Harvey Matusow's father died, his boss fired him, his wife left him, and he was getting ready to go to jail for several years. It was February 1957.

He started calling himself Job.The sheer volume of his woes struck him as funny. And when a friend told him to read the story of Job in the Bible, he saw some similarities. Including the fact that "Job was a joyful person, in spite of everything."

History books remember Matusow for his role in the McCarthy-era blacklisting of suspected communists. He was infamous because he "named names." Later, he racanted part of his testimony and went to prison.

At the time, American headlines referred to him as the "most hated man in America." He was reviled and lonely. But he discovered that everything has its up side.

"It all freed me from self-consciousness. I had no credibility. So I decided I could then be as incredible as I wanted to be."

Incredible, indeed.

In his seven-plus decades, Matusow has rubbed elbows with luminaries and homeless people. Singer Billie Holliday threw him a going-to-prison party. A British tabloid called him the man who destroyed the Beatles, because he introduced Yoko Ono to John Lennon.

But the thread that has always run through his life is God. Sometimes loved, sometimes feared, sometimes not quite trusted as things seemed to fall apart.

At 18, a Jewish soldier witnessing the end of the Holocaust, he discovered this truth about himself. "I was religious and loved God, but hated churches. I found my brother's body in an unmarked grave in Nuremburg. I was not enamored with religion. I felt if churches had stood up to Hitler, he would not have gotten that far."

These days, Matusow's at home in the LDS Church. And his life is more focused, although not much simpler. The focus is on providing service to others, a joy he discovered in federal prison, where he wrote and read letters for people who could neither read nor write.

"I founded the Gandhi Peace Center back in 1983 with my late wife, Emily," said Matusow. She died in 1989. I've taken vows of poverty and live the life of a high-tech monk," he said. "I wanted to fill my life with service to others."

He had met Mahatma Gandhi's great nephew, who had just completed a peace walk across America. The two agreed to establish a nonprofit organization called the Gandhi Peace Center, dedicated to service to others. The Matusows lived in Massachusetts at the time.

When he moved a few years ago to Glenwood, Sevier County, the peace center moved, too.

He's perhaps proudest of the center's "responsibility for the first-ever baptism in the Soviet Union before it collapsed." The man, he said, "became a convert to the (LDS) church as a result of his contacts with the Gandhi Peace Center."

As part of the peace center's mission, Matusow helps care for the homeless. He has also gotten donations of several vans, along with the services of volunteer drivers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as the Baptist, Assembly of God and Presbyterian churches. Together, they provide transportation for people with disabilities throughout Sevier, Wayne and Piute counties. He also rescues stray dogs and works with the Special Olympics in Sevier County.

His occupation has varied greatly over the years. Now he runs Utah's only public access television station, which reaches 8,000 square miles in Sanpete and Sevier counties. Wayne County will be added soon. The station is "in the bus in my yard," said Matusow. "But we're starting to move it out to an editing suite and production center. Our slogan is, 'It's not Hollywood, it's Glenwood.' "

A huge part of the station's mission is providing quality, nonviolent programming for children. His Magic Mouse Magazine is carried in many markets and has won numerous awards. Matusow hosts the show as a clown, "Cockyboo," and pays operating costs with his disability check. He's also written a book, and the $5 sales price is used to fund the station.

Matusow was born in New York City and grew up on Broadway. He did his first television show in 1947, a two-hour weekly fashion show where he played the "rear-end of a theatrical horse." In the '50s, he appeared a couple of times on "Howdy Doody." He's had many bit parts in movies and TV shows, including "Touched by an Angel."

That show, in fact, is an example of the miracles he's experienced along the way, he said, adding he plans to write a book about the miracles in his life.

Three years ago, he got a call from the Hopi Reservation in Second Mesa. They were in the middle of a drought and had no corn. "When the Hopis don't have any corn, it's a crisis." He and two friends got down on their knees and prayed for a part in the popular television show. It would be a two-day shoot and would provide money so he could buy corn for the Hopis. He got the role two hours later.

"That has happened to me all my life," he said. "I travel without purse and scrip, and I'm never denied. That's the bottom line. And I've been able to work with the homeless, the disenfranchised, the person in prison, Native Americans. It goes on and on. Blessings."

When he was younger, he worked for the BBC in London and co-founded an underground newspaper.

He was introduced to the LDS Church in 1954 by columnist Jack Anderson, also Mormon. But his early relationship with the church was more a dance than a commitment. When his life fell apart, he stepped back, to avoid bringing shame to his church. He explored Buddhism and volunteered with Quaker and other Christian faiths. Twenty-five years ago, he recommitted himself to the LDS Church.

Now an active high priest, he finds the LDS Church very different from how he'd been raised. He was a religious, conservative Jew who found it "hard to accept Christianity because of strong feelings about how they had abused and persecuted Jews in the name of Christ. I liked the Mormons, they were as hated and persecuted as the Jews. They had a strong testimony of gospel."

He's been active in Tibetan politics and appeared on television with the Dalai Lama.

But he doesn't describe himself as "busy."

"That implies fragmentation. I like active. It means you're focused," he laughed.