A redheaded actress best-known for her roles in the television shows "Welcome Back, Kotter" and "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," Debralee Scott built a solid career on her earthy city girl charms, slightly askew sex appeal and solid comedic delivery.
Born in Elizabeth, N.J., Scott came from a family of show business insiders. Her eldest sister Scott Bushnell produced many of director Robert Altman's films, while middle sister Jeri Scott was an agent-turned manager. The two older Scott sisters moved to San Francisco as young adults, and a few years later, their father told them their younger sister was "getting restless" and asked if she could join them. She completed high school in San Francisco while attending the American Conservatory Theatre. Scott eventually met an agent in Los Angeles, and got her first Her first film appearances were in "Dirty Harry" (1971) and "American Graffiti" (1973) as Harrison Ford's ride-along girlfriend, followed by appearances in several TV movies including NBC's "Lisa Bright and Dark," ABC's "A Summer Without Boys" (both 1973), and the Richard Donner-directed "Senior Year" (CBS, 1974), which became the "American Graffiti" and "Happy Days"-influenced TV series "Sons and Daughters" (CBS, 1974) in which she had a regular role as high school senior Evie Martinson.
Scott got major primetime exposure when she appeared on the hit ABC sit-com "Welcome Back, Kotter" in 1975 in a recurring role as class sexpot Rosalie "Hotzi" Totzi (she would reprise the role for an episode built around her character in 1978. At age 22 Scott landed her most well-known role, playing of Cathy Shumway, the younger sister of series star Louise Lasser on the syndicated soap opera parody "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (1976-1978), a role she carried over into the spin-off series "Forever Fernwood" (syndicated, 1977-1978). She also appeared in the short-lived but well-executed series "Angie" (ABC, 1979-1980) as Marie Falco, the younger sister of the title character (Donna Pescow). She was a frequent guest on 70s-era game shows, including "The Match Game" and "Password Plus."
Scott would later have a role in first and third instalments of the "Police Academy" movies in the early 1980s and would appear in her final feature, the drama "Misplaced" in 1989. She later joined her sibling Jerri in the talent management field before ultimately leaving Hollywood, and was engaged to John Levi, a police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Scott died at age 52 in 2005.