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Alice Backes Citron

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CITRON , Alice Backes
Virginia Beach, VA - Alice Mayrine Backes Citron passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 15, 2007, at Virginia Beach Estates where she had been living since mid-October of last year.
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 17, 1923, she was a long-time resident of the Hollywood area where she worked and enjoyed a far-reaching and productive career as an actress - specializing in dialects and character roles. She was a member of the Hollywood Presbyterian Church.
She was the widow of Milton Citron who died in April of 1983. They enjoyed some 20 years as husband and wife and were a great team in the industry, as Milton was a film editor.
Alice was the first daughter of the late Lela and Charles Backes and was predeceased by her younger sister, Lorraine in 2000. She is survived by another younger sister, Virginia Baxter, and her four children. Alice's nieces and nephew were deeply loved by her and she doted on them and their activities: niece Carol Chamberlin and husband Terry and their four children Holly, Nick, Tracy, and Andy of Mesilla, New Mecixo - nephew Paul Baxter and his wife Carolyn and their daughter, Amy of Virginia Beach, CA - niece Jean Creamer and husband Kevin and their two daughters, Colette and Lela of Richmond, VA - and niece Janet Rittenhouse and husband Jim and their two daughters, Katie and Anna of Louisville, KY. Three-quarters of the family were together this last Christmas with Alice and it was a most happy and memorable time.
Alice came back to Virginia in October of 2006 to be closer to her family who adored her - and many merry times together over the years will be fondly remembered and cherished, amply saturated with great humor and fun. She was one remarkable lady.
Alice's credits as an actress are many, many, many - too many to list here. She worked with the "cream of the crop" in acting colleagues and productions friends. She was highly regarded and received many accolades in her work - which was considerable. Among some of the known names were Debbie Reynolds, Susan Hayward, Glenn Ford, John Forsythe with repeat performances on such shows as Columbo, Welcome Back Kotter, Mayberry R.F.D., Dragnet, Gunsmoke , Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Andy Griffith Show, and literally hundreds more.
In addition to her active role in radio, movies and TV, she was also a most prominent participant in many charities and industry roles - having chaired and/or been on the board of AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), SAG (Screen Actors' Guild), Theatre West, Pioneer Broadcasters, UNICEF, WAIF, The Children's Fund and many more with a focus on children's charities. At one of the GALA's she charied is a photo of her with Bob Hope on one side and then Governor Ronald Reagan on the other side.
A graduate of the University of Utah, Alice was Concert Mistress of the University Symphony Orchestra of Utah, a highly gifted group of musicians. At the Baccalaureate Service prior to her graduation, she was selected and honored to play a violin solo at that service - a gift to her family in attendance - as a surprise and delight as she had kept it a secret. (She was really good at happy surprises!... all her life.)
Following her graduation and some family time in Bozeman, Montana, where the grandparents lived, Alice joined the WAVES and enjoyed that experience, as well - driving "the brass" all over Chicago and San Francisco... usually in a Jeep!
Everywhere she has been she has formed life-long friends - some dating back to her kindergarten days - even today they are in touch.
Following the end of World War II, Alice started on her acting career in Hollywood, and some six decades later, the respect and love for her among her peers has never diminished.
Her love of music - classical, Broadway, choral and more - she kept learning and educating herself in her many areas of interest including the great artists and their masterpieces, theatre, wildlife welfare, and the promotion of fairness and equality in the industry. She loved to travel and did so extensively here and abroad.
The family thanks with full hearts the staff and caregivers at Virginia Beach Estates, and also the Heartland folks, who knew Alice and cared for her so lovingly. And also special thanks for their love and loyalty to Alice go to Jeanine Anderson and neighbors Bruce McPherson and Jay Gibson for their constant caring and cheerful visits to Alice while she was still in California.
Alice's family and many friends in California will greatly miss her cheerful aura, her bright conversations, her well-known wit and hummor - and her compassion for all people.
A celebration of her life was held Sunday. Cremation arrangements by the Neptune Society are being handled as Alice preferred, with her ashes scattered over the Pacific.
Holloman - Brown Funeral Home handled the local arrangements.


Published in the Los Angeles Times on Mar. 27, 2007
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