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Anna Lee

Anna Lee

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Also Known As: Joan Boniface Winnifrith Died: May 14, 2004
Born: January 2, 1913 Cause of Death: died of pneumonia
Birth Place: Kent, England, GB Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

For her American film debut, Anna Lee was required to darken her naturally blonde hair by order of "Seven Sinners" (1941) star Marlene Dietrich, whose ego could handle no competition from the blue-eyed, surpassingly lovely British actress. While posing no threat to Hollywood's A-list leading ladies, Lee kept busy in the ensuing years, backing John Wayne in "The Flying Tigers" (1942) and Boris Karloff in "Bedlam" (1946) while proving a valuable addition to John Ford's stock company, beginning with the Academy Award-winning "How Green Was My Valley" (1944). Shifting to character parts in middle age and focusing on television work to allow time with her family, Lee contributed a string of wry cameo appearances to such features as "The Prize" (1962), "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1964), and "The Sound of Music" (1965). Most often seen as the epitome of prudence and purity, she enjoyed playing the occasional bad girl - the perfidious wife of Warner Baxter's "Prison Warden" (1949), the benighted Lady Constance of "Jack the Giant Killer" (1962), and the distaff supervillain of "In Like Flint" (1967). At age 65, Lee began a long association with the ABC soap opera "General Hospital" (1963- ), playing...

For her American film debut, Anna Lee was required to darken her naturally blonde hair by order of "Seven Sinners" (1941) star Marlene Dietrich, whose ego could handle no competition from the blue-eyed, surpassingly lovely British actress. While posing no threat to Hollywood's A-list leading ladies, Lee kept busy in the ensuing years, backing John Wayne in "The Flying Tigers" (1942) and Boris Karloff in "Bedlam" (1946) while proving a valuable addition to John Ford's stock company, beginning with the Academy Award-winning "How Green Was My Valley" (1944). Shifting to character parts in middle age and focusing on television work to allow time with her family, Lee contributed a string of wry cameo appearances to such features as "The Prize" (1962), "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" (1964), and "The Sound of Music" (1965). Most often seen as the epitome of prudence and purity, she enjoyed playing the occasional bad girl - the perfidious wife of Warner Baxter's "Prison Warden" (1949), the benighted Lady Constance of "Jack the Giant Killer" (1962), and the distaff supervillain of "In Like Flint" (1967). At age 65, Lee began a long association with the ABC soap opera "General Hospital" (1963- ), playing matriarch Lila Quartermaine for 26 years, even after a 1982 automobile accident put her in a wheelchair for life. Lee's death in 2004 capped a 70-year career in film, bequeathing to movie lovers the legacy of an actress with the soul of a character player and the face of a movie star.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Where Evil Lies (1995)
2.
 Listen To Me (1989) Garson'S Grandmother
4.
 Pick-Up Artist, The (1987) Joan
5.
 Night Rider, The (1979) Lady Earl
6.
 Beasts Are On The Streets, The (1978) Mrs Jackson
8.
 My Darling Daughters' Anniversary (1973) Judge Barbara Hanline
9.
 Star! (1968) Hostess
10.
 In Like Flint (1967) Elisabeth
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Joined the London Repertory Theatre; toured in such plays as "The Constant Nymph" and "Jane Eyre"
:
Earliest film credits include "Chelsea Life" (1933) and "The Camels Are Coming" (1934)
1940:
First American film, "Seven Sinners", in support of Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne
1941:
Made first film with director John Ford, "How Green Was My Valley"
1950:
Moved to New York to begin second career in live TV
1951:
Played Dora Foster on the TV sitcom, "A Date with Judy"
:
Was a panelist on the information/game show, "It's News to Me"
1952:
Last feature film for several years, "Boots Malone"
1956:
Played Doris Mayfield on the CBS sitcom, "The Charlie Farrell Show"
:
Returned to feature films in the late 1950s in such films as "The Last Hurrah" (1958) and "The Horse Soldiers" (1959)
1965:
Portrayed Sister Margaretta in "The Sound of Music"
1978:
Played Lila Quatermaine on the ABC daytime drama, "General Hospital"
1982:
Injured spine in accident; paralyzed from waist down
1993:
Awarded star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Center School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art at Royal Albert Hall: -

Notes

Lee has received three SOAP OPERA Digest awards for her work on "General Hospital" in 1982, 1983 and 1988.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Robert Stevenson. Director. Married 1934; divorced 1940; met in the Libyan desert while filming "The Camels Are Coming"; directed Lee in six films, including "The Man Who Changed His Mind" (1936), "King Solomon's Mines" (1937) and "Return to Yesterday" (1940).
husband:
Robert Nathan. Novelist, playwright, poet. Married from 1970 until his death at age 91 in 1985.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
John Winnifrith. Government official. Died January 1, 1993 in Aplledore, Kent, England at the age of 84; had served in the British government as undersecretary of state for agriculture and fisheries; also worked as director general of the National Trust.
daughter:
Venetia Stevenson. Actor, model. Father Robert Stevenson; formerly married to actor Russ Tamblyn and pop singer Don Everly of the Everly Brothers; mother of Erin Everly (born c. 1966).
daughter:
Caroline Stevenson.
son:
John Stafford. Died in 1986.
son:
Stephen Stafford.
son:
Jeffrey Byron. Actor, screenwriter.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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