Marilyn Lovell Matz

April 19:

   Seek goodness everywhere; and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it   be free ... and unashamed (William Saroyan) 

Marilynn Lovell Matz, beloved widow of the late, great arranger/musician Peter Matz died in Los Angeles this week after a 30-year battle with multiple sclerosis. Refusing to allow her illness to define her, Marilyn, an accomplished actress/singer went on to also become a highly regarded psychotherapist dealing mainly with AIDS patients and their caregivers. It was a cause close to her heart.

Marilyn was simply one of those  special people you never forget. She was a singer,and a mainstay on television in the 1950s (a regular on The Liberace Show) and in the 1960s (Broadway musical specials such as The Ziegfeld Touch and Hello, Dolly - 'Round the World, which chronicled her tour playing Mrs. Molloy to Mary Martin's Dolly.)

   As I mentioned, aside from her talents and persuing a career in show business, she would also go on  to become a renown and very respected psychotherapist in L.os Angeles - especially caring for AIDS patients and their caregivers. She and her brilliant musician husband Peter worked up an act and continued to sing throughout  the 1980s and 1990s in an eclectic,  polished  show they performed from living rooms to concert halls to cabarets (she had several highly successful engagements at Eighty Eight's - thanks to her dear friend and co-owner Erv Raible) and at many  benefits for numerous AIDS charities. She was always a highlight of the many benefits in L.A. raising funds  for a variety of charities. Whatever she did and whenever she could, like their album title, Marilyn said it with music. Knowing her was a gift. Her caring spirit and thoughtfulness of others will never be forgotten.

    Through it all, she fought her ongoing  battle with multiple sclerosis for more than three decades. Her  tireless fundraising efforts helped that cause greatly as well.  She passed away peacefully earlier this week as a result of MS.

 More about Marilyn Lovell Matz
 
Throughout her career, Marilyn Lovell Matz was  a versatile singer and actress,. She was at home in all media, Ms. Lovell's work in film included features roles in "Ghosts of Mississippi" (directed by Rob Reiner), "The Gifted," and "Through A Glass Darkly. "She consistently delighted viewers on major television talk shows, including The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Dick Cavett Show, The Steve Allen Show, The Mike Douglas Show, and The Merv Griffin Show.

In theater, Ms. Lovell garnered high praise for her portrayals of Mrs. Molloy in the international company of Hello Dolly!, starring Mary Martin, and of Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera (Reprise! Broadway in concert series, UCLA). She also triumphed in leading and featured roles in: Screen Test (Skylight Theater); Kiss Me Kate (Sacramento Music Circus); Pal Joey (Northwestern University); The Kitchen (L.A. Actor's Theater); The Hairy Ape (L.A. Actor's Theater); Journey to the Day (Melrose Theater); among other productions.

An ardent supporter of causes in which she believed, she sang at concerts for UNICEF and regularly performed benefit concerts for AIDS Project Los Angeles (including the S.T.A.G.E galas) and Shanti Foundation. She was a spokesperson for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is the recipient of their Champion of the Arts Award (New York, 1998) and their Hope for MS Award (Los Angeles). A psychology major at UCLA, Ms. Lovell maintained her career as a psychotherapist until a few years ago.

Their house was always hosting and mixing the famous and the struggling. Marilyn and Peter Matz were a match made in heaven ... and now they are.

Marilyn's favorite quote (which opened this column,) was from William Saroyan. is worth repeating.  Those words say it all about the lady and is the only appropriate way to close:  Seek goodness everywhere; and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let it be free - and unashamed.

Marilyn  Peter Matz