Elmer Leon Bernard, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Port Allen on February 12, 2013 after a long struggle with cancer.
Known to everyone as "Tody", he is remembered for his humor, talent, and loving warmth. Born on February 28, 1948, Tody was raised in Port Allen and graduated from Port Allen High. In 1980, he graduated from Nicholls State University, receiving a BA in Theatre and English with emphasis in acting and directing. While attending Nicholls he was awarded Best Actor Award in 1980. In 1985, he married Berthilde Coles and together they moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to pursue his acting career. Tody, a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, was featured in 11 films, numerous plays and television appearances. He was a member of Lonny Chapman's Group Repertory Theatre in Burbank, where he appeared in a number of productions from 1990-94. His most recent movies included American Violet (2008), Dirty Politics (2009), and Remnants (2010). Tody specialized in parts that featured strong Southern, Cajun, French, and Brooklyn dialects. A lover of film and theatre, music, writing, fishing, and great food, Tody died on Mardi Gras – his all-time favorite holiday. He will be fondly remembered for his joy for life and big heart. Tody is survived by aunts and uncles, Dolores Burns Simoneaux, Kitty and Ivy Alford, Richard Burns, and Jenny and Thomas Bernard; numerous cousins and extended family in the Baton Rouge area; loving friend Carol Swanzy; dog Bridget; and close friends from coast to coast. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Berthilde Coles and parents, former Louisiana Legislator Elmer L. "Yum" Bernard and wife Rita Burns Bernard. A mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by the Reverend David Allen at Holy Family Catholic Church in Port Allen on Saturday, February 16, at 10:30 a.m., with visitation at the church starting at 9:30 am. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Hospice of Baton Rouge. A special thanks goes out to Reverend David Allen, Nita from Hospice of Baton Rouge, and Tody's treasured friends who filled his final days with love and care.