Kobernick House Residents are Passionate about the Arts

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Jul 25, 2013

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Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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What brought Kobernick House resident Len Gumley to Sarasota after so many exciting years in New York and Hollywood where he enjoyed being an actor and a television and film producer?
The arts, says Len without hesitation. I was attracted to Sarasota's arts and culture, especially the theatre. I served on the board of directors for the Asolo Theatre for 15 years and on the board of the West Coast Black Theatre for ten years. We just got our own building, and the plays at West Coast Black Theatre are selling out.
Born and raised in New York City, Len al-ways felt a passion for theatre, acting and all the creativity of film and television production. In his senior year of college, the Pearl Harbor attack happened and Len volunteered to join the US Air Force, becoming a glider pilot. After the war ended, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and began producing motion pictures and designing television sets. His favorite studio was in Hollywood, California.
Working as a young actor, Len landed a role in the popular 1949 film, The Sands of Iwo Jima, starring John Wayne.
I am the last person alive who has screen credit in that film, says Len. I played the part of Private Sid Stein, and in that film, I died in John Waynes arms.
In the summer of 1946, Len re-calls being roommates with Ernest Borgnine. They were in several theatre productions together. When Len decided to make a career change from acting to television production, he moved back to New York City and began with the Milton Berle Show. He went on to work for NBC and CBS, where he got to know Walter Cronkite, Mike Wallace and other greats in the news business.
Later, Len became an independent film producer, excelling in medical documentaries. He is especially proud of a film he produced called In the Absence of Angels, which aired on PBS, showing homeless people helping other homeless people.
This film was made 30 years ago, says Len, and it is still relevant today. I met with Sarasota's city manager to see if the film can be shown here.
Len recently celebrated his 93rd birthday by going out to dinner at Hyde Park Prime Steak House with his lovely lady friend, Frances Robinson. They met at Kobernick House shortly after Len moved there in December of 2012.
Frances recalls, I was part of Kobernick Houses hospitality committee, which is a group of people who welcome people when they first move in to help them get acclimated. My friend Bernice Goodman was also on the committee, and she introduced me to Len.
Originally from Oklahoma City, Frances had vacationed on Siesta Key and Longboat Key for many years before becoming a full time resident of Sarasota. Like Len, she was attracted by the theatre, ballet, fine dining and all the cultural venues Sarasota offers. Frances has always been a bridge player, and she plays most every day in the Kobernick House Card Room.
I believe that playing Bridge
keeps your mind sharp, says Frances. I also enjoy exercising in the Fitness Center and swimming in the pool. Living here feels like being with family. People are so caring, and I have made a lot of good friends here. I am very happy at Kobernick House.
Kobernick House offers the finest independent living on the campus of Kobernick-Anchin, Sarasota's only senior
living rental community offering a full continuum of care: independent and assisted living, secure memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. To learn more or take a tour, call any time: 941-377-0781. Visit online: www.kobernickanchin.org. 1951 North Honore Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34235.
Sponsored by the Sarasota Manatee Jewish Housing Council, Inc., Kobernick-Anchin operates on a non-discriminatory basis for admissions, services and employment
(ALF #8951, SNF #130471046)
Editors Note: This article was written by Carlene Cobb, Public Relations Director, Kobernick-Anchin.

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