Friday, June 1, 2018

RIP Jomarie Ward

Los Angeles Times
June 1, 2018

September 10, 1935 - April 30, 2018 Jomarie Ward died on April 30th, 2018, after a heroic battle of 24 months with ovarian cancer, her beloved son-in-law holding her hand. She died as she lived; brave, strong, and larger than life. Jomarie was born in Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 10th, 1935. She exhibited a remarkable singing talent at a young age, and was given her own local radio show when she was thirteen. When she was 18 she came to Los Angeles to attend Pasadena City College and study acting. Her first professional job was on The Donna Reed Show. That led to fifty-five more years of being in a career that she loved. Her film and television credits include a funny recurring role on Betty White's 'Off Their Rockers,' and the Oscar-nominated 'El Norte,' playing a clueless Beverly Hills housewife. Her vast theater credits include 'The Music Man,' playing the part of Marian opposite Eddie Albert; playing the title role in 'Fanny' opposite Walter Slezak; and more recently playing Hannah Ferguson in 'The Spitfire Grill' at the Laguna Playhouse. She also made many singing appearances throughout her life. Her last performance was at The Catalina Grill last October singing 'If Love Were All,' her favorite song. She sang the hell out of it. She was founder and co-owner with Paul Kent of the much acclaimed Melrose Theater for over thirty years. She produced as well as starred in many productions there. Her greatest passion, besides performing, was working tirelessly for The Actors Fund. She gave decades of her life devoting herself to helping her fellow industry brothers and sisters, and she was a past Chair of their Western Council. The final Actors Fund project for which she strongly advocated will break ground next year in Hollywood, providing affordable housing for working artists, as well as rehearsal and performance space for community arts groups. She leaves behind more "adopted family" and dear friends than seems possible. Many folks call her their second mom or spiritual sister. We all remember her as the woman who gave the very best parties, was an amazing chef, always treating people – especially those who had less – with fierce kindness; and she could definitely embarrass us all by singing in public with her "opera voice." Singing in the Ralph's comes to mind. She was cheap as dirt when it came to herself, and generous to a fault when she could help others. Jomarie was predeceased by her husband of 35 years, John Ward, and her sister-in-law Dorothy Ward-Hoffman. She is survived by her loving companion of 23 years, H. David Moss, her daughter Kate Ward-Rosenstock, her son-in-law Marty Rosenstock, David's daughter Rebecca Moss, David's brother Dann Moss, her sometimes well behaved cats, and all of her wonderful chosen family. Her private memorial will be in June. In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Actors Fund.

WARD, Jomarie
Born: 9/10/1935, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
Died: 4/30/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Jomarie Ward’s westerns – actress:
Stoney Burke (TV) – 1962 (Francie Adams)
Laredo (TV) – 1965 (Renee)

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