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NPF’s Founder, Carmen Mathews

The Actress

carmen-matthews-new-pond-farm-founderCarmen Sylva Mathews (1911-1995) was born in Philadelphia, she graduated from Bennett Junior College majoring in drama and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She made her first professional acting appearance with the Stratford-on-Avon Shakespearean Company before moving back to the United States. Early in her career, she performed many classical parts with Maurice Evans including Ophelia in Hamlet and Queen to his Richard II.

Her acting career spanned 55 years and ranged from premiering to great acclaim as Helen in Road to Mecca to being the Queen of Greenland in the musical In Fashion. She shared the stage with notables like Don Ameche in Holiday for Lovers, Alfred Drake in Gigi, Angela Lansbury in Dear World, and Joanne Woodward in Children’s Hour.

She appeared in countless television plays and movies and is still seen in reruns as Col. Lillian Rayburn in a popular episode of M.A.S.H. Her last role was in The Last Best Year of My Life, a 1990 television movie directed by John Erman with Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters.

Her film credits also include Butterfield 8, Rage to Live, Sounder, and Daniel.

 

Carmen Mathews on TV

1. 1948 The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre: episode “Once to Every Boy” (2/20/50)

2. 1951 Goodyear Television Play house: episode “The Room” (episode #2 .2, 9/28/52

3. 1951 Goodyear Television Playhouse: episode “The Old Beginning” (episode #2.6, 11/23/52)

4. 1951 Goodyear Television Playhouse: episode “Maestro” (episode #6.1, 9/23/56)

5. 1951, Goodyear Television Playhouse: episode “Ernie Barger is Fifty” (episode #2.21, 8/9/53)

6. 1953 The United States Steel Hour: episode “Above the World so High” (8/28/57)

7. 1953 The United States Steel Hour: episode “Welcome Home” (3/17/54)

8. 1953 You Are There: episode “The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots” (episode #2.33, 4/18/54)

9. 1953 You Are There: episode “The Trial of Susan B. Anthony” (episode #3.22, 1/23/55)

10. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: episode “Kerry Blue” playing Thelma Malley (episode #7.28, 4/12/62)

11. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: episode “The Festive Season” playing Celia (episode #3.31, 5/4/58)

12. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: episode “Conversation Over a Corpse” playing Joanna Enright (episode #2.8, 11/18/56)

13. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: episode “Kill With Kindness” playing Katherine Oldham (episode #2.4, 10/21/56)

14. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: episode “The Older Sister” playing Lizzie Borden (episode #1.71, 1/22/56)

15. 1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents: episode “The Impossible Dream” playing Miss Hall (episode 4.28, 4/19/59)

16. 1956 Producers’ Showcase: episode “Bloomer Girl” parts I & II, NBC

17. 1958 Naked City: episode “Killer With a Kiss” (episode #2.6, 11/16/60)

18. 1958 Hallmark Hall of Fame: episode “Hans Brinker, or, The Silver Skates”, NBC

19. 1959 Adventures in Paradise: episode “Vendetta” (episode #3.3, 10/15/62

20. 1959 The Twilight Zone: “Static” playing Vinnie Brown (episode #2.20, 3/10/61E

21. 1961 Way Out: episode “The Sister” (episode #1.3)

22. 1963 The Fugitive: episode “World’s End” playing Ada (episode 2.2, 9/22/64)

23. 1963 The Doctors playing Theodora Van Alen (episode #1, 1966)

24. 1964 Another World playing Bess Killworth (1983)

25. 1970 The Storefront Lawyers: episode “A Man’s Castle”, CBS

26. 1971 Cannon: episode “Cain’s mark” playing Mrs. Alexander (episode #1.23, 3/7/72)

27. 1971 Sam Hill, Who Killed Mr. Foster playing Abigail Booth

28. 1971 They Call It Murder playing Doris Kane

29. 1971 Alias Smith and Jones: episode “Six Strangers at Apache Springs” playing Mrs. Fielding (episode #2.7, 10/28/71)

30. 1972 The Streets of San Francisco , premier, parts 1 & 2 , playing Sally Caswell, ABC

31. 1972 M*A*S*H*: episode “Colonel Lil” playing Col. Lillian Rayburn with Henry Morgan and Alan Alda (episode #7.3, 10/2/78)

32. 1975 Ellery Queen: episode “Adventure of the Mad Tea Party” playing Letelia Allingham “a dowager-like species who makes crisp bon mots” (epidose #1.8, 10/30/75)

33. 1976 The Widow, a TV show based on a recent novel of the same name.

34. 1972 Charlie Cobb: “Nice Night For a Hanging” playing Miss Cumberland

35. 1980 Gauguin the Savage playing Madam Jeanette

36. 1983 Kennedy playing Mamie Eisenhower

37. 1984 Kate & Allie: episode “ Safe Caper” playing Lotte Simpson (episode #2.8, 1984)

38. 1984 Tales From the Dark Side: episode “In the Cards” playing Madame Marlene Marlene (episode 1.2, 1/2/85)

39. 1988 To Take A Stand playing the Judge written by Bruce Harmon, produced by Frank Doelger

40. 1990 Last Best Year of My Life with Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters, directed by John Erwin

41. 1990 The Last Day in the Life of Brian Darling, written by Bruce Harmon, produced by Frank Doelger

* Tapes of shows at the Museum of T.V. and Radio in New York City. (List supplied by Ron Simon, Curator)

Carmen Mathews in Movies

1. 1960 Butterfield 8 playing Mrs. Jescott

2. 1965 Rage to Live playing Emily Caldwell

3. 1970 Rabbit Run playing Mrs. Springer

4. 1972 Sounder playing Mrs. Boatwright with Cecily Tyson and Paul Winfield, directed by Martin Ritt

5. 1983 Daniel by E.L. Doctrow playing Ed Begly, Jr.’s wife, with Timothy Hutton directed, by Sidney Lumet

Carmen Mathews in Theatre

1. After her course work at RADA she performed in As You Like It at Stratford on Avon.

2. Returning to the United States, Carmen was in many Shakespearean plays in the early 1940’s with the Maurice Evans and Margaret Webster Production Co. such as Ophelia in Hamlet, Queen in Richard II, Lady Mortimer in Henry IV.

3. November 1941 Lady Madeleine in The Seventh Trumpet written by Charles Rann Kennedy.

4. April 1942 Molly Morden in the Moon is Down (Martin Beck Theatre)

5. 1943 Varya in Cherry Orchard with Eva Le Gallienne (City Center)

6. May 1944 Mary Beecher in Harriet by Florence Ryerson and Colin Clements with Helen Hayes, (Henry Miller Theatre) stage manager – John Fearnley, setting by Lemuel Ayers, costumes by Aline Bernstein, staged by Mr. Gilbert Miller

7. October 1945 The Assassin (The National Theatre)

8. 1945 Desk Set (Southbury Playhouse)

9. 1945 Violet in Man and Superman (Maurice Evans Production)

10. 1945 Mrs. Sullen in Beaux Strategem with Brian Aherne

11. 1946 Miss Ronberry in The Corn is Green

12. 1946 Miss Neville in She Stoops to Conquer, by Oliver Goldsmith

13. May 1946 Mimi in The Affairs of Anatol (ELT)

14. October 1946 Elsa Meredith in Made in Heaven opposite Donald Cook (Henry Miller Theatre

15. April 1949 Georgina in The Ivy Green (Lyccum)

16. June 1951 Theresa Tapper, spinster, in Courtin’ Time (original title “A Farmer Takes A Wife”) by Jack Lawrence and Don Walker, George Balanchine, choreographer, directed by Alfred Drake (National)

17. 1952 Madam Ducotel in My Three Angels

18. 1956 Contessa in musical adaptation from Candide, Voltaire, music by Leonard Bernstein

19. 1957 Mary in Holiday for Lovers with Don Ameche

20. 1958 Candida in Shaw’s Candida

21. 1958 Eileen in Man in a Dog Suit with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy

22. 1958 Lady Utterword in Heartbreak House with Maurice Evans

23. October 1962 Ceil in Night Life (Brooks Atkinson)

24. 1963 Maria in Lorenzo with Alfred Drake

25. 1963 Louise in the musical Zenda

26. 1964 Queen in Hamlet

27. 1965 Grandma Hutto in the musical adaptation of The Yearling with David Wayne, lyrics by Herbert Martin, music by Michael Leonard, produced by Lore Noto

28. 1966 Edna in A Delicate Balance with Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Rosemary Murphy.

29. 1967 Bathsheeba in the musical adaptation of I’m Soloman, lyrics by Anne Croswell, music by Ernest Gold

30. 1968 Constance, the Madwoman of the Flea Market, in the musical adaptation Dear World, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman , book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee with Angela Lansbury and Milo O’Shea (based on “The Madwoman of Chaillot”)

31. 1970 Fraulein Schneider in the musical adaptation of Cabaret with Leslie Uggams

32. 1971 Wife in All Over by Edward Albee with Barbara Caruso (Washington Theatre Club)

33. 1971 Grandma in Ring Around the Bathtub (Boston)

34. 1972 Gloriani in the musical Ambassador with Howard Keel, Danielle Darrieux and Andrea Marcovicci music by Don Gohman, lyrics by Hal Hackady (Lunt-Fontane)

35. 1973 Mrs. Aigreville in the musical In Fashion directed by Jon Jory (Actors Theatre of Louisville)

36. 1973 Mamita in the musical Gigi with Alfred Drake, Danny Massey and Agnes Moorehead (Fisher Theatre, Detroit)

37. 1974 Arietta in Mornings at Seven directed by Bill Francisco (Long Wharf)

38. 1975 Mrs. Higgins in Pygmalion with Rex Robbins (Long Wharf)

39. 1976 Mother in Children (premier) by A.R. Gurney

40. 1976 Mrs. Ellis in The Autumn Garden by Lillian Hellman (Long Wharf)

41. 1977 Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit

42. 1978 Mrs. Tilford in The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman with Joanne Woodward,Shirley Knight, & David Selby (Berkshire Theatre Festival Stockbridge)

43. 1979 Catherine in Arms and the Man, by G.B. Shaw, directed by Phil Minor

44. 1979 Diary of Ann Frank excerpts as adapted and performed by Carmen Sylva Mathews to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth (American Friends of Anne Frank Center Inc., New York City)

45. 1980 Fanny Farrelly in Watch on the Rhine by Lillian Hellman (Center Stage Maryland)

46. 1980 Cornelia in The Bat

47. 1980 Cora in Mornings at Seven, by Paul Osborn (Lyccum Theatre, New York City)

48. 1981 Betsey Trotwood (“David Copperfield’s sharp-tonged but soft hearted aunt”) in musical Copperfield, music and lyrics by Al Kashe and Joel Hirschhorn (ANTA Theatre)

49. 1982 Sarah Delano Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello directed by Josephine Abady (Berkshire Theatre Festival)

50. 1983 Old Lady in Sunday in the Park with George with Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patankin (42nd St. Theatre Row), music by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine

51. 1984 Premiered as Helen in Road to Mecca by Athol Fugard, with Marianne Owen and Tom Aldredge (Yale Repertory Theatre)

52. 1985 Mother (Thelma Cates) in ‘night, Mother, by Marsha Norman, directed by Bryna Wordman (Coconut Grove Playhouse)

53. 1985 Grandmother in A Grand Romance by David Wiltse, directed by Josephine Abady (Long Wharf)

54. 1986 Mrs. Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith, directed by Philip Minor with William Swetland (Pittsburgh Public Theatre)

55. 1989 Cecelia in world premier of Autumn Elegy by Charlene Redick (Actors Theatre of Louisville)

56. 1989 Dowager Empress in the world premier musical play The Anastasia Game with Judy Kaye and Len Cariou (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, book by Jerome Chodorov and Guy Bolton from the play “Anastasia” by Guy Bolton and Marcelle Maurette

57. 1990 Madam Armfeldt in the Sondheim musical A Little Night Music with Jo Sullivan and Emily Loesser (American Stage Festival)

Plays in which Carmen Sylva Mathews performed, dates and/or places unknown:

In Someone Else’s Sandals, musical with Dick Shawn based on original play “King Soloman & The Cobbler”

In the Well of the House by Charles Mark (Public Theatre)

School for Scandal (City Center)

Once upon a Mattress (Corning, NY)

My Mother, My Father & Me by Lillian Helman (Florida State University)

She Passed Through Lorraine by Lionel Hale, playing Joan (have the stage set-ups and props)

Camille in Nashville, Tenn. At the Opera House

There may well be others we don’t know of.