Doran began her film career at the age of eleven on the side of Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood. Since then, she has appeared in about 500 films and 1000 television productions. Notoriety she gained in 1938 with the movie Rio Grande. In 1955 she played the mother of James Dean in ... for they know not what they do.
In later years, Ann Dolan was almost exclusively seen in television productions, such as a guest star in Bonanza, Bewitched, Fantasy Iceland, M * A * S * H, Cagney & Lacey and 1988 in her last role in the series Hunter.
She is the daughter of actress Rose Allen. Ann Doran was neither married nor had children.