Gloria Green, longtime owner of Glendale Career College, died Sept. 24 in Beverly Hills. She was 82.
Green was remembered as a feisty and high-profile leader of a vocational school that offered career training to more than 35,000 people during her 25 years at the helm. She appeared in dozens of commercials for her schools here and in Las Vegas, and later in life worked as an actress.
"She was an outstanding lady, an innovator dedicated to providing quality education for our community," Los Angeles Supervisor Mike Antonovich said.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 18, 1928, Green was a talented singer who married advertising executive Harold Green in New York and moved to Glendale with her husband and three children in 1959. She worked as a secretary and administrator at various offices while also singing at weddings and bar mitzvahs.
In 1975, she took over what had been the Glendale College of Business and expanded the school's offerings to include instruction in technology, as well as the medical and legal fields.
She also operated the Nevada Career Institute in Las Vegas.
Green sold Glendale Career College, which now offers programs exclusively in health-related fields, in 2000.
She then began to get work on screen, doing commercials and appearing in the 2006 Kim Basinger film "Even Money."
Former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian remembered Green as a "go-getter" who once surprised him by announcing, in front of her graduating students, that he would be the commencement speaker that night. Zarian ad-libbed a 15-minute message.
"She was one of the more energetic people that I have known," he said. "I remember her as a person dedicated and committed to the people who worked for her and the students."
Green is survived by her daughter, Barbara Gruen Johnson; sons Richard and Steven Green; and grandson Sam Green, all of Los Angeles.
Private services were held Sept. 27. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Help Group, which supports families of children with autism and other disabilities. For more information, visit http://www.thehelpgroup.org.