| NPF's Founder, Carmen Mathews |
Carmen Sylva Mathews was born in Philadelphia, 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.