Ann Ayars, who sang with the New York City Opera, made a series of non-musical films and later became a college music professor, has died.
She was 75.
Ms. Ayars died Feb. 27 from the complications of diabetes at her home in Hemet in Riverside County.
"Ann was the leading (lyric) soprano at NYCO in the late 1940s and 1950s," her friend and former opera colleague Francis Bible told the Hemet News. "Her work with the opera has inspired many young singers, many of whom went on to professional careers."
Ms. Ayars' roles with the NYCO included Monica in "The Medium," Mimi in "La Boheme" and Violetta in "La Traviata." She also acted and sang in a 1951 film version of "The Tales of Hoffmann."
Earlier, she had acted in several of the old "Dr. Kildare" pictures and played supporting roles in Westerns.
In 1968, she joined the faculty of Mt. San Jacinto College in San Jacinto, where she taught voice and piano and staged 19 full-length opera productions before retiring in 1987.
Last year, the college made her professor emeritus.
"We were really fortunate to have someone here of her caliber," said college drama director Dennis Anderson.