A great cheer was heard last week from just over the horizon. At that moment the sun was going down and we were grieving. After a too long time of suffering, strong and noble hearted Reno had lifted off the Malibu shores, spread her wings and headed for her new home with the Angels. Tears were flowing here but smiles cracked wide, champagne was uncorked and huzzahs burst forth just out of sight over the crest of the Earth. There, her guardian angels had prepared a fine welcoming for their pal. Our sadness was matched by their joy. It was like an ovation that comes at the end of the third act of a wonderful play: So appropriate for Reno Franz cum Doreen Lang.
Here was a great lady and a fine friend to all who had the privilege of knowing her. Always positive and filled with outgoing energy, her “drama” was irrepressible and never seemed to wane. An actress to the end, Reno had style. Yes, she loved to “hold stage,” but it was what we always hoped for because it came from her excitement for life and friends and her great heart.
For over three decades, Reno and Arthur had carved out their niche on a cliff overlooking the sea, the aerie from which they ventured forth to act in motion picture and television productions. They had worked like Trojans, building their home with their own hands and casting for dinner from their sea scoured rocky cliff. Every day at 4 p.m., Reno would descend that stout wooden stairway to the beach with her faithful white Lab, greet the tourist beach people and salute the Pacific Ocean. Her gestures were grand and her smile infectious. Everyone could see she was the queen.
If you were lucky, you might be invited to climb the airy stairway and come in for a “Mart.” Some of us were very lucky for it was in that tall ceilinged wooden kitchen where she would regale us with vast renditions of William Shakespeare, toasting every lively sonnet and phrase with a glass held high for her friends.
Reno never took Malibu for granted. While she enjoyed her privacy, she appeared with fervor at the many gatherings to support and protect our very special Malibu environment. She will be missed, but the Angels are happy now that she has returned to them.