Patricia Breslin Modell, the wife of former Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns Owner Art Modell, passed away Wednesday. She was 80 years old.
Modell first made a name for herself as an accomplished actress who performed on the New York stage, motion pictures and television. After marrying the team's owner, she immersed herself in her family and community improvement.
During her 22-year acting career, Mrs. Modell starred in the "People's Choice" television series with actor Jackie Cooper and was cast in more than 400 motion pictures and television shows. Perhaps her most widely known role was as Meg Baldwin in the daytime series "General Hospital." She also played Laura Brooks on the prime-time soap opera "Peyton Place."
Modell made her TV debut as "Juliet" in the NBC-TV production of Romeo & Juliet in 1952. Among her many television roles, she was a regular on "Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Perry Mason," and "Maverick."
At one point, Modell had appeared in more television shows than any other woman in U.S. history. Her record was eventually broken by one of her best friends, the late Lucille Ball.
After her marriage in 1969 to Art Modell, Patricia's life went a different path.
In Cleveland, she served on the board at Ursuline College and was active in the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Cleveland Musical Arts Association, the Cleveland Ballet, the Playhouse Square Foundation and the Cerebral Palsy Association. She actively supported the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and she started and funded, along with her husband, the Hospice of the Western Reserve (Cleveland, OH).
In Baltimore, she served on several boards, including: House of Ruth, Gilchrist Hospice, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Walters Art Museum, and she was a major contributor to the St. Vincent's Center and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Modells contributed $3.5 million to the Lyric Opera House, which was recently renamed the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric.
The Modells pledged $5 million to help start a public boarding school for disadvantaged students. The SEED School, which opened in the fall of 2008, recruits middle and high school students from around the state. The gift is believed to have been one of the largest private contributions to a single public school in Maryland.
Pat and Art Modell were honored as the 2009 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for the millions of dollars and the time donated to charitable causes by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Maryland Chapter.
Mrs. Modell is survived by two sons, John and David, and six grandchildren.