In Celebration of the Life and Accomplishments 





















Write a Tribute to Lilyan!

We welcome tributes to Lilyan from all those whose lives were touched by her presence in our world. New categories and additional pages shall be added as new tributes come in.  

You are invited to also submit pictures of yourself currently or from the time period when you best knew Lilyan.  Those who had previously submitted tributes are welcome to have a picture added to their original tribute as well.

Loved Ones!
Industry Colleagues!

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

Submit a Tribute now!

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


Tributes from Students

As I have just received the news of Lilyan’s passing I am so struck by how much she means and meant to my life. I have always attributed my success in acting to her as well as my surviving the 80’s. Lilyan was my coach, my friend, my mother many times. Her soup, french bread , and couch made me feel at home on many occasions when I had a broken heart or was stressed from my work or personal life. When I needed to be propped up she was always there. Even now, as I beat myself for not seeing her since I moved away, I can hear her telling me to “knock it off” ...I can hear her saying, “Stop this. I know you loved me and that you were taking care of your children, husband and family.” At the same time she is quietly reminding me to take care of those who are still here and not to set myself up with regrets like this ever again. She is reminding me to make sure that I make time to see people who are special to me. We never know how long we will have to see them.With regard to acting,Lilyan taught me how to be a villain. I was always the “ingénue” until I met her. She gave me tools to use that served me notably well, as I was often recognized as “Best Villain” by magazines etc. in Daytime Television. I remember on General Hospital, I worked with her on every script. I was sure they wouldn’t take me seriously when I was supposed to be intimidating, frightening or even angry. I was afraid people would take one look at this blue eyed blonde face and laugh, thinking “You have got to be kidding!” Well, Lilyan put a stop to all that chatter and got me to focus on my strength… to find my strength, and to have true confidence in it. She did this so well in fact that I began to known for years as a formidable “Bad Girl” on Daytime Television and this has lasted for 20 years. I had to cast myself in a film I produced as a “Mom” because no one else would! I had the good fortune to know Lilyan’s mom too. No one loved their mother more than Lilyan did. She took such good care of her mother until the day she died, and took such joy in doing so. She nourished all living things…from her plants on her porch to her friends and family. I am teaching today as well as acting and producing. I think of her at every class. I only hope that I will be able to be half as good a teacher, friend, daughter, director and producer as she was… That will keep Lilyan Chauvin alive in my heart until I see her again someday.
With Love,

Tonja Walker

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 breathless moments.

Elissa Lynn


...Tributes from Students
I met Lilyan when I was 17. I was a horribly shy young girl with a concerned mother who thought an acting class would bring me out of my shell. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become an actress but, that's exactly what happened. Lily took me under her wing and showed me the joy of acting. She brought the best out of everyone and if you could get a laugh from Lily when working on a comedy there was no better sound. Everyone in class wanted to make Lil proud. Thank you Lily, thank you for taking that shy young girl and helping her to learn to trust herself, I have always been grateful, you will forever be in my heart, Jennifer Runyon

Jennifer Runyon

I had the great good fortune to be one of Lilyan's students. Her classes were a special place where humanity was important. Hard work was expected and a joy for living was infused into every class. I treasure the memory of those classes and the time shared with Lilyan. Thank you, Liliyan for enriching our lives.

Nancy Raven Smith

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

My name is Allan Fisch and in 1984, I was an undergraduate at USC and my job was to videotape Lilyan's acting classes. I am now at USC in a graduate program and was sitting in class in Taper Hall and thought about her and just read of her passing.

It was during our time together when she went to Utah to film Silent Night Deadly Night.

Rest in peace,

Allan Fisch.

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

I always looked forward to talking to Lilyan. She was a wonderful lady. It was a total shock when I called and she didn't pick up the phone, then heard the sad news. I will miss her a lot. May her soul rest in peace.


Tributes from Friends
Lily was a patient in our hospital when I met her. I came to know Lily with a quality of intimacy that is the unique privilege of a hospital chaplain. My concern was Lily's quality of life, her dignity and her sense of meaning, purpose and hope. She was beautiful. She was introspective and curious, honest, earthy and forgiving. Her humor was delightful; her devotion to students, inspiring; her courage in the face of death, was deeply moving to me. She made our little hospital world a better place for her presence in it.
You were a blessing, Lily! We won't forget you!

Margaret Burdge
Palliative Care Manager/Chaplain
Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center

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