Actress with leading roles on Broadway and TV, director & producer, dearest wife, mother & grandmother, of Jersey City, 67 Lisa Brown Neary (67) of Jersey City, NJ was born in Overland Park, KS on August 2, 1954 to James D. Brown and Doris M. Curvan. She showed a love for animals and entertainment from a very young age. She would go on to be a prolific actress of both Broadway and Daytime television. J.D., her father, was a Navy veteran of the second World War and both her mother and father grew up during the Depression during dust bowl conditions in Kansas. Her family roots in America can be traced back to the very early settlers by way of Southern England. Lisa joined Miller-Marley School of Dance and Voice at age 13, and as a result of her dance training, became very active in many Kansas City entertainment and theater venues. She would start her career in 1967 by moonlighting as an original Kansas City Chiefette at the age of 13. Barely out of high school, Lisa, an accomplished dancer, left Kansas City to pursue a career on Broadway moving to New York City in 1972. Lisa's first role as a chorus girl in the Broadway production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, opened many doors for her including ensemble roles in Pal Joey, the national tour of Hello Dolly and finally the leading role of Peggy Sawyer in the Broadway production of 42nd Street. Broadway credits: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Chorus Girl), 42nd Street (Lead, Peggy Sawyer), Pal Joey (Ensemble Member), Hello Dolly (Broadway national tour). In 1980 while simultaneously staring on Broadway in 42nd street she also originated the role of Nola Reardon Chamberlin on Guiding Light. A role she would play from 1980-1985 and again from 1995-1998 with an appearance in the shows final weeks in 1999. Starting in 1995 Lisa would go on to originate another famous role in Iva Snyder on As The World Turns and continue in that role until 1994. When she left acting she turned to teaching as an acting coach on Guiding Light and One Life to Live. In 1982 she married fellow Guiding Light actor Tom Nielsen who played the role of Floyd Parker from 1982-85. They had two children: James Nielsen born in 1984 and Victoria Nielsen born in 1988. Lisa would go on to relocate to the Bergen County New Jersey town of Ridgewood to raise her children. She remarried criminal defense attorney Brian J Neary in 1997. With Mr. Neary having two children of his own, Aedan Neary and Liam Neary, they created their own version of "The Brady Bunch". The two were deeply in love and the melding together of the two families was a match made in heaven. While living in Ridgewood she also turned her sights to directing, writing and producing; working on Guiding Light as a director and continuing to write with fellow actress Martha Burn on many projects including "Gotham". She would also assist her son in launching his career in rock band Senses Fail, who would go on to sell 1.5 million plus records and achieve gold record status. She directed and produced the band's first two music videos and helped shape the band's identity by capturing and curating the behind the scenes footage for their DVDs and photo shoots. Lisa was an absolute lover of animals and had at least one by her side from the time she was born until the time she passed, no less than 12 animals were carefully loved and cared for over her life time. She loved nothing more than sharing compassion and warmth with all of God's creatures. She volunteered at local shelters, saved countless dogs, and donated countless amounts to local non-profits. Her love for animals was only outshined by her love for her husband Brian Neary and her children. Lisa is survived by husband Brian J Neary, son James "Buddy" Nielsen and wife Ana Priscilla Ruiz, Victoria Nielsen and husband Kevin Hopf, her stepson Aedan Neary and his wife Siobhan, Liam Neary and her grandchildren Penelope and Brayden. The wake will be at McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City, NJ on Tuesday from 4:00pm-8:00pm. All friends and family are invited to the Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated at St. Aedan's The St. Peter's University Church, Jersey City on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 10:00am. Cremation will follow at Rosehill Crematory in Linden, NJ. The family asks that in lieu of flowers to please make a donation to Liberty Humane Society of Jersey City. https://www.libertyhumane.org/
McLaughlin Funeral Home 625 Pavonia Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07306 (201) 798-8700
Published by The Star-Ledger from Nov. 27 to Nov. 28, 2021.