by Dennis Klein

California. April 4, 2012

Every writer has in mind an audience during his or her act of writing. Not the vast audience the writing is ultimately intended to reach, but in the loneliness and insecurity of the writing moment an individual who--the writer imagines--will read and laugh and chuckle and then gush out thoughtful, well-reasoned compliments even when the praise might be a bit or more than a bit undeserved. Someone who can be counted on to enjoy a subtle joke, understand a complicated moment, appreciate an obscure reference. And if the writer is lucky this person will even come up with fresh ideas, unique angles, and elegant fixes for writing gone awry.

For me that person was Caroline Maria.

With her recent death we’ve lost one brilliant, talented person. What she meant to my work and to me personally, as a friend and as a kind of sister/soulmate was immeasurably vast; that and the magnificent work she did—such as partnering with A&E and NewLine Television to produce a documentary special which was later featured on Oprah, award winning series like Tales from the Crib--is the legacy she leaves.

Every time someone mentions to me a show of mine, from "Cosby" to "The Larry Sanders Show," I find myself thinking of how my writing on those and other of my projects was strengthened by Caroline's ideas and support and by her sparkling, powerful intellect and creativity. And I always think--Isn’t that remarkable, to be that human and empathetic, and still have that hilariously, deliciously, dark streak of humor all in one package? They don’t make ‘em like that any more!

Also there is for women and other humans a continuing inspiration from how Caroline formed her own Montreal-based production company, Cinemaria, at a young age so she could write, produce and direct shows that excited her, from children’s animation and puppet shows, to edgy comedies for teens and adults, and informative documentaries on subjects close to her heart, like restorative justice, and the link between reproductive technology and eugenics.

Her latest production is a documentary series on Ste-Hyacinthe’s Centre hospitalier universitaire vétérinaire (CHUV), which premiered in Canada on TV5 on April 4th, 2012. The CHUV is one of the most renowned animal hospitals in North America, specializing in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured wild life. A legacy fund in Caroline’s name has been opened at the CHUV to continue its great work.

We've lost a great lady and a fabulously sensitive writer, director and producer who utilized her talents to not only entertain but enlighten. Her life should be celebrated, her continuing contribution embraced. Caroline Maria, rare in the world of show business--a cruel and small-minded factory of thoughtless garbage--made the world a better place.

© Cinemaria 2012. All Rights Reserved.