Docs

‘Leave Them Laughing’ star dies

Carla Zilbersmith, the subject of John Zaritsky's latest documentary, Leave Them Laughing, passed away on Tuesday, May 18.
May 19, 2010

Carla Zilbersmith, the subject of John Zaritsky’s latest documentary, Leave Them Laughing, passed away on Tuesday, May 18. Zilbersmith was a California-based stand-up comedian and singer who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2007. The documentary, which won the Hot Docs Special Jury Award for a Canadian feature, focuses on Zilbersmith’s will to maintain her sense of humor despite her failing health.

Oscar-winning director Zaritsky paid for the film out of his own pocket, with help from Magic Flute Films producer Montana Berg, after reading a quote from Zilbersmith about how much it ‘sucks’ to have a disease named for a baseball player since she hates baseball. Throughout her career Zilbersmith wrote plays, songs, scripts and one-woman shows and the film on her life followed her over six weeks as she continued to sing and perform stand-up comedy despite her debilitating disease. For more on the project, click here.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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