I owe my parents, Elizabeth and Lynford Stewart, a huge debt of gratitude, for it was their combined artistic aesthetic that led me to the rich life I've lived. I thought one way to pay them back was to give them a page on the site, extolling their gifts.

Elizabeth Wilbur Stewart (1903-1992) was a very fine stage, film and radio actress in the 1930s and 1940s, a prodigious collector of classic modern art, and someone who knew her way around the kitchen (one of her classics was to cook ground chuck patties that tasted like steak.) As Elizabeth Wilbur, she was a drama star while at Stanford (grad. 1927); her photo appears several times on the front page of the Stanford Daily newspaper. Following school, she worked steadily in the San Francisco Bay Area, and toured with companies from there, but she had only modest success when she moved to Southern California around 1932, more to be near her mother, playwright Helen Clifford Wilbur (1878-1937), who wrote under the name Elene Wilbur, than to take on the silver screen. She did appear in two films – Laurel and Hardy's "Bonnie Scotland" (a link to clips from that film follows below) and William Wellman's "Robin Hood of El Dorado" (1936); was heard several times on radio on Lux Radio Theater, directed by Cecil B. DeMille; and worked on stage, including one production that starred Jane Cowl, a premier actress. Following her marriage to my father, she performed rarely, though one stint was a brazen run through the riveting Tennessee Williams' one-act, "Lady of Larkspur Lotion," at Ventura (Ca.) High School in the 1960s. I will put up other pictures and memorabilia as time goes on.

Cassius Lynford Stewart (1907-1997), known as Lyn, was an amateur pianist, guitarist and pencil and pen and ink artist who made his living as an accountant, including at such Hollywood studios as Universal and RKO. He worked on several well-known films, among them Christian Nybie's original "The Thing," Howard Hawks' "The Big Sky," with Kurt Douglas, and "The Left Hand of God," starring Humphrey Bogart in a script written by William Faulkner.

After moving to Ojai with his wife and child in 1955, Lyn focused on playing piano and exploring his interest in cartooning. Though he rarely performed publicly, he developed into a very interesting solo pianist, thanks in part to lessons from the excellent Theo Saunders, and to a superb Steinway upright grand he purchased from neighbor Lalo Schifrin. His gifts as a creative visual artist, helped by classes with the powerhouse Abstract Expressionist painter Wesley E. Johnson, were manifested in spontaneous holiday cards he crafted for gifts wrapped poetically by my mother; in a long-running series of weekly cartoons that appeared in Ojai's free paper, The Village Voice; and in the trumpeter design that he drew to appear on the programs and T-shirts for Jazz at Ojai, a three-day festival that ran from 1980-1988, co-produced by writer Gene Lees, radio personality Fred Hall, and my father. His trumpet logo can be seen on the T-shirt he wears in a picture below. I will have a few original Jazz at Ojai shirts available, and perhaps will produce more if a need arises. Some of my father's art work will also appear on this page.


EWS clip

Elizabeth Wilbur in "Bonnie Scotland" (1934)

Elizabeth, screen left, wearing puffy-armed, flower print dress and large beige hat, in brief bit that starts, "Oh, oodles, my dear." Dig that musical voice. View clip.

Liz’ page

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