Patricia Breslin

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Patricia Breslin
Patricia Breslin 1951 headshot.jpg
Breslin in a 1951 headshot
Patricia Rose Breslin

(1931-03-17)March 17, 1931
DiedOctober 12, 2011(2011-10-12) (aged 80)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Alma materCollege of New Rochelle
Years active1949–1969
David Orrick McDearmon
(m. 1953; div. 1969)

Art Modell
(m. 1969; her death 2011)

Patricia Rose Breslin (March 17, 1931 – October 12, 2011) was an American actress and philanthropist. She had a prominent career in television, which included recurring roles as Amanda Miller on The People's Choice (1955–58), and as Laura Harrington Brooks on Peyton Place (1964–65).[1] She also appeared in Go, Man, Go! (1954), and the William Castle horror films Homicidal (1961) and I Saw What You Did (1964).

In 1969, Breslin married NFL mogul Art Modell, and became a well-known philanthropist while living in both Cleveland, Ohio, and Baltimore, Maryland, donating millions of dollars to various educational, health, and art organizations, including the SEED Foundation of Maryland and the Baltimore Museum of Art. She also helped open the Hospice of the Western Reserve at the Cleveland Clinic.

Early life[edit]

Patricia Rose Breslin was born in New York City, one of three children born to Edward (a judge) and Marjorie Breslin.[2][3] Her father was a Catholic of Irish descent and her mother was of Scottish descent.[2] Breslin was raised in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Southeast Bronx.[4] She graduated from the Academy of Mount St. Ursula High School in the Bronx before attending the College of New Rochelle in New York State.[3]


In 1954, she guest-starred with Peter Mark Richman in an episode of NBC's legal drama, Justice, as a woman threatened by hoodlums.[5] The same year, she appeared in a supporting role as Sylvia Franklin Saperstein in the sports film Go, Man, Go! (1954), opposite Ruby Dee, Sidney Poitier, and the Harlem Globetrotters.[6]

The following year, Breslin was cast in an episode of the CBS anthology series Appointment with Adventure, a series with neither a host nor a regular star. From 1955 to 1958, Breslin co-starred with Jackie Cooper as his girlfriend and then wife in the NBC sitcom, The People's Choice.

Between 1960 and 1963, Breslin made three guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason, and was cast as the defendant in all three episodes. In 1960, she played Karen Lewis in "The Case of the Lavender Lipstick." In 1962, she played Karen Ross in "The Case of the Poison Pen-Pal", and in 1963, as Laura Hewes in "The Case of the Prankish Professor".

In 1960, she played the newlywed wife of William Shatner's character in CBS's The Twilight Zone episode "Nick of Time", and was also in the 1963 Twilight Zone episode "No Time Like the Past", in which she portrayed Abigail Sloan.

In 1960, she guest-starred on the short-lived David McLean Western series, Tate, which aired on NBC. She appeared on Nick Adams' ABC Western, The Rebel and with Jack Lord in his ABC adventure series, Stoney Burke. Thereafter, Breslin played the role of Anne Mitchell, along with co-stars Ralph Bellamy and Paul Fix, in the 1961 episode "The Haven" of CBS's anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson.

She returned to film in 1961, starring in William Castle's horror film Homicidal, and later worked with him again on the thriller I Saw What You Did (1964). In 1964, she was cast in the role of Laura Brooks on the ABC primetime soap opera Peyton Place. She also played the role of Meg Baldwin in the ABC soap opera General Hospital from 1966 to 1969.

Personal life[edit]

From 1953 to 1969, Breslin was married to actor and director David Orrick McDearmon, and had two children from this union. Later, Breslin married then Cleveland Browns (later the Baltimore Ravens) NFL team owner and advertising and business executive Art Modell in 1969.[1] Breslin had two sons from her first marriage to character actor David Orrick McDearmon, sons John and David. Shortly after their marriage, Modell legally adopted Patricia's sons and they took his surname. The family lived in Waite Hill, Ohio, then later Owings Mills, Maryland, with a total of six grandchildren between them.


Breslin became a well-known philanthropist in both Cleveland, Ohio, and Baltimore, Maryland, after relocating to the city in 1995. She and husband Modell donated $5 million to the SEED School of Maryland, a public boarding school for disadvantaged junior high and high school students from around the state.[7] They also donated $3.5 million to help restore the Lyric Opera House, and Breslin served on the boards of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Walters Art Museum, and also donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

In Cleveland, she helped start the Hospice of the Western Reserve at the Cleveland Clinic, and supported the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. She was also active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Cleveland Musical Arts Association, the Cleveland Ballet, the Playhouse Square Foundation, and the Cerebral Palsy Association.[7]


Breslin died on October 12, 2011,[8] at the age of 80 after a lengthy hospitalization with pancreatitis.[3] Her funeral was offered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. Her husband Art had been a major contributor to the restoration of the basilica.[9]



Year Title Role Notes
1952 Faith Is a Nine-Letter Word TV film; episode of Hallmark Hall of Fame
1953 Man Against Pain TV film; episode of Hallmark Hall of Fame
1954 Go, Man, Go! Sylvia Franklin Saperstein
1958 Andy Hardy Comes Home Jane Hardy Final film in M-G-M's "Andy Hardy" series
1961 Homicidal Miriam Webster
1965 I Saw What You Did Ellie Mannering


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Broadway Television Theatre Rebecca 1 episode
1953 The Goldbergs Dora Barnett 1 episode
1954 Armstrong Circle Theatre Jeannie McTavish 2 episodes
1954 The Telltale Clue Sally Bell 1 episode
1955 The Best of Broadway Elaine Harper 1 episode
1955 Appointment with Adventure Sally 1 episode
1955–58 The People's Choice Amanda 'Mandy' Peoples Miller 104 episodes
1958 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Julia Heyton 1 episode
1958 Alcoa Theatre June Dunlap 1 episode
1959 Maverick Alice Appleton / Abigail Allen 1 episode
1959 The Millionaire Susan Ballard 1 episode
1960 Hotel de Paree Ellie Graham 1 episode
1960 Tate Jessica Jackson 1 episode
1960 Outlaws Julie Kittrick 1 episode
1960 The Detectives Jean Graham 1 episode
1961 The Rifleman Cora Seevers 1 episode
1961 The DuPont Show with June Allyson Anne Mitchell 1 episode
1961 The Rebel Elizabeth Purdy 1 episode
1961 The New Breed Ruth Wollock 1 episode
1961 Tales of Wells Fargo Theresa Coburn 1 episode
1962 The Donna Reed Show Millie 1 episode
1962 Adventures in Paradise Lorraine Maybery 1 episode
1958–1962 Alfred Hitchcock Presents 3 episodes
1962 Thriller Dinah Duffay 1 episode
1962 Bonanza Susan Blanchard 1 episode
1962 Stoney Burke Lee Anne Hewitt 1 episode
1962 Saints and Sinners Nancy Rogers 1 episode
1960–63 Perry Mason Laura Hewes / Karen Ross / Karen Lewis 3 episodes
1960–63 The Twilight Zone Abigail Sloan / Pat Carter 2 episodes
1963 The Dick Powell Theatre Susan Baird 1 episode
1963 Arrest and Trial Elizabeth Forellen 1 episode
1963 Dr. Kildare Marion French 1 episode
1964 Insight Maria 1 episode
1964 The Greatest Show on Earth Lisa 1 episode
1962–64 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Doris Parkerson / Linda Mallory 2 episodes
1964 The Virginian Mary Ann Martin 1 episode
1964 Death Valley Days Nancy 1 episode
1964–65 Peyton Place Laura Harrington Brooks 30 episodes
1966–69 General Hospital Meg Bentley, R.N. Contract role


  1. ^ a b Gary Mihoces (December 25, 2003). "Pioneer, pariah Modell nears end". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Baltimore Sun: "Supporting Role - Pat Modell, wife of the Ravens owner, gave up an acting career for love -- and never looked back" By Elizabeth Large April 08, 2001
  3. ^ a b c "Pat Modell, actress and wife of former owner Art Modell, dies". October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  4. ^ "Patricia Rose Breslin in the 1940 Census". Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  5. ^ "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
  6. ^ Crowther, Bosley (March 10, 1954). "THE SCREEN IN REVIEW; Harlem Globetrotters Perform in a Sports Romance, 'Go, Man, Go!' at the Globe". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Smith, Tim (October 12, 2011). "Patricia Modell, actress and philanthropist, dies at 80". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  8. ^ Associated Press (October 13, 2011). "Patricia Breslin, Actress and Wife of Former Ravens Owner, Dies at 80". The New York Times.
  9. ^ The Catholic Review: "Remembering Art Modell, champion of Catholic education" by George P. Matysek, Jr. September 6, 2012

External links[edit]