Some 20 years after winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “Good Will Hunting”, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have reunited for a new drama called “The Last Duel”. Matt Damon and Affleck are well known names in Hollywood, but there is a large circle of philanthropists, artists and musicians who are less well known and who also give generously. One of the biggest donors among them was Ginny Mancini.
She has supported the Disney Music Hall, the Music Center, the Hollywood Bowl and many other worthy organizations.
She was born in 1924 and recently died in her Malibu home where she lived for many years.
Ginny was a jazz singer during the big band era.
In the post-war era, she joined band frontman Mel Torme upon graduating from Los Angeles City College as a jazz singer. She later found herself with the Tex Beneke Orchestra. As a member of the orchestra, she became a member of the famous Mello-Larks.
Beneke had recently taken over from the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The orchestra was looking for fresh young talent and he found it in a promising jazz singer as well as a creative arranger and pianist named Henry Mancini.
Ginny and Henry married in 1947. At the same time, Henry was working hard to write hits like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “The Pink Panther”.
In no time at all, he landed 72 Grammy Awards and 18 Oscar nominees. As his career soared, he became one of the most popular and well-known television and film composers of the 20th century. A few years ago, Henry was awarded a prestigious place in the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.
While Henry was composing, Ginny was working hard with her charity work and causes. She was always available to lend a hand to Malibu, but her passion was music. Among his many campaigns was âThe Neighborhood Music Schoolâ.
She founded a group that raised millions to help singers who have gone through difficult times; she was president of a Los Angeles music academy that encouraged young musicians; and she was Honorary Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
One of Hollywood’s leading philanthropists, she passed away on October 25. She attended concerts, concertos and performances until the end. Even with fragile health, she had a smile on her face and a warm welcome to all.
Ginny is survived by two daughters, a son, two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. Ginny Mancini, the woman with the generous heart of gold, was 97 years old.