Artist and Actress Simone Gad (1947-2021)

Simone, a well-known fixture in the Los Angeles art and acting community has passed away at the age of 74. She was adored and well loved by many. 

Simone was born in Brussels, Belgium and immigrated to Los Angeles in 1951 with her parents who were Polish Holocaust survivors. The family settled in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles. 

Simone was known/is remembered for her fun sense of style, especially her array of unique cat’s eye glasses and unending kindness. She also possessed a love for animals, and always shared stories of her beloved cats over the years. Her love of animals was reflected in her animal rescue/pin-up works she had been working on the past couple of years.

Simone was involved in the Fluxus movement and rose to prominence in the 1970’s art scene. She began making collage and assemblage paintings on vinyl. In her later paintings, she featured very expressionistic images of Chinatown, Fu Dogs, and other architecture of the world such as San Francisco, Spain, and Belgium.

Simone’s work has been exhibited throughout California, including at Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Molly  Barnes Gallery, MOAH Lancaster, Track 16. She also showed internationally including exhibitions in Poland, and Berlin. Simone is also the recipient of numerous awards and grants and her work is included in private and public collections, as well as many publications. 

As an actress, Simone may best be remembered for her part in the feature film, “Speed” where she played the silent but stand-out bus passenger along with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Simone was also very proud to inform you that as an actress she was the first to speak lines on the Pilot episode of the now long running daytime drama “Day’s Of Our Lives” with her line, “You’re the greatest.” Simone had many other acting projects, all unique like her. 

Her art, like her life, is a reflection of “Hollywood and survival.” Simone moved through life with joy and honesty. She was self-taught and multi-talented. Simone was constantly working on her art. Besides paintings, drawings, and collage, she was working on the third book of her “Molested at the Movies” series at the time of her death.  

This text was written by ONE Archives Operations Manager Bud Thomas, friend of Simone Gad. 

Image Credit: Julie Rico, "Simone Gad," August 18, 2012.