, “Coppelia”, “The Student Prince” and “Showboat”, and, shortly after completing school, she qualified as a ballet teacher herself.
After earning a BA in Communications and Psychology, she landed the plum job as anchor host for an MTV-like television show in South Africa. One day, a handsome visiting American, Jeff Celentano, spotted her on television, made her his bride, and whisked her off to the very place she had always dreamed of–Hollywood.
Shortly after her arrival, she became part of the very world she used to host, appearing as the “dream girl” in more than 20 music videos for such top recording artists as Rod Stewart, Amy Grant, Tina Turner, Elton John and Chris Isaak.
It was her critically acclaimed stage performance in the original South African play “Soweto’s Burning”, about the trials of an interracial friendship in that racially segregated country, that provided her transition to the big screen. Musetta has since performed in numerous feature films, including collaborating with her husband on Under the Hula Moon (1995) and Gunshy (1998). She has also worked alongside such screen veterans as Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh and Will Smith in Wild Wild West (1999), George Clooney and John Turturro in O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) and John Hurt and Louis Gossett Jr. in Monolith (1993). She’s also added a slew of television credits to her arsenal, including guest appearances on the hit shows Star Trek: Voyager (1995), Stargate SG-1 (1997) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997).
Recently Musetta made a return to the stage, combining both her dance and acting background in an extremely successful adaptation of Molière’s “The Bourgeois Gentleman” at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.