Anne Shirley (Dawn Evelyeen Paris)

Anne Shirley

Born as Dawn Evelyeen Paris, in New York City, she began acting under the name of Dawn O’Day. She began acting at the age of five, and had a highly successful child star career in Pre-Code movies, appearing in such films as the 1930 version of Liliom, Tom Mix’s Riders of the Purple Sage, So Big, Three on a Match and Rasputin and the Empress.  In 1934 she starred as the character of Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, and took that character’s name as her stage name.  After adopting the name Anne Shirley, she starred in Steamboat ‘Round the Bend, Make Way for a Lady and Stella Dallas, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  Later roles were in such movies as Vigil in the Night, Anne of Windy Poplars, The Devil and Daniel Webster and Murder, My Sweet, her final film. Of her portrayal in Saturday’s Children, The New York Times commented that she “endows the little wife with heroic integrity and strength of character.”  Her first husband was the actor John Payne, and their daughter is former actress Julie Payne. Her second husband was producer Adrian Scott. When he was blacklisted and decided to move the family to Europe, at the last minute she wrote him a “Dear John” letter saying she’d rather stay behind and divorce him. Her third husband was Charles Lederer, nephew of Marion Davies. They had a son named Daniel Lederer. Shirley had also a brief relationship with younger western star Rory Calhoun and another with French movie star Jean-Pierre Aumont.  Shirley died from lung cancer in Los Angeles, aged 75 on July 4, 1993. For her contributions to the motion picture industry, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7020 Hollywood Blvd.

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  • April, 17, 1918
  • USA
  • New York, New York


  • July, 04, 1993
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • lung cancer


  • Cremated

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