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August 6, 1925 - June 26, 2008

Actress, Host, DGA Director, WGA Writer, Former VP of Women in Film, Author, Teacher and Private Coach passed away at her Studio City home on Thursday, June 26, 2008 after a 40 year battle with breast cancer complicated by recent onset of congestive heart disease. Born in Paris to mother, Emilia Speltiens Zemoz of France and father, Pantion Pierre Zemoz of Italy, this beautiful, kind spirited, courageous and intelligent woman credited her parents for teaching her "to care, to love, to learn and to pass it on". With her feet planted firmly on the ground Lilyan Chauvin hoped for the best and made her dreams come true not only for herself but for innumerable others. Chauvin's life was a successful journey; forever moving forward in spite of any challenge and difficulty. She was an inspiration to all. Nominated for the Emmy Award in "The Young and the Restless" her dedication to the arts won her recognition to for Excellence in moral quality media. As Producer & Director, she won the 1991 "Angel Award" for the program "Hollywood Structured", appearing weekly as the host for cable television with some of the top names in show business. To comedy fans she's more recently recognized for her appearances in "Ugly Betty" and the long running television hit series "Frasier". Chauvin is also known for her roles in Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can", the Coen brothers' "The Man Who Wasn't There", Stephan Hopkins' "Predator 2" and she is also widely recognized for her role as Mrs. Tremont in "Private Benjamin". Chauvin was a series regular on "Days of Our Lives" and "The Young and Restless". She held recurring roles on "Mission Impossible", "General Hospital" and "Falcon Crest". Some of Chauvin's more recent television credits include "Friends", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "ER", "Malcolm in the Middle", "Alias", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation", "The X-Files" and "Murder She Wrote". She was on the Women's Steering Committee of the DGA with over 35 credits as a Director since 1979 and was a 39 year member of Women in Film serving on the Board five times, twice as WIF's Board Vice President. Lilyan Chauvin was also one of Hollywood's most prominent, sought after and respected acting and directing coaches in the industry. She taught privately and at USC and UCLA. Lilyan was loved by many and will be missed by all. She touched the lives of numerous people through her creative and inspirational work. She is survived by family, friends and students. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association for Women and the Wilderness Society. Regarding Memorial Services: - By Katia Louise

To my Family, Friends, Students, Fellow Actors and my Industry as a whole, I have not left you... you made me who I am or who I was... I tried to guide and learn from you. If you look in the mirror, I will be there- because I have looked into your souls. I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you making my life here so complete. Merci - and be kind to each other... Lilyan Chauvin

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Jun. 29 to Jul. 6, 2008.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by A very greatful Acting student (USC)
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6 entries
November 3, 2016
I am better late than never. I just learned of your death today. I feel ashamed that I come now and not sooner to pay my respects. But, in truth I was just one of her students at USC approximately in 1978. At least I was able to front the money to restore Ms. Chauvin's guest book in her honor. I remember taking her acting class at USC's famous Mudd Hall for one semester. I was very motivated to learn my lines for her, and prepare to deliver them for her critique. I loved her French accent and Remember her complimenting me on my style. Her instructions were very professional and I was honored to be under her tutlage. I listened and work so diligently to please her each week as I was told she was the only woman in the director's guild at that time, all the others being just men. I never worked so hard or wanted to do my best at something before being in her class. I got an A in her class. I decided not to be an actor for personal reasons, but I will always remember my acting coach, Lilian Chauvin! maybe we will get a chance to meet up there, one day.
Richard Kavonian Jr
July 21, 2008
I never met Lilyan but read her beautiful L.A. Times obit, in which she was quoted as saying, "I am eternally grateful for each and every one of you." It was wonderful to see someone who put others first and I kept her obit handy as a reminder of an ideal priority.

She was a busy actress, director, writer, host, teacher, activist, board member, coach and a woman who made her voice heard. I suspect she was also a life long devoted student and a very good listener and problem solver for others, someone people could really depend on.

For all the lives she touched in such a warm and loving way, she will live on in each heart, and we are all a little better because she was with us.
Dick Kazan
July 6, 2008
I first met Lilyan some 30 years ago through the acting workshop known as FIWI where Lil was a teacher. She became a great friend and I found her to be a wonderful instructor. She was always so giving of herself in so many ways.
The news of her death came as a great shock to me and I shall miss her greatly.

Joe Goddard
Joe Goddard
July 6, 2008
I met Lilyan Chauvin in the summer of 1970. I was a 22 year old struggling young actress attending a workshop at CBS Studios. Lilyan was one of the coaches. I was immediately drawn to this charismatic woman who seemed so eager to share her knowledge. She had an energy that was so exciting. Lilyan was unique.

Raised in war-torn Europe she managed to not only survive, but rise above the oppression surrounding her young life and I think that is a principal ingredient of Lilyan's essence. She was always a survivor and always thought positively even when faced with insurmountable odds.

Lilyan was a born teacher. She once told me that her life was made whole by the knowledge that she passed on to others. She said, "Elissa, if you can pass one bit of knowledge to another living soul -- your life will have not been in vain." "Knowledge" she said, "is the key to life." I have never forgotten her words and I have adopted her concept for my own life's purpose.

Lilyan was rock-steady and unwavering in her relationships -- be it family, friends, colleagues or students. If you were in her life -- you would always be in her life. She had an enormous heart and only equaled by her compassion

I learned so much from Lilyan. Not just about acting, or the French language -- but rather about life and what made it worthwhile. She told me to be a sponge and learn all I could about people, ideas and life in general.

My favorite expression of hers was: "Turn the camera around." I have applied that throughout my life. What it meant was -- there are two sides two everything and in order to understand both sides you must "turn the camera around" -- look at things from the other side.

In front of the camera she was Lilyan Chauvin -- a fascinating character to watch -- so believable. Behind the camera she was Lilyan Chauvin -- a bold and energetic director -- unafraid to try something different. And like the camera -- she had an eye for the truth. The "camera doesn't lie", she would say.

Yet in her home she was just Lily -- a woman who loved to read anything and everything. She loved to watch movies; she loved spending time with family and friends and she loved to teach. She was also at one with nature. Over the years she had many dogs and cats (all strays). She loved the birds and squirrels that made her yard their sanctuary. But to her, they weren't just birds and squirrels. Each bird was special; each squirrel had their own distinct personality. And they trusted her enough to eat from her hand.

My life would have been very different had I not known Lily. It was she who opened my young eyes and made me challenge myself to be the best I could be and to chart unknown avenues with fortitude.
My respect, gratitude and love will be as eternal as the legacy that Lilyan left here on earth.

As George Carlin wrote, "life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Thank you Lily for so many breatheless moments.

I loved you then Lilyan -- I love you still.
Elissa Lynn
June 30, 2008
to my friend and colleague -

thank you for sharing so much....

bon soir,

Jerold Franks
Past President
Casting Society of America
Jerold Franks
June 29, 2008
I studied under Lilyan at Columbia Studio's Film Industry Workshop. She was the best director there and a fun and loving person. I send my best thoughts to her friends and family.
Sandy St.John
Sandy St John
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