The kind and gentle Matt Amato

Dear Editor:
Regarding the passing of your columnist, I first met Matty in 1972 while I was working as a reporter for the Jersey Journal. Matty would visit us often and talk politics with the staff. He and I remained friends through my turn as the mayor of Guttenberg.
Then, a couple of years ago, I invited him to act in my movie “Oak Hill.” His performance as a homeless person who could not read or write but remained determined to send a letter to his wife and family telling them how much he missed them was a performance par excellence. I shot his scene in one take. He asked for permission for a second take. I fought hard against it as director, as I was happy with the first take. He won out, and I’m grateful he did, because the second take was the one I used in the movie.
Thank you, Matty, for all the years of your kind and gentle personality and friendship.

Peter Lavilla

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