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Noted Baltimore Philanthropist Pat Modell Dies At Age 80

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore has lost a major contributor to education and the arts. Patricia Modell, wife of former Ravens owner Art Modell, has died at age 80.

Monique Griego has more on what she’s brought to Charm City.

Football and philanthropy have come to define Art and Pat Modell, yet Pat Modell had a prosperous career long before football became such a big part of her life.

Graceful and gracious are words that are synonymous with Pat Modell. She died Wednesday afternoon following a long illness.

“She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside,” said family friend Ed Brody.

Patricia Breslin was a noted actress who performed on stage, television and movies. Her career spanned 22 years, portraying Meg Baldwin in “General Hospital,” and Laura Brooks in the soap opera “Peyton Place.” She also starred in the “People’s Choice” television series with Jackie Cooper and appeared in more than 400 movies and television shows. She was a regular on “Twilight Zone,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Perry Mason” and “Maverick.”

At one point, Breslin had appeared in more television shows than any other woman in U.S. history. Her best friend, Lucille Ball, eventually broke her record.

She married Art Modell in 1969 and retired from acting, devoting herself to her family and community.

In Baltimore, Patricia Modell served on several boards including the Kennedy Krieger Institute, House of Ruth, Gilchrist Hospice, The Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She was a major contributor to the Baltimore Museum of Art and St. Vincent’s Center. The Lyric Opera House was recently renamed the Patricia and Art Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric following a $3.5 million contribution by the Modells.

Ed Brody runs the Lyric and is a family friend.

“Their $3.5 million allowed us to complete the renovations,” Brody said.

Because of that donation, their name is on the building, but they insisted their name be small.

“You don’t need your name on anything,” Pat Modell said. “You give because you want to.”

The Modells also pledged $5 million to the SEED School, a public boarding school for disadvantaged students that opened in 2008. The donation is believed to be one of the largest private contributions to a public school in Maryland.

Patricia and Art Modell were honored as the 2009 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for the money and the time donated to charitable causes by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Maryland Chapter.

Patricia Breslin Modell was born in New York City to Edward and Marjorie Breslin. Her father was a Special Sessions Judge in New York City.

She is survived by Art Modell, their sons John and David, and six grandchildren.

In a statement, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said, “Mrs. Modell understood the value of Baltimore’s cultural assets and preserved them for the community.”

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