Georgine Hall Stauffer, 93, died peacefully on Monday, October 1, 2018, at the Acorn Glen assisted living residence in Princeton.
Georgine was born and raised in Princeton, the daughter of George Gilson Fleming and Grace Elizabeth Titus, and she spent most of her adult life there. She graduated from Wilson College in Pennsylvania in 1946 and later earned a master’s degree in English from Columbia University.
Her calling was in the theatre. She performed in summer and regional plays during college and went on to enjoy a long acting career with appearances in a wide variety of stage, TV, and movie productions. Her Broadway credits include a performance with George C. Scott in Present Laughter and a role as understudy to Anne Pitoniak in Night Mother. Off-Broadway, she appeared in Moliere’s Learned Ladies with Jean Stapleton; in Sam Shepard’s True West with Peter Boyle and Tommy Lee Jones; and in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party. Her regional theatre roles included Henry V, Buried Child, and Tartuffe. In the early 1960’s, she pioneered a children’s television program entitled Once Upon a Day, which aired on WNET in New York. Later in her career, she appeared in several TV series, including Law and Order and The Good Wife. And she played Melvin Douglas’s secretary in the movie Being There with Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine. Georgine also taught English and drama in the Princeton public schools for years, and until recently, she worked at The Lewis School of Princeton teaching drama to students with dyslexia and other learning challenges.
Her first marriage was in 1949 to Herbert J. Hall, a prominent physicist and environmental scientist and the father of her three children. Later husbands included Ralph Freedman, former Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, and David DuVivier, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and member of the Coudert Brothers law firm in Paris. In her 80’s, Georgine rekindled a college-era romance with Daniel Stauffer, a Princeton graduate and civil engineer from Texas, and the two were married in August of 2010. Their loving companionship ended with Daniel’s passing in May of 2017.
Not only an accomplished actress, Georgine was a champion of civil rights, a devoted mother, a gourmet cook, a lover of English Bulldogs (Guinevere and Lancelot), and a loyal and generous friend to many, from actors and academics to the caregivers on staff at Acorn Glen. Her love of life, grit, and humor will be sorely missed.
She is survived by three children and their spouses (Molly Hall and husband Emilio Tavernise; John Hall and wife Kate Hall; and Stephen Hall and wife Margaret Dailey); two stepsons and their spouses (Mark Freedman and wife Alison Meyer; and Jonathan Freedman and wife Sara Blair); seven grandchildren (Kate Berenson, Aaron Berenson, Hannah Berenson and husband Ryan Stafford, Sarah Berenson, Conrad Hall, Jennifer Hall, and Margot Hall); six stepgrandchildren (Weli Freedman, Michael Freedman, Sarah Freedman, Ariel Freedman, Benjamin Freedman, and Miriam Freedman); and two great-grandchildren (Grace Stafford and Caleb Stafford).
The family will hold a burial service at the Princeton Cemetery on October 8th, with a memorial to follow on a date to be determined. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home in Princeton.
Donations in Georgine’s memory may be made to The Actors Fund, 729 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019; The Lewis School of Princeton, 53 Bayard Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540; or C-Change Conversations, PO Box 1206, Princeton, NJ 08542.
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