Friday, March 1, 2024

Anne Whitfield Passes On

Anne Whitefield, perhaps best known for playing Major General John Waverly's (Dean Jagger) daughter Susan in White Christmas (1954), died on February 15 2024 at the age of 85.

Anne Whitfield was born on August 27 1938 in Oxford, Mississippi. Her father, Richard N. Whitfield, was the Orchestra and Marching Band Director at University of Mississippi. Her mother, Frances Turner Whitfield, was a professor of Speech and Drama. When Anne Whitfield was four year old, while her father was serving in U.S. Army as a band director during World War II, she and her mother moved to Los Angeles. She attended Rosewood Avenue Public School in Los Angeles.

By the time she was seven years old, Anne Whitfield was already acting on radio. She was a regular on The Baby Snooks Show, Dr. Paul, Mr. and Mrs. Blandings, One Man's Family, Our Miss Brooks, and The Phil Harris Alice Faye Show. She also appeared on a wide array of other radio shows, including Lux Radio Theatre, The Screen Guild Theatre, Family Theatre, Cavalcade of America, The Cisco Kid, The Harold Peary Show, and yet others.

Anne Whitfield made her film debut in an uncredited role in The Gunfighter in 1950. She made her television debut in an episode of The Bigelow Theatre in 1951. In the Fifties she appeared in the movies The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952), White Christmas (1954), Juvenile Jungle (1958), and Senior Prom (1958). She provided voices for the animated shorts "Real Gone Woody" (1954) and "Baby Boogie," as well as the animated feature Peter Pan (1953). She guest starred on the TV shows Racket Squad, Hollywood Opening Night, I Married Joan, Cavalcade of America, One Man's Family, Front Row Center, The Johnny Carson Show, The O. Henry Playhouse, Father Knows Best, The Thin Man, The Donna Reed Show, Men of Annapolis, Bonanza, Dobie Gillis, Tate, One Step Beyond, and Manhunt.

In the Sixties Miss Whitfield guest starred on the TV shows Tales of Wells Fargo, Peter Gunn, General Electric Theatre, Rawhide, Cheyenne, Ben Casey, 87th Precinct, The Untouchables, Hawaiian Eye, Laramie, 77 Sunset Strip, The Dakotas, The New Phil Silvers Show, Wendy and Me, 12 O' Clock High, That Girl, Days of Our Lives, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, The Outsider, Dragnet 1968, Ironside, Adam-12, The Fisher Family, The Wonderful World of Disney, and The Bold Ones: The New Doctors. She appeared in the movies The New Interns (1964) and ...tick...tick...tick (1970).

In the Seventies Anne Whitfield guest starred on the television shows The D.A., Ironside, Adam-12, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and Emergency!. Anne Whitfield retired from acting in the Seventies, but she made appearances in the movie The Prodigal (1983) and Cookie's Fortune (1999).

Following her acting career, Anne Whitfield moved to Olympia, Washington and received a Bachelors in Communications degree at Evergreen State College. She became a steward for Clean Water at the State of Washington's Department of Ecology. She continued to be an activist for various issues up until she died.

Anne Whitfield was a very talented actress. She was memorable as the General's daughter in White Christmas. She also gave many great performances in her guest appearances. In the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Ugly Duckling," she played Alice Trilling, a young woman who can only inherit her late father's toy company if she marries with a year's time. In the One Step Beyond episode "If You See Sally," she played a farmers daughter (the "Sally" of the title) who is killed during storm. In the Gunsmoke episode "Don Matteo" she played a role generally different from others she'd played, a saloon girl named Trudy. Anne Whitfield was quite versatile, and could play a wide variety of roles.

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