Carolyn Conwell of Long Beach, California, died peacefully, surrounded by her family on October 22, 2012.
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Born in Chicago in 1930 to Ernest and Sigrid Maier, Carolyn grew up surrounded by music and song, and exuberantly participated when her uncle's barbershop troupe "Dixie Harris and the Variety Four" came to the house.
She became fond of the performing arts, graduating from Lawrence College in Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts. She spent the following few years in summer stock with "The Peninsula Players" in Wisconsin, and often spoke fondly of having performed the role of Hedda Gabler during that time.
She went on to pursue a career in theatre, television and film, first in New York with the Dobbs Ferry Players, studying under Herbert Berghof, and finally in Los Angeles, studying with Jeff Corey. She played many roles, appearing in such films as 'The Torn Curtain' by Alfred Hitchcock, 'Adam at Six A.M.' starring Michael Douglas, and 'The Boston Strangler' starring Tony Curtis. Additionally, she appeared in many television series including 'Knots Landing', 'The Big Valley', 'Nanny and the Professor', 'Medical Center', and 'Little House on the Prairie'. In 1978 she was cast as Mary Williams on CBS's 'The Young & The Restless', a role she portrayed until 2004.
She was always so grateful to her fans throughout the world, her Y&R family, and particularly the hair and make-up crew. She also had a real mother-son bond with her on camera son played by actor Doug Davidson.
Carolyn enjoyed playing the piano, singing, playing golf, and animals. She had a deep appreciation for beauty, music and the stage. She will be remembered by all who knew and loved her for the passionate way in which she lived.
She is survived by her three children, Eric, Jim, and Ginger. A private memorial was held on December 2nd.
Carolyn was a long time donor to the World Wildlife Fund. Donations may be made in her honor at wwf.panda.org
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 9, 2012