Veteran studio teacher Lois Carl, a longtime tutor who worked side-by-side with young Hollywood stars such as Haley Joel Osment, David Arquette and Josh Hutchinson, has died from complications related to end-stage kidney disease. She was 82.
Carl died in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday at Anaheim Regional Hospital according to her son, Adam Carl, who followed his mother into the industry as an actor and producer.
As Osment’s longtime tutor and child welfare monitor, Carl accompanied the child actor as he became an in-demand presence on TV (with appearances on Murphy Brown, Walker: Texas Ranger, The Jeff Foxworthy Show, and Touched By an Angel) and in feature films (Pay it Forward, Edges of the Lord, and AI: Artificial Intelligence).
Carl was a familiar presence on Steven Spielberg’s film sets, working with young talent from the ensembles of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, The Terminal, and Catch Me if You Can. She also worked with director Robert Zemeckis, a frequent Spielberg collaborator, on The Polar Express as a tutor to Hutchinson, later of The Hunger Games fame.
The Bronx native tutored Arquette and Jay R. Ferguson (later of Mad Men) whole they worked on the Francis Ford Coppola-produced series that adapted The Outsiders to the small screen. She also worked with Ferguson on Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s hit sitcom Evening Shade. Family and work came together for her when she was hired to work on Hearts Afire, the John Ritter sitcom, which featured her son Adam as a series regular.
It was her son’s acting career in the 1980s that opened the door for Carl’s career as a soundstage scholar. While accompanying him to sets, made fast friends with the tutors she met. Carl had plenty in common with the tutors — she herself had taught grade school classes in New Jersey before moving to Southern California in 1970 when her husband, the late Jack Carl, took a job with the Orange County Probation Dept.
The lifelong Democrat pushed her baby in a stroller in a 1971 march protesting the Vietnam War and presented a firebrand presence on Facebook in recent years. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Clark’s memory to the American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Poverty Law Center, or Planned Parenthood.