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July 4, 2024

35 Beautiful Photos of Anna Lee in the 1930s and ’40s

Born 1913 as Joan Boniface Winnifrith in Ightham, Kent, British actress Anna Lee made her debut with a bit part in His Lordship (1932), when she was 19. She was known for her roles in films set amongst the wealthy, particularly in Chelsea Life (1933), in which she starred with Louis Hayward.

In 1934, Lee signed a contract with Gainsborough Pictures, the biggest British production company of the era. She played leading lady roles in a variety of different genres at Gainsborough, including the comedy-thriller The Camels Are Coming, the drama The Passing of the Third Floor Back, the horror film The Man Who Changed His Mind and the war film OHMS. In 1937, she starred in one of the studio’s large-budget productions, King Solomon’s Mines. Her final film in Britain was Return to Yesterday.

After her move to Hollywood, Lee became associated with John Ford, appearing in several of his films. She made frequent appearances on television anthology series in the 1940s and 1950s, including Robert Montgomery Presents, The Ford Theatre Hour, Kraft Television Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theatre and Wagon Train.

In 1982, Lee was awarded an MBE, after fundraising for the White Cliffs at Dover and Ightham Mote. In 1995, her star was installed on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. In 2004, she was posthumously awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award; she was scheduled for months to receive the award, but died from pneumonia at age 91 before she could receive it.

Take a look at these beautiful photos to see portraits of a young Anna Lee in the 1930s and 1940s.


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