Oscar Actors: Shirley, Anne (Stella Dallas, 1937, as Stanwyck’s Daughter)

Anne Shirley, born as Dawn Evelyeen Paris on April 17, 1918, began her career as a child actress (age 5) under the name Dawn O’Day, achievingd a successful career in supporting roles.

She had a successful child star career, appearing in such films as the 1930 version of Liliom, Tom Mix’s Riders of the Purple Sage, So Big, Three an a Match, and Rasputin and the Empress.

In 1934, Shirley starred in Anne of Green Gables, and took that character’s name as her screen name.  After that, she appeared in Steamboat ‘Round the Bend, Make Way for a Lady.

Shirley was nominated once for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, in 1937, for King Vidor’s superb melodrama, Stella Dallas, playing the sensitive daughter of Barbara Stanwyck’s crass but loving and devoted working class mother.

Later movies included Vigil in the Night, Anne of Windy Poplars, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and Murder, My Sweet, which became her final film, in 1944.

Shirley’s first husband was actor John Payne; their daughter is actress Julie Payne. Her second husband was producer Adrian Scott, who was blacklisted. When Scott, unable to work in Hollywood, decided to move the family to Europe, Shirley decided to stay behind and divorce him.

Her third husband was Charles Lederer, nephew of the actress Marion Davies; they had one son, Daniel Lederer.  Shirley had known affairs with western star Rory Calhoun and French movie star Jean-Pierre Aumont.

Shirley retired from acting in 1944, at the young age of 26.  She died of lung cancer in L.A., age 75, on July 4, 1993.