Anna Lee: Memoir of a Career on General Hospital and in Film by Barbara
Review of Anna Lee's Autobiography - by Tommy Garrett (Anna Lee's Publicist)
I just put down one of the most wonderful biographies I have read in
'Anna Lee' by famed author Barbara Cooper and published by McFarland
Publishing. Anna Lee is most widely known as Lila Quartermaine on ABC
opera, "General Hospital." Lee grew up in affluent Great Britain and
early on decided
she wanted to become an actress. Like everything this dame set out to
she achieved it with great success. One of Anna's loveliest parts was as
Sister Margaretta in the 1965 hit "The Sound of Music." This is an
did more films with legendary director John Ford than any other actress.
This book is well written and researched. It reads like a novel; fluent
interesting. Cooper's style is polished and refreshing. She knew her
subject personally and you feel her admiration for the star. Cooper
weaves a rich
story and delves into the actress's heartbreaks, joys and even shock when
she was released from her contract by ABC. Through out the book, Cooper
loses the focus of her story.
I fell in love with Anna on the screen in her 1937 movie "King Solomon's
Mines." She played Kathy O'Brien. She also starred in Ford's "How Green
Valley." This was the film that made her lifelong friends with Roddy
McDowall and the beautiful Maureen O'Hara.
O'Hara wrote the Foreword for this book. Cooper tells me, "She is someone that I
admire so much. She may have lived in constant pain for over a quarter of a
century, but she never complained. She was always willing to go to work whenever
ABC needed or wanted her, she was a loving mother and grandmother, but mostly a
strong willed British beauty who made it in Britain's movie industry and then
came to America in 1939 and made it here in Hollywood as well. She was a fighter
but did it with dignity and respect for others." This is a must read for anyone
interested in the story of a Hollywood dame who did it with dignity and grace.
Review by Suzanne Lanoue
I read this book because I run Anna Lee's official site. However, it was very
good and interesting. I think anyone would find it so. It is just a great
Anna Lee was born a long time ago and lived through many amazing things. She
shares her rich history in England, going through the war, being an actress,
going to Hollywood, and joining General Hospital. It is very interesting, and I
couldn't put it down until I was finished. I really and thoroughly enjoyed
Barbara R. Cooper did a great job of helping Anna Lee write her biography. My
only complaint is that I wish there had been more details about her later life.
It seems to rush at the end. There were many details of her two first unhappy
marriages and all the rest of her life, but not much time is spent on her happy
marriage in the end, or about her children, or her time on General Hospital. I'm
sure GH fans will love to read about her life, but they might wish there was
more about the show and her reminisces about it and the cast.
It could be, though, that there were reasons for this. She died before
it was finished, so perhaps that is one reason. She may not have wanted to
talk about her children much for privacy reasons, or perhaps the publisher did
not feel it would be interesting to us.