Lilyan Chauvin (Lilyan Zemoz)

Lilyan Chauvin

Chauvin began her career working in broadcasting in France. Her mother was French and her father was Italian. While under contract to a French radio station she had her heart set on becoming a lawyer; however her earnings soon exceeded that of her parents and she gave serious consideration to making show business her way of life. She studied in Paris at the School of Cinema, and at the Jean Louis Barrault School, also in Paris. Chauvin moved to New York City on her 21st birthday and became a US citizen. She studied with Uta Hagen and at the Actors Studio in New York. Chauvin also attended the Berlitz school of Languages and took in American movies every day to improve her English. Already proficient in Spanish, German, Italian, and Russian, she soon became one of the school’s top teachers and they sent her out to coach actors in the accents they needed for various roles. Chauvin’s European stage and Actors Equity theatre credits include Macbeth, Medea, Silk Stockings, Camille, and Three for Today. She began landing roles in New York television productions including TV’s prestigious Studio One. Soon after she traveled to Los Angeles and found work in film and television. Lilyan Chauvin made her film acting debut in Letter from Cairo (1953), an episode of the long-running series Studio One. The following year she guest-starred in Crusader. Chauvin made her first motion picture appearance in Lost, Lonely and Vicious (1958) and later starred in Walk Like a Dragon (1960) and Bloodlust! (1961). She also appeared in the Elvis Presley film Tickle Me (1965) and the Barbra Streisand film Funny Lady (1975). Other film credits include Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), The Mephisto Waltz (1971), The Other Side of Midnight (1977), Beyond Reason (1977), Private Benjamin (1980), Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984, as the sadistic Mother Superior), Born in East L.A. (1987), Bad Influence (1990), Predator 2 (1990), Angel Town (1990), Universal Soldier (1992), The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy (1998), Five Aces (1999), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001) and Catch Me If You Can (2002). Chauvin was a series regular on Days of Our Lives, Mission Impossible, General Hospital and Falcon Crest. Other television credits include Adventures of Superman, Combat, Baa Baa Black Sheep,Friends, ER, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Tyson, Malcolm in the Middle, Alias, CSI, Ugly Betty, The X-Files, and Murder She Wrote.

In the industry, Chauvin’s talents are respected equally as a director and actress. Her DGA directing credits include The Young and the Restless, But She Can Type, Celebration 75 and Windows of Heaven. Chauvin directed productions of Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, Effigies, Seacliffe California, In My Minds Eye, The Happy Time and The Deepest Hunger. Lilyan Chauvin was also one of Hollywood’s most prominent, sought after and respected acting and directing coaches in the industry. Many of her techniques have become instrumental teaching tools within the industry and have provided inspiration to many other successful educators. As an author and educator she taught internationally at seminars as a keynote speaker, lecturer and adviser. As the creator and show runner she co-produced and hosted the television series Hollywood Structured, a comprehensive guide to show business careers, Chauvin explored new facets of the industry each week through interviews with top professionals. The 64 episodes covered acting, directing, make up, documentary filmmaking, producing, music, comedy, cinematography, stunt coordinating, modeling, publicity, writing, dancing, sports announcing, production design, entertainment law, agency, casting, union, special effects and more. Chauvin wrote Hollywood Scams & Survival Tactics, in which she shared many of her own experiences and survival tactics. She taught acting, multi-cam cinematography and directing for over 10 years at USC and taught acting/directing at UCLA for two years. Some of Chauvin’s acting students were Raquel Welch, Suzanne Somers, Margie Haber, Carly Schroeder, Kin and Wil Shriner, and Kevin Nealon. She was a technical advisor and dialogue coach at MGM and worked as a dialogue supervisor/drama coach at Warner Brothers. For many years she ran the Women in Film Director’s Workshop which drew large numbers of people from the various aspects of filmmaking. Chauvin died at her Studio City home on Thursday, June 26, 2008, aged 82, following a long battle with breast cancer complicated by recent congestive heart disease.

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  • August, 06, 1925
  • Paris, France


  • June, 26, 2008
  • USA
  • Studio City, California

Cause of Death

  • breast cancer

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