In Lies My Father Told Me, noted Montreal-born actress Marilyn Lightstone plays one of the starring roles of Anna Herman.
Co-producer Harry Gulkin says Lightstone was right for the role of the mother. Her strength as an actress had been tested in many demanding stage and film roles. In Lies My Father Told Me, her mobile features express and reflect all the trials and tenderness felt by a young woman who is at once wife, daughter, and mother.
Lightstone, a multi‐talented artist, won accolades for her work as Annie . She was also seen in such films as "In Praise of Older Women" (1978), and "The Tin Flute/Bonheur D’Occasion" (1983). She distinguished herself in theatre, starring as Leah in the Los Angelesproduction of "The Dybbuk" playing in New York opposite Lee J. Cobb in "King Lear" and as Masha in Chekhov's "The Seagull" at the Stratford Festival. On television, she co‐starred as Miss Stacy in both the Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea series and made guest appearances on Cheers, Cagney and Lacey, Street Legal and E.N.G. She has written scripts for television and her first novel, Rogues and Vagabonds, received much acclaim. She was the founding "Voice of Bravo", Canada's NewStyleArts Channel where she currently hosts a series called Playwrights and Screenwriters.
Lightstone grew up in Montreal, initially in the Plateau on Clark Street and then in Snowdon. She got an Arts degree from McGill and was a member of the second graduating class of the National Theatre School, moving to Toronto in 1964
What effect did being part of the cast of Lies My Father Told Me have on her career? "Lies My Father Told Me was my first film role after eight years of stage work and it established me as a film actress," she said. "That is not just because I was on the screen, but because it was such a fine and special film and one which would continue to be meaningful, not just for the Jewish community, but in the history of Canadian film. In other words, it had legs."
It has been a few years now since Lightstone, now 69, had her last TV role. "There are very few roles for women my age, and when there is one they're usually looking for a tsekrocheneh oldster , preferably one with a Yiddish accent who can play stereotypical bubbies. To cast that, they can do far better than me because I don't fit the bill, and it's not that interesting to me.
Lightstone says she spends half of her time researching, writing and recording her radio show, which is on for two hours every night and which can be heard at www.classical963fm.com between 11p.m. and 1 a.m. Toronto time anywhere in the world. The other half is spent in her studio where she work on the visual arts - painting and photography, and sometimes the two together. "When I was a child I thought I was going to be a painter," she says. Samples of her work can be seen at www.marilynlightstone.com.
"Rest assured, that should something really interesting come along I would be most interested in acting again, but I'm not sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring," she says.
Please read the article below about Lies My Father Told Me and the memories it evoked about my own grandfather.