June Warren, Actress and CLS Benefactor, Dies
Press contact: Erin Kelly 212-854-2650
September 19, 2007 (NEW YORK) - June Peel Willock Warren, theater, radio, and early television actress and wife of the late William C. Warren, Dean of Columbia University Law School for more than a quarter of a century, died September 5 in Newark, DE.
Born in England, Mrs. Warren came to the U.S. in 1945, after marrying William Warren, a U.S. Army officer who had served in Britain. She was already an actress in Europe and found work in the U.S. in daily radio theater at CBS in Washington, D.C., and appeared in early live television productions including ``Hallmark Hall of Fame’’ and ``The Jackie Gleason Show.’’
Mrs. Warren became an American citizen in 1950.
After the outbreak of World War II, she enlisted into the British Army and was assigned to its entertainment unit. She was featured in numerous troop productions in England, Holland and Belgium. Once in Belgium, she barely escaped death when a German V2 rocket struck the theater during a performance.
Her husband was named Dean of Columbia’s School of Law in 1953, and there Mrs. Warren found a ready outlet for her acting talents, performing in and co-directing ``The Columbia Law Revue,’’ a professional-quality student and alumnae production that benefited the law school’s scholarship fund. Throughout William C. Warren’s years as Dean, Mrs. Warren served as a valued partner — devoted to spurring development and enhancing the reputation of the law school and helping him raise money for scholarships and a new law school building. This partnership culminated in the dedication of a eight-story building at Columbia in 1998, named in their honor, William and June Warren Hall. In addition, a law school scholarship is also given in her name.
For 15 years, Mrs. Warren also served as a board member of the William & Eva Fox Foundation, a private grant-making foundation committed to strengthening live theater by providing annual fellowships to support the artistic development of actors.
Mrs. Warren was a spirited volunteer in many local Ridgewood, New Jersey community activities. She was a frequent star and director of productions of the Hillside Players theater group of the West Side Presbyterian Church of Ridgewood and was a founding member of the Music Makers (originally the Ridgewood Aires), a women’s singing group. She held leadership positions at the Women’s Club of Ridgewood, and also wrote plays for performance by the club. One play, ``Fanning the Gossip,’’ won honors in New Jersey and Maryland and has been performed at Women’s Clubs throughout the country. Mrs. Warren was a devotee of painting and poetry and was a longtime member of the League for Creative Work. ``Love’s Infinite Variety,’’ a collection of her poems was published by Authorhouse in 2004.
Born in Kent, England on June 3, 1922, Mrs. Warren was the daughter of Air Vice Marshal Robert Peel and Mrs. Dorothy L. Willock. Mrs. Warren was schooled in Britain, Switzerland, and France before graduating from the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She began her theatrical career at age 17, and went on to perform in numerous stage productions and British Broadcasting Corporation radio dramas, and appeared in British films.
Mrs. Warren had a keen interest in genealogy and counted Sir Robert Peel as one of her direct ancestors.
Mrs. Warren is survived by two sons, Robert P. Warren of Bethesda, MD, and William L. Warren of New York, NY; a daughter, Larissa W. Gibson and her husband, W. David of Caldwell, NJ; and four grandchildren, Robin P.P. Warren, Linneen C. Warren, Leslie C. Gibson and Kathleen J. Gibson.
Dean William C. Warren died in 2000.
A memorial service for Mrs. Warren will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2007 at the West Side Presbyterian Church, Monroe Ave., Ridgewood, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the William and Eva Fox Foundation, c/o U.S. Trust, 114 West 47th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY, 10036.