Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ann Gillis Passes On

Ann Gillis, who played both Little Orphan Annie and Becky Thatcher, died on January 31 2018 at the age of 90.

Ann Gillis was born on February 12 1927 in Little Rock, Arkansas. She made her film debut when she was only seven years old, in an uncredited role in Men in White in 1934. She appeared in small roles in such films as The Great Ziegfeld (1936), The Singing Cowboy (1936), and The Garden of Allah (1936) before receiving her big break in the film King of Hockey in 1936. Arguably the height of Ann Gillis's career was in the late Thirties, when she appeared as Beck Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) and starred as the title character in Little Orphan Annie (1938).  In the late Thirties she also appeared in such movies as Off to the Races (1937), Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus (1938), Beau Geste (1939), All This, and Heaven Too (1940), and Little Men (1940).

In the Forties Miss Gillis appeared in such films as Nice Girl? (1941), Glamour Boy (1941), Meet the Stewarts (1942), Tough As They Come (1942), Man from Music Mountain (1943), A Wave, a WAC and a Marine (1944), The Time of Their Lives (1946), Sweetheart of Sigma Chi (1946), and Big Town After Dark (1947). She more or less retired after 1947 and only appeared in a few television shows for much of the Fifties and Sixties. She made her television debut in 1951 on the sci-fi anthology Out There and then guest starred on such shows as Studio One, BBC Sunday-Night Play, Man of the World, Espionage, and The Saint. Her last appearance on screen was as Poole's mother in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

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