Anna Lee

British actress (1913-2004)

Anna Lee, MBE (born Joan Boniface Winnifrith; 2 January 1913 – 14 May 2004) was an English-American actress, labelled by studios "The British Bombshell".

Quotes edit

  • I cannot analyze all the things that endear this country to me. For one, you don't have the 'great public school' system by which one class gets the good breaks and gets them first. I hope the war will do away with that caste idea.
  • As quoted in "Anna Lee Likes Our Ways; Will Be Citizen" by Julia McCarthy, New York Daily News (March 5, 1943), p.  24
  • On Seven Sinners, Marlene Dietrich was the boss. She took one look at me on my first day and stated, "I vill not vork vit anutter blonde." So I had to go to the beauty shop and get my hair dyed mud brown.
    • Speaking, circa 1980s, with James Bawden; as quoted in Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood's Golden Era (2016) by Bawden and Ron Miller, p. 209
  • John Ford came in and I was very scared of him. A rough character. I heard he despised the English, so I invented an Irish grandfather and told tales to him that simply were not true. [...] I found Ford to be a very curmudgeonly taskmaster, but always very fair. He always knew what he wanted in a scene. He never overshot. God help you if you didn't deliver what he wanted. And he liked me well enough that I finally told him that my Irish grandfather was fictional. He roared over that one. We've been close friends ever since. He used me a lot over the next few decades.
  • He didn't direct you. He never told you what to do. He would talk to you, mostly about something completely different, and you find yourself doing the right thing. It was really very spooky—what he did.
    • Speaking in 1983 with Ron Miller, again on Ford; op.cit.
  • John Wayne was such a nice man, but he was always a lttle shy with women, particularly blondes. As for Boris, he was a lovely man. We used to have great fun reciting poetry to each other.
    • In response to Miller's request for her impressions of Wayne and Karloff; op. cit., p. 215
  • I want to die with my boots on. English actors have a great reputation for longevity.
    • Speaking in October 1989 with Paula Selleck, in "General Hospital Cast to Make House Call in Santa Ana Saturday; CAST: Santa Ana Visit," The Los Angeles Times (October 20, 1989), p. F25

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