Carol Joyce Allen (nee Applestein), 81 (1938-2020), passed away on May 18, at Johns Hopkins Hospital from complications caused by the Covid-19 virus. A resident of Weinberg Village in Owings Mills, she spent 37 years living and working in Los Angeles, California prior to her return to Baltimore in 2008.
Carol was a native of Baltimore City, where she grew up above the family store, Applestein's Pharmacy run by her late father, Dr. Frank Applestein, and her beloved mother, the late Mrs. Mollie Applestein. Carol was a graduate of Western High School, became known as a great beauty among friends and admirers, and attended both the Peabody Institute (Voice) and the University of Maryland, where she was named Most Promising Freshman in 1957, and served as an editor of the Diamondback from 1957-1959 before her marriage in 1961.
Her former husband, the late Barry Morgan Allen of Florida, was the youngest journalist covering Capitol Hill in 1960, and became a naval officer, Vietnam veteran and P. R. Executive in Washington D.C. during the 1960s. They lived in Arlington Virginia, with only child Sheri Lynne, while Carol held positions in the Israel charity Womens' American ORT. Her husband's work took them to Los Angeles in 1971, where Barry's agency worked with TV and Film actor Eddie Albert.
After divorcing in 1974, Carol attended UCLA's famed TV and Film Studies program part-time while working full-time as a legal secretary and paralegal. Through the '70s, '80s, and '90s, she worked for high-level law firms with clients such as iconic former LA Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda, former baseball slugger Mark McGuire, and comedy legend Groucho Marx, in the famous battle over his estate.
Coming from a theatrical family, (Carol's brother Fred Neil was an area radio personality and community theater star, her sister Betty Sweren was a founding member of Center Stage), Carol enjoyed a lifelong involvement in theater.
Carol worked for Tony Awards Producer Alexander Cohen in Baltimore in 1976 during the local run of Helzapoppin with Jerry Lewis and Lynn Redgrave at the Morris Mechanic Theater. In the early '80s, Carol became Chair of the Board of a celebrated North Hollywood Equity-Waiver live theater, Room For Theater. During Carol's tenure as Chair, this small theater won an array of local awards and was one of a handful of area theaters invited to participate in the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles.
Acting was also a lifelong passion of Carol's. After having studied comedy with Happy Days director Jerry Parris at UCLA, she acted with Room For Theater in the '80s, and at the famed Beverly Hills Playhouse in the '90s, where she was known as C-J Allen. She was proud of her Screen Actors Guild card after being featured in a national TV Public Service Ad in 2001. Her most recent performance was as part of a Center Stage-sponsored storytelling program at Weinberg Village, in December 2018, where she delivered a comedic piece about her childhood antics with beloved brother Fred.
After her retirement, Carol returned to the Baltimore area to be close to her family. When her health concerns increased, Carol's daughter Dr. Sheri Allen (PhD), moved from Ohio to be her mother's full-time caregiver, in recent years.
In addition to daughter Dr. Allen, Carol is survived by her sister, Betty (Dr. Edgar) Sweren; brother, Fred (Dawn) Neil; nephew Brian Applestein (Amy); grand-nieces Tory and Karli Applestein, and many other nieces and nephews.
Due to virus restrictions, the funeral and memorial services will be private. Shiva will be held with special precautions in Baltimore or virtually via Zoom, by calling 443-487-2959. Donations can be made in Carol's memory to The Jewish Caring Network of Baltimore and Ahavas Yisroel Charity Fund.