International Researchers Searching for Local Film Noir Star

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SCRANTON -- Before Lizabeth Scott was starriung in movies next to the likes of Humphrey Bogart and other Hollywood greats, she was just Emma Matzo from Scranton.

Her film career captivated German film student Katrin Jacob and her friend Ruth Maizza. They came to the Electric City to research a graduate thesis -- plus plans for a book or documentary about Liz Scott.

"She was just this immigrant's daughter, her parents came through Ellis Island, and she probably thought, 'I'm going to be a Hollywood star' like every other immigrant's daughter probably did, yet she actually did," said Maizza.

Problem is that Scott wasn't your typical movie star -- she was extremely private. The researchers can't find much on her family.

"Her parents were called John and Mary Matzo, they had eight children, and there are no records for any of them," she added.

So, the women have stopped looking for a paper trail and are now hoping there's someone in the Scranton area who might remember her in the 1930's when she was Emma Matzo -- a student at Scranton Central High and Marywood.

"We went to Central [High School] -- which is now Lackawanna College -- and they looked at us and wondered if we were some country bumpkins, for thinking that just because it was the same building that they would have all those records," she said.

They admit their project is as much about the search as it is about what they hope to find.

"What did we find?" said Jacob. "Incredibly nice people!"

8 comments

  • Leon Sphincs

    Last word I heard she had a sweet gig lined up. Somewhere in Katmandu if I’m not mistaken. Could have been swallowed up in that outta control Bermuda Triangle that was gobbling up all them aeroplanes.

  • Dominic Graziano

    I am trying to find Stacy Lange’s email, because I actually know where John and Mary Matzo are buried. I also spoke to one of Lisbeth Scott’s sisters in 2014. I can’t remember her name off the top of my head, but I’m sure I have it written down somewhere.

  • Marguarita M Johnson-Whipkey

    Perhaps they could try Ancestry.com. There has to be some kind of trail if there was 8 children and they came thru Ellis Island? I would like to see how this turns out. Fantastic story!

    • CeeMe

      Great idea! Many libraries offer this service for nothing. It’s usually a better version than individuals get.

  • CeeMe

    P.S. What about Hollywood archives for the movies she starred in? Maybe they did all this, but I love Hollywood and would like to hear what becomes of this story.

  • CeeMe

    I liked this story and wnep should have more about local “mysteries.” She was beautiful and I never heard of her! I hope these researchers will keep going and someone comes forward with info. Someone has to know something. Did they visit nearby libraries and historical societies. What about alumni associations for Scranton area? Maybe the records are lost, but maybe not.

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