Anna Lee

Memoir of a Career on General Hospital and in Film

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About the Book

Born Joan Boniface Winnifrith on January 2, 1913, Anna Lee is best known for her portrayal of General Hospital’s Lila Quartermaine, a character who she brought to life for over two decades. From her early years in England to her final days in Hollywood, she recounts details of her extraordinary life in her memoir. Expressed in her energetic style, Anna Lee tells of her childhood as the daughter of an English clergyman and her early determination to become an actress. She writes of her teenage struggles to realize her dream, two failed marriages, and the difficulties she faced raising a family while maintaining her career. Finally, we see the picture of a mature Anna Lee—a successful actress playing a role she loved while enjoying an ideal marriage to writer Robert Nathan. Personal remembrances from her family and General Hospital co-stars round out this touching, entertaining self-portrait of the actress’ life. A complete filmography and list of television appearances is also included.

About the Author(s)

Actress Anna Lee (1913–2004) was born in the village of Ightham, Kent, England. She starred in numerous films during her long and successful career.
Barbara Roisman Cooper is the arts correspondent for British Heritage Magazine, and has also written for Soap Opera Weekly, Modern Maturity, Evergreen and The Baker Street Journal, among other journals. In 2003, she partnered with filmmaker Ronald Neame on his autobiography, Straight From the Horse’s Mouth. A former English and film instructor, she lives in Encino, California.

Bibliographic Details

Anna Lee with Barbara Roisman Cooper
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 322
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3161-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0359-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments by Barbara Roisman Cooper      vii
Foreword by Maureen O’Hara      1
Preface by Barbara Roisman Cooper      3
Introduction by Anna Lee      5

1. Early Memories      7
2. Family History and a Maternal Mystery      14
3. More Family and a Local Murder      22
4. Life at the Rectory      31
5. The End of the Beginning      38
6. A Beginner Learns—the Hard Way      50
7. After Adventures Abroad      64
8. Yet Another Love, and My First Feature      78
9. Life at Cardinal’s Wharf      91
10. A Picture, a Party, and a Pregnancy      102
11. Hollywood and All That      115
12. A Ford in My Future      125
13. Movies and I Go to War      139
14. The Troupes Entertain the Troops      148
15. My Tour of Duty      158
16. Home Again      172
17. Goodbye, Hollywood; Hello, Texas      183
18. “The First Lady of Television”      199
19. Goodbye, New York; Hello, Montana      209
20. Goodbye, Montana; Hello, Hollywood—Again      218
21. Back to Work with a Vengeance      231
22. A New Life, Personally and Professionally      242
23. General Hospital      258
24. A Pillar of Strength      273
25. Epilogue by Jeffrey Byron      284
26. In Memoriam      288

Filmography and Selected Television Appearances      295
Index      301

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—The Washington Post; “recommended”—The Hollywood Reporter; “reading Anna Lee…is like picking up a book on world history, with the excitement of Hollywood dashed inside for added flavor”—Canyon News; “will be an undoubted treasure…a rare addition”—British Heritage.