Anne Shirley with her famous straw hat is the daughter of Walter and Bertha Shirley. She endured a troubled childhood, bouncing from orphanage to orphanage and from one harsh family to another, aided only by her vast imagination and fiery spirit. She was finally adopted by Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert when she was mistakenly left at the Avonlea train station on Prince Edward Island. Anne grows and matures, gaining friends for the first time in her life, like her bosom friend Diana Barry (see our blog on Anne and Diana's memorable moments). She becomes a teacher and finally realizes her dream of becoming a writer. Eventually she finds love with her best friend Gilbert Blythe.
For more about Anne Shirley, visit the following blog posts:
10 Life Lessons We've All Learned From Anne Shirley
The Hidden Bond Between Anne and Marilla
Megan Follows and Anne: Meant to Be
Megan Follows, was 16 years old when she was chosen to play Anne, a role that earned her a 1986 and a 1988 Gemini Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actress. She went on to star in Sullivan Entertainment’s Under the Piano, in which she played an autistic woman who is musically talented but relies heavily upon the protection of her sister, played by Amanda Plummer. Megan has had a prolific career, appearing in 94 films and shows including the hit series Reign. Some of her credits include: ER, Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, The miniseries World Without End, and the films Breakfast with Scot and The Nutcracker Prince.
After the death of her mother Bertha and abandonment by her father Walter Anne leads a troubled adolescence, bouncing from orphanage to orphanage and from one harsh family to another; until she is taken in by the autocratic Amelia Thomas. She is forced to work in a lumber mill and then later in the Thomas home.
After an exhaustive cross Canada talent search, the hunt for a new Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables – A New Beginning finally came to an end when 13 year-old Hannah was selected to reprise the role made famous by Megan Follows. Hannah landed her first role at the age of nine in a film for Warner Brothers called Samantha — An American Girl Holiday (2004).
Older Anne’s lack of solid roots and the memory of those troubles early years where she abandoned by her father after the death of her month, affect her even more as an adult than as a child. In Anne of Green Gables – A New Beginning, Anne grapples with a grown-up family, grandchildren, and the fear that her adopted son may have disappeared in the aftermath of the war.
Hersheys motion picture career began in 1968 when she starred in, With Six You Get Eggroll. The 1980’s catapulted her to star status when she starred in The Stunt Man (1980), The Right Stuff (1983), The Natural (1984), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Tin Men (1987), and Beaches (1988). Hershey is an Emmy and Golden Globe award winner for best actress for A Killing in a Small Town (1990). She most recently starred in Black Swan (2010) and the ABC television series Once Upon A Time.