Anne Shirley (actress)

Anne Shirley ( born April 17, 1918 in New York, New York as Dawn Evelyn Paris, † July 4, 1993 in Los Angeles, California ) was an American actress.


Anne Shirley grew up as Dawn Evelyn Paris up in poverty. In order to improve the financial situation of the family, the young actress roles assumed by the stage name Dawn O'Day at the age of five years in film. Her career was relatively slow, but in 1934 she managed with the film adaptation of the well-known Art book by Lucy Maud Montgomery Anne of Green Gables: the breakthrough. The film company RKO hoped to repeat the success of Little Women from the previous year with Anne of Green Gables. After the great financial and artistic success, the actress chose the stage name Anne Shirley.

After some rather average films Shirley managed a comeback on the side of Barbara Stanwyck in Stella Dallas in 1937, directed by King Vidor. Although Shirley did not get along with Vidor, she received at the end of an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category.

In the same year Shirley married actor John Payne, the marriage was divorced in 1943. From this connection, a daughter emerged. In 1945, she married the film producer and screenwriter Adrian Scott. The marriage lasted until 1948. Their third marriage broke it in 1949 with the screenwriter Charles Lederer. Together they had a son.

Shirley's last film was Murder, My Sweet (1944 ), after which she retired from the film business. On the Hollywood Walk of Fame remembers a star in her artistic work.

Both Shirley's daughter, Julie Payne and her granddaughter Katharine Towne are actresses.

Filmography (selection)