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Charlotte De Armond, 87; civic leader advocated for adoption, Griffith Park

February 24, 2007|Jocelyn Y. Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Charlotte De Armond, an Academy Award-winning filmmaker who penned a book on adoption and was a civic leader who played a key role on matters related to Griffith Park, died Jan. 31 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles from complications of surgery. She was 87.

Widely regarded for her work with the Los Feliz Improvement Assn., De Armond was a staunch supporter of Griffith Park. She pushed for adequate fire protection and other public safety issues. She opposed the idea of commercial development in Griffith Park.

For nearly 30 years De Armond, an advocate of adoption, worked in public affairs and public education for the Children's Home Society, a private adoption agency based in Los Angeles.

"I love this organization, and I am proud of what it does for children," she told a Times reporter in 1992.

In 1979 the short film "Teenage Father," which was sponsored by the Children's Home Society and produced by De Armond in collaboration with director Taylor Hackford, won an Academy Award for best live action short film.

"The Changing Picture of Adoption," which De Armond wrote based on her experiences with adoption, was published in 1984.

"I really thought it was time to do the book," she told a Times reporter in 1985. "There are so many controversies in adoption currently. We have been learning in the last 10 years that some of the most basic assumptions we made about adoptions were wrong."

Born in Chicago, De Armond received a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska.

De Armond is survived by daughter Anne Colvin, granddaughters Michelle Colvin and Alicia Colvin and a great-grandson, Vincent Colvin-Foti.

A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. today at the Old North Church, Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn., the Make-A-Wish Foundation or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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