Anna Lee on the cover of Picturegoer in 1936
Joan Boniface Winnifrith
2 January 1913
Ightham, Kent, England, UK
|Died||14 May 2004 91) (aged|
|Resting place||Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Other names||Joanna Boniface Stafford|
Robert Stevenson (m. 1934–1944)(divorced) (2 children)
George Stafford(m. 1944–1964)(divorced) (3 children)
(m. 1970;died 1985)
|Children|| Venetia Stevenson |
|Awards||1983 Soapy Awards for Favorite Woman in a Mature Role in General Hospital |
1998 Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in General Hospital
Anna Lee, MBE (born Joan Boniface Winnifrith; 2 January 1913 – 14 May 2004)was a British-born American actress.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
Lee trained at the Royal Albert Hall,then made her debut with a bit part in His Lordship (1932), when she was 19. She played a number of minor, often uncredited, roles in films during the early 1930s. She gradually began to get more prominent roles in quota quickies, particularly those made for Paramount British. She became known for her roles in films set amongst the wealthy particularly in Chelsea Life (1933), in which she starred with Louis Hayward. The film was set in the artistic community of Chelsea.
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, and is one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust for the nation, and receives no public or government funding. It can seat 5,267.
His Lordship is a 1932 British musical comedy film directed by Michael Powell. It was made as a Quota quickie.
Chelsea Life is a 1933 British drama film directed by Sidney Morgan and starring Louis Hayward, Molly Johnson and Anna Lee.
On the strength of her performances in quota films, in 1934 Lee signed a contract with Gainsborough Pictures, which was the biggest British production company of the era. She played leading lady roles in a variety of different genres at Gainsborough including a comedy-thriller The Camels Are Coming , a drama The Passing of the Third Floor Back , a horror film The Man Who Changed His Mind and a war film OHMS . She appeared in the 1935 Jessie Matthews musical First a Girl as the aristocratic other woman. In 1937 she starred in one of the studio's large-budget productions, King Solomon's Mines .
Gainsborough Pictures was a British film studio based on the south bank of the Regent's Canal, in Poole Street, Hoxton in the former Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, north London. Gainsborough Studios was active between 1924 and 1951. The company was initially based at Islington Studios which were built as a power station for the Great Northern & City Railway and was later converted to studios.
Leading lady is a term often applied to the leading actress in the performance if her character is the protagonist. It is also an informal term for the actress who plays a secondary lead, usually a love interest, to the leading actor in a film or play.
The Passing of the Third Floor Back is a 1935 British drama film directed by Berthold Viertel and starring Conrad Veidt, Anna Lee, Rene Ray and Frank Cellier. The film is based on a 1908 play and short story by Jerome K. Jerome and depicts the various small-minded inhabitants of a building and the arrival of a stranger who works to redeem them. The work had previously been adapted into a 1918 film version by Herbert Brenon.
She had met her first husband, the director Robert Stevenson while shooting The Camels are Coming on location in Egypt.During 1938 she took time off from acting to give birth to her first child. In 1939 she and her husband switched to Ealing Studios which was now being run by Michael Balcon the former head of Gainsborough. She played a nineteenth century Irish music hall performer who falls in love with an aristocrat in the comedy Young Man's Fancy (1939) and a journalist who helps the heroes thwart a foreign enemy's plot against Britain in The Four Just Men (1939).
Robert Edward Stevenson was an English film writer and director.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.
Ealing Studios is a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in west London. Will Barker bought the White Lodge on Ealing Green in 1902 as a base for film making, and films have been made on the site ever since. It is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film production in the world, and the current stages were opened for the use of sound in 1931.
Her final film in Britain was Return to Yesterday about a young repertory theatre actress who falls in love with a Hollywood star she meets while touring in a small seaside town.With the Second World War imminent, she and Stevenson then went to the United States. She remained supportive of the British war effort and in 1943 appeared alongside other British actors in Forever and a Day , which was made to raise money for British charities.
Return to Yesterday is a 1940 British comedy-drama film directed by Robert Stevenson and starring Clive Brook and Anna Lee. It was based on Robert Morley's play Goodness, How Sad. The film was made at Ealing Studios.
A repertory theatre can be a Western theatre or opera production in which a resident company presents works from a specified repertoire, usually in alternation or rotation. In the British system, however, it used to be that even quite small towns would support a rep, and the resident company would present a different play every week, either a revival from the full range of classics or, if given the chance, a new play, once the rights had been released after a West End or Broadway run. However, the companies were not known for trying out untried new work. The methods, now seldom seen, would also be used in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Forever and a Day is a 1943 American drama film, a collaborative effort employing seven directors/producers and 22 writers, including an uncredited Alfred Hitchcock, with an enormous cast of well-known stars.
When she and her husband moved to Hollywood she became associated with John Ford, appearing in several of his films, notably How Green Was My Valley , Two Rode Together and Fort Apache .She co-starred with John Wayne and John Carroll in Flying Tigers (1942).
John Ford was an American film director. He is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach (1939), The Searchers (1956), and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as the film The Grapes of Wrath (1940). His four Academy Awards for Best Director remain a record. One of the films for which he won the award, How Green Was My Valley, also won Best Picture.
How Green Was My Valley is a 1941 drama film directed by John Ford. The film, based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Richard Llewellyn, was produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and scripted by Philip Dunne. The movie features Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, and Roddy McDowall. It was nominated for ten Academy Awards, famously beating Citizen Kane for Best Picture along with winning Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Supporting Actor.
Two Rode Together is a 1961 Western film directed by John Ford and starring James Stewart, Richard Widmark and Shirley Jones. The supporting cast includes Linda Cristal, Andy Devine and John McIntire. The film was based upon the novel Comanche Captives by Will Cook.
She worked for producer Val Lewton in the horror/thriller Bedlam (1946) and had a lead role opposite Brian Donlevy and Walter Brennan in Fritz Lang's Hangmen Also Die! (1943), a wartime thriller about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.Lee made frequent appearances on television anthology series in the 1940s and 1950s, including Robert Montgomery Presents , The Ford Theatre Hour , Kraft Television Theatre , Armstrong Circle Theatre and Wagon Train . She made a guest appearance on Perry Mason as Crystal Durham in "The Case of the Unsuitable Uncle" (1962).
In 1958 she returned to Britain to appear in John Ford's Gideon's Day , in which she played the detective's wife.She had a small, but memorable, role as Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music , one of the two nuns who thwarted the Nazis by removing car engine parts, allowing the Von Trapps to escape. Lee appeared in the 1962 classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in a small role as Mrs. Bates, a neighbour of the sisters played by Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. In 1994, Lee took the leading role in the feature film What Can I Do?, directed by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
In later years, she became known to a new generation as matriarch Lila Quartermaine on General Hospital and Port Charles until being removed from contract and dropped to recurring status in 2003 by Jill Farren-Phelps, which was widely protested in the soap world and among General Hospital actors.According to fellow GH actress Leslie Charleson, Lee had been promised a job for life by former GH executive producer Wendy Riche. Charleson said in 2007, "The woman was in her 90s. And then when the new powers-that-be took over they fired her, and it broke her heart. It was not necessary."
Anna Lee was born Joan Boniface Winnifrith in Ightham, Kent, the daughter of Bertram Thomas Winnifrith, a headmaster and Anglican rector who supported his daughter in her desire to become an actress, and his second wife, Edith Maude Digby-Roper.Her middle name "Boniface" derives from the saint from whom the Winnifrith family was descended. Her father came from a long line of clergy. As far back as A.D. 680, there was a Benedictine monk named Winifried or Winfrith from Devonshire who was consecrated Archbishop of Mainz in A.D. 711. Lee's grandfather, the Reverend Alfred Winnifrith, was Rector of Mariansleigh. During WWI he provided for Belgian refugees and was awarded the Medaille du Roi Albert. Lee's brother Sir John Winnifrith, was a senior British civil servant who became permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. She was the goddaughter of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and lifelong friend of his daughter, Dame Jean Conan Doyle.
She married her first husband, the director Robert Stevenson, in 1934 and moved to Hollywood in 1939. They had two daughters, Venetia and Caroline. Venetia Stevenson, an actress as well, was married to Don Everly of the Everly Brothers and has three children, Edan, Erin, and Stacy. Lee and Stevenson divorced in March 1944, with Venetia and Caroline electing to live with their father. She met her second husband, George Stafford, as the pilot of the plane on her USO tour during the Second World War. They married on 8 June 1944, and had three sons, John, Stephen and Tim Stafford.
Tim Stafford is an actor under the stage name of Jeffrey Byron. Lee and Stafford divorced in 1964. Her final marriage, to novelist Robert Nathan ( The Bishop's Wife , Portrait of Jennie ), on 5 April 1970, ended at his death in 1985. Lee became a naturalized US citizen under the name Joanna Boniface Stafford (#123624) on 6 April 1945; certificate issued 8 June 1945 (#6183889, Los Angeles, California).
In the 1930s, Lee occupied a house at 49 Bankside in London; she was later interviewed by writer Gillian Tindall for a book written about the address, The House by the Thames, released in 2006. Since first built in 1710, the house had served as a home for coal merchants, an office, a boarding house, a hangout for derelicts and finally once again a private residence in the 1900s. The house is listed in tour guides as a famous residence and has been variously claimed as possibly being home to Christopher Wren during the construction of St. Paul's Cathedral, and previously claimed residents included Catherine of Aragon and William Shakespeare.
Lee was a staunch Conservative and stated that her views coincided with those of Sir Winston Churchill.
On 21 May 2004, she was posthumously awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award; she was scheduled for months to receive the award, but died from pneumonia at age 91 before she could receive it.Her son, Jeffrey Byron, accepted the award on her behalf. On 16 July 2004, General Hospital aired a tribute to Lee by holding a memorial service for Lila Quartermaine.
|Say It with Music|
|His Lordship||Scrub Girl Chorine||Uncredited|
|1933||The King's Cup||Minor Role||Uncredited|
|Yes, Mr. Brown||Uncredited|
|Mayfair Girl||Bit Role||Uncredited|
|The Bermondsey Kid|
|Chelsea Life||Muriel Maxton|
|Rolling in Money||Lady Eggleby|
|Lucky Loser||Ursula Hamilton|
|The Camels are Coming||Anita Rodgers|
|1935||Heat Wave||Jane Allison|
|The Passing of the Third Floor Back||Vivian|
|First a Girl||Princess Miranoff|
|1936||The Man Who Changed His Mind||Dr Wyatt|
|King Solomon's Mines||Kathleen O'Brien|
|Non-Stop New York||Jennie Carr|
|1939||The Four Just Men||Ann Lodge|
|Young Man's Fancy||Miss Ada|
|1940||Return to Yesterday||Carol Sands|
|1941||My Life with Caroline||Caroline|
|How Green Was My Valley||Bronwyn|
|1942||Flying Tigers||Brooke Elliott|
|Commandos Strike at Dawn||Judith Bowen|
|1943||Forever and a Day||Cornelia Trimble-Pomfret|
|Flesh and Fantasy||Rowena||(Episode #2)|
|Hangmen Also Die!||Masha Novotny|
|1944||Summer Storm||Nadena Kalenin|
|G.I. War Brides||Linda Powell|
|1947||The Ghost and Mrs. Muir||Mrs Miles Fairley|
|High Conquest||Marie Correl|
|1948||Fort Apache||Mrs Emily Collingwood|
|Best Man Wins||Nancy Smiley|
|1949||Prison Warden||Elisa Pennington Burnell|
|1958||Gideon's Day||Mrs Kate Gideon|
|The Last Hurrah||Gert Minihan|
|1959||The Horse Soldiers||Mrs Buford|
|This Earth Is Mine||Charlotte Rambeau|
|The Crimson Kimono||Mac|
|Jet Over the Atlantic||Ursula Leverett|
|1960||The Big Night||Mrs Turner|
|1961||Two Rode Together||Mrs Malaprop|
|1962||The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance||Mrs. Prescott||Uncredited|
|Jack the Giant Killer||Lady Constance|
|Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?||Mrs Bates|
|Mutiny on the Bounty||Uncredited|
|1964||For Those Who Think Young||Laura Pruitt|
|The Unsinkable Molly Brown||Titanic Passenger in Lifeboat||Uncredited|
|1965||The Sound of Music||Sister Margaretta|
|1966||7 Women||Mrs Russell|
|Picture Mommy Dead||Elsie Kornwald|
|1967||In Like Flint||Elisabeth|
|1978||Legend of the Northwest|
|1979||The Night Rider||Lady Earl|
|1987||Right Hand Man||Worn Woman|
|Beyond the Next Mountain||Governor's Wife|
|1989||Listen to Me||Garson's Grandmother|
|Beverly Hills Brats||Gertie|
|1994||What Can I Do||Elderly Woman|
|1950||Robert Montgomery Presents||Frances Lawrence||1 episode|
|1951||Studio One||Anita Derr||1 episode|
|1952||Robert Montgomery Presents||Ann Hammond||2 episodes|
|1958||Peter Gunn||Sister Thomas Aquina||1 episode|
|1960||The Barbara Stanwyck Show||1 episode|
|1963||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Roberta Saunders||1 episode|
|1964||The Movie Maker||TV movie|
|1965||Combat!||Sister Lescaut||(episode: "The Enemy")|
|1966||My Three Sons||Louise Allen||1 episode|
|1967||Gunsmoke||Amy Bassett||1 episode|
|1973||My Darling Daughters' Anniversary||Judge Barbara Hanline||TV Movie|
|1977||Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years||Laura Delano||TV Movie|
|1978||The Beasts Are on the Streets||Mrs Jackson||TV movie|
|1979–2003||General Hospital||Lila Quartermaine||77 episodes, (final appearance)|
|1980||Scruples||Aunt Wilhelmina||3 episodes|
|1997||Port Charles||Lila Quartermaine|
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American actress, whose career in film, stage, and television has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in ten films, including A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980), which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Opening Night (1977). In November 2015, Rowlands received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her unique screen performances.
Irene Hervey was an American film, stage, and television actress who appeared in over fifty films and numerous television series spanning her five-decade career.
Gale Sondergaard was an American actress.
Finola Hughes is an English actress, television host, entrepreneur, author, and dancer, best known for role as Anna Devane on the ABC soap operas General Hospital and All My Children, and her portrayal of Laura in the 1983 film Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever.
Hangmen Also Die! is a 1943 noir war film directed by the Austrian director Fritz Lang and written by John Wexley from a story by Bertolt Brecht and Lang. The film stars Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Brian Donlevy, Walter Brennan, Alexander Granach and Anna Lee, and features Gene Lockhart and Dennis O'Keefe. The music is by Hanns Eisler and James Wong Howe served as cinematographer.
Louise Beavers was an American film and television actress. Beavers appeared in dozens of films and two hit television shows from the 1920s until 1960, most often cast in the role of a maid, servant, or slave. She was a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, one of the four African-American sororities.
Mary Lilian Agnes Morris was a British actress.
The City of the Dead is a 1960 horror film directed by John Llewellyn Moxey and starring Christopher Lee, Venetia Stevenson, Betta St. John, Patricia Jessel and Valentine Dyall. Produced in the United Kingdom but set in America, the British actors were required to speak with North American accents throughout.
Adrienne Corri was a Scottish-Italian actress.
Jean Kent was an English film and television actress.
Jessica-Jane Stafford is an English actress and TV presenter who is best known for starring in the BBC programme The Real Hustle from 2006 to 2012.
Venetia Stevenson is an English-American film and television actress.
Susan Shaw was an English actress.
Patricia Roc was an English film actress, popular in the Gainsborough melodramas such as Madonna of the Seven Moons (1945) and The Wicked Lady (1945), though she only made one film in Hollywood, Canyon Passage (1946). She also appeared in Millions Like Us (1943), Jassy (1945), The Brothers (1947) and When the Bough Breaks (1947).
Halliwell Hobbes was an English actor.
The Camels are Coming is a 1934 British comedy adventure film directed by Tim Whelan and starring Jack Hulbert, Anna Lee, Hartley Power and Harold Huth. A British officer in the Royal Egyptian Air Force combats drug smugglers.
Jane Hylton (16 July 1926 – 28 February 1979, born as Audrey Gwendolene Clark, was an English actress who accumulated 30 film credits, mostly in the 1940s and 1950s, before moving into television work in the latter half of her career in the 1960s and 1970s.
Glennis Lorimer was a British actress, who appeared in a number of films during the 1930s. She also appeared in the Gainsborough Pictures logo before the opening credits of films by that studio. She made her debut in the 1933 film Brittania of Billingsgate. Her last film appearance was in the 1939 Will Hay comedy Ask a Policeman. She died of cancer of the Esophagus at Guys Hospital, London.
My Life with Caroline is a 1941 American comedy film starring Ronald Colman and Anna Lee in a screenplay by John Van Druten and Arnold Belgard, and directed by Lewis Milestone for RKO Radio Pictures. It was Anna Lee's second Hollywood film and her debut in a Hollywood star role.
Things pick up in the 1930s, when the house was briefly occupied by Anna Lee, a starlet. The author tracked her down in 2003; she was living in Beverly Hills, having built a second career on the marathon American soap opera General Hospital. She remembered the house fondly; her sister recalled being escorted home by policemen, as the neighbourhood was thought to be dangerous.
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