In Celebration of the Life and Accomplishments 





















Write a Tribute to Lilyan!

Loving thoughts, comments, memories, stories and more - all are welcome here as we continue to pay tribute to our dear Lilyan Chauvin.  

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Poetry, Audio, Video.. use your imagination and we will do our best to have your message added to Lilyan's offiicial website.


Tributes from Family

Lilyan’s father, Pantaleon Zemoz, and my mother, Ada Pachon, were first cousins and grew up together in the village of Villeneuve, high up in the Italian Alps north of Aosta. They were childhood sweethearts and remained close friends until Pantaleon and his wife Emilia retired to Laguna Beach (where he became a local celebrity with his Grandma Moses type paintings, although he had never painted before). I first saw Lilyan the day she rang the doorbell at our apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was after World War II, Lilyan was 21, I was 18. There stood a beautiful, blond, energetic young woman, surrounded by three GIs (not surprising). She stayed with us for a short time, while she tried to launch a life for herself here in the U.S. She came to classes with me at Hunter College, taught French at Berlitz, explored the theater scene in New York. (We went to the beach together where Lilyan's athletic body was a smash in a yellow bikini, the only one; bikinis had not yet arrived in the U. S.) Her husband Bernard Chauvin arrived, but his staid middle class upbringing in France did not prepare him for the knockabout world of show business and New York and he returned to France. One day Lilyan packed a small bag with the photo of Greta Garbo she always kept near her and set off for Hollywood – alone. All she accomplished she did on her own through her talent, energy, and determination. We drifted apart as she pursued her career on the West Coast and I pursued my much more modest life here on the East Coast. But her extraordinary courage and spirit have always remained in my mind – and heart.

Vera DuMont

Perside Zemoz sœur du papa de Lilyan Chauvin et toute la famille Zemoz d'Italie et de France se joignent a moi pour rendre hommage a notre nièce ou cousine Lilyan.
En ce jour nous lui dédions nos pensée les plus sincères.

Perside Zemoz


Perside Zemoz, sister of Lilyan's Chauvin's dad and all of the Zemoz family of Italy and of France unite to pay homage to our niece and cousin Lilyan.
On this day we dedicate our most sincere thoughts to her.

Perside Zemoz

Lily, tu nous a quittés,mais nous pensons que tu as eu la vie que tu avais choisie et qu'à force de travail et de pugnacité tu as su t'imposer dans ce milieu sans compromis.Grace à la correspondance que nous échangions, nous avons suivi et participé à tes différents succès et récompenses, ainsi le lien familial s'est maintenu. Repose en paix et en ce jour nous penserons encore plus fort à toi.

La famille Sabourin


Lily, you have left us but we know that you enjoyed the life that you had chosen and due to your hard work and your tenacity you knew how to stand strong and not falter in the entertainment industry. Thanks to the correspondence that we shared we have followed and participated in your various successes and rewards and thus our family bond lives on.

Rest in peace and on your day of tribute our thoughts will be the strongest ever.

Family of the Sabourin

Tributes from Students
Lilyan was the biggest influence in my career. I studied with her at the Film Industry Workshop in the 60's. I was right out of High School and very frightened about taking an acting class. From the beginning she was so supportive of me. She encouraged me to do comedy and voice-overs and I followed her advice. We kept in touch thru the years. I got to know her Mother and spent time with Lil and her Mom in Laguna Beach.

Lilyan, I will never forget you. Love, Joni Robbins

Joni Robbins

As an actress and student of hers , I had the privilege to know Lilyan for the past 10 years . We became friends but more than that she became my mentor . I have a great deal of admiration for the classy Lady that she was, her brilliant and witty spirit and her passion for life. Pessimism didn't exist for Lilyan. Little details could make a big difference in a day. One day that I was visiting her with my mom, she showed us with pride the pears coming from a tree that "my little mommy planted for me years ago, it's like she is still here with me in the garden" she said. And on another day, she shared with me her joy to feed a little squirrel sitting on her hand for that matter and totally fearless.

Simple moments of life with Lilyan but deep in my heart and memory that I will cherish for ever . Lily, you made my life sweeter when I needed it, you also knew the right words that helped me to be stronger and made me feel like if I was one of your spiritual daughters . You have all my gratitude and love for ever ...

Brigitte Barry

Tribute from Colleagues
Some performers are described as triple threats, actors, singers, dancers. Lilyan was a quadruple threat as a stunning linguist in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian and English and all accurate; enough to fool the natives. As an actress she had amazing range from hysterically funny to scary as hell. She was an undisputed coach and director as well.

It was my great privilege to be Lilyan's agent and friend for more than 30 years and she will always have a special place in my memory of extraordinary talents.

David Sacks
Theatrical Agent

I am so sorry to hear she is no longer with us. But my memories of her will live on.
I was Lilyan's make-up artist on her cable TV show called Hollywood Structured. I was proud to know her. She was a sweet woman and I considered her a friend even though we worked with each other professionally. She was a lot of fun to work with and was a wonderful lady and a great actress. I will truly miss her.
God bless you Lilyan.

Jen Charette

Tributes from Students

I find it hard to express all that Lilyan means to me. She is one of the most profound people and influence in my life. I met her in early 1974 and she contributed immeasurably and unselfishly to my career aspirations and to my life. She was always positive, and uplifting - no matter what. SO I consider myself so lucky to have found her in this world - especially in the Los Angeles arena. AND I discovered Lil quite by accident. I was traveling along Ventura by bus to an audition when I saw a sign in a store front for video training. I got to my interview early and walked 3 miles back to the storefront - only to discover it closed. I swore out loud - and a lady, Margaret Gay, came to the door and asked if she could help me. I stated that I was interested in the acting class. She said it was filled but a new class would be starting within weeks and I could come to a "sample" class - then if interested I could enroll in the upcoming class. Well, I did and that changed my life. That began over a decade of studying acting with Lil in class, private coaching at her home, helping at USC, working for her in her classes and by her side. When I went through tough times she stood by me - I can't tell you how impressive a person she is. We have remained in touch as friends through the years. Since those early days she always expressed an interest in me and my children - she taught me to live, to love and to laugh. She inspired me to be my best and to live the best. Lilyan was and is a true friend, a true coach, a true guide and an incredible spirit. She touch so many people. I m happy to be counted as one of them she touch and who knew her. WOW! Thank you Lil, I love you!!!

Rex Steven Sikes

There were only two acting coaches at Film Industry Workshops whose classes I happily anticipated. One was Biff Elliot with whom I have remained the closest of friends to this day. The other, of course, was Lilyan Chauvin. While they both had (and continue to have) a profound influence on my career and life it was Lil who achieved something with me that no one else had. I was at the time a steadfastly "serious" actor which meant I was quite proficient in producing tension and anger in my assigned scenes but hopelessly adrift when it came to scenes that required even the remotest semblance of smile and relaxation. In other words I was stiff as a board to such a degree that a well-meaning fellow student accused me of being a graduate of the George Raft Academy of Dramatic Arts. I can only speculate about the degree of frustration the teachers at FIW must have felt as countless months went by and no one could penetrate my Great Stoneface. I really think some of them threw in the towel but not Lil. She persisted. And persisted. And persisted. And suddenly (and probably inadvertently) a miracle happened during a scene I was doing in Lil's class. I smiled. Not just a tight and constipated smile but a real, genuine big as life show-all-my-teeth smile. As the scene ended I turned to Lil and I don't think I ever saw a happier lady. She was positively beaming and she came over and hugged me tightly and virtually shouted: "Dick, that's it! Do you realize how devastatingly attractive you are when you smile? Remember this moment and don't you dare ever lose it!" I remember it well, Lil. And so much more.

From that point on I had the feeling that Lil adopted me (though I'd guess that all of her other students felt exactly the same way). Much to my eternal shame and regret I was at the time embroiled in a tawdry and ultimately grim affair with a particularly destructive and predatory female student at FIW who was simultaneously involved with another highly respected FIW student and whose reputation left a great deal to be desired. Though all of my conversations with Lil had previously centered around acting I was surprised when one night after one of her classes Lil pulled me aside, looked me right in the eyes and with a genuinely worried and protective expression on her face whispered " Dick, be careful." Oh, how I wish I'd heeded her warning. When the whole ugly mess eventually blew up in my face guess whose shoulder I cried on and who was always there for me without at any time being the least bit judgmental?

One of the joys of my eventual career change to casting director was in my ability to pay Lil back in some small way for her continual kindness to me by constantly casting her in the projects I was involved in whenever she was remotely right for the part and boy did she make me look good. I can't recall an instance when the producer and/or director of these projects didn't rave about her warmth and utter professionalism.

Say goodbye to Lil? No possible way. Such was the vibrancy and enormity of her personality that there's not the slightest reason to say goodbye. She's still here. Always will be.

Richard Dinman