Who is Julia Lazar Franco?
Julia Lazar was born on the 7th November 1957, in Vienna, Austria of Hungarian and Austrian descent. She was probably best recognized as the lead singer of a very popular rock band entitled Exit, but was also well-known for being a camera operator, a publicist and a manager who took care of the Franco brothers’ business. Moreover, she caught the fan’s attention by marrying Tom Franco, and co-founding ‘The Firehouse Art Co’ project with him. She passed away in 2014.
There is very little information about Julia’s childhood available to the public, except that she was the only child of her parents, mother Marika Nagy who was a cook and an exceptional visual artist who created many memorable paintings and drawings, and her father Imre Lazar, who was an appreciated movie director – it’s believed that she inherited her great interest, remarkable talent and sensibility for art from them. While still in Vienna, she met her first love, famous composer and musician Richard Schoenherz, and after she finished her formal education, they moved to Bolinas, California USA in 1980s. As they had already entered the artistic world, they soon met a lot of other people who shared their passion for art and the same view of life as they did, so were quickly appreciated and accepted. Being interested in music all her life, she founded the rock band entitled Exit and became the lead singer – the band immediately gained popularity in the area.
Julia’s Soul-searching Quest
In the 1990s Julia decided to go on a soul-seeking journey, and ended up in Ganeshpuri, India, where she started living in a monastic community and cooking for all the people from the ashram. It was because of her enthusiasm and above all knowledge about plants and herbs that helped her manage the kitchen, and all the duties she had there. However, she never thought of it as a job or an obligation, it became her passion. She was so amazed by it that she wanted to learn more about cooking, and maybe to pursue a career in it, so she moved to Paris, France to study at Cordon Bleu, one of the most remarkable cuisine and culinary institutes in the world. Before moving back to the US, Julia gave birth to her only child – daughter Dawn Schoenherz; there is no record of Julia and Richard marrying, or of their relationship during Julia’s travels.
After graduating she returned to the US, but didn’t want to leave behind the kind of life she was living back in India, or to give up her passion for cooking. Therefore, she went to an ashram in the Bay Area, Oakland, where she found her home and started running the kitchen once again, and that was where she met her future husband and soul mate, Tom Franco, who was the co-ordinator of the community’s family programs. They started working together in 2003 on making and finding the shelter for families with various backgrounds who wanted to join them. Discovering their mutual fascination about art, they became engaged in various artistic projects and performances, led by the San Francisco cultural initiative, ‘Artship Ensemble’. The two of them became very close friends, and continued their professional collaboration in the following years. In 2005, Tom decided to found the organization ‘Firehouse Art Collective’, which would provide affordable space for artists, who would, ideally, create a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration, and for which Franco picked Julia to be one of the first organization’s managers. As they were getting closer, Julia became Tom’s constant companion, organizing and visiting all of the Firehouse’s events. Around that time, she started exploring the art of photography as well, so she took pictures of all the collective’s shows and made an online presentation of them. This helped in spreading the word about the organization and, more importantly, in increasing the collective’s influence and the collective itself.
Around 2010s Julia started dating Tom Franco. They were engaged for a long time before deciding to marry. Despite difficulties and their big age difference, they realized how special their bond was and how much they love each other, so decided to make it official on the 28th July 2014. The ceremony was held at the hospital as Julia’s sickness worsened to the point of her not being able to leave the bed. Nevertheless, Tom made sure to make the event as beautiful as possible by inviting their family members, friends, their colleagues from collective and ashram.
Cause of Death
Julia died approximately a month after the marriage, on the 25th August 2014. She contracted a chronic liver disease while she was a teenager which caused complications in her adult life. In her last years, she suffered from a liver cancer, hepatitis C and a kidney failure which consequently caused her death.
The exact amount of Julia’s net worth is not known, but sources estimate that she accumulated, and retained close to $1 million, through her long-lasting and very successful career as a musician, photographer, manager and cook. Besides, it is estimated by authoritative sources that her husband counts his net worth at the impressive amount of $10 million.