Born Anne Carmichael on January 26, 1923 in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Anne Jeffreys entered the entertainment field at a young age, having her initial training in voice (she was an accomplished soprano). “She became a member of the New York Municipal Opera Company on a scholarship and sang the lead at Carnegie Hall in such things as La bohème, Traviata, and Pagliacci.” However, she decided as a teenager to sign with the John Robert Powers agency as a junior model. Her plans for an operatic career were sidelined when she was cast in a staged musical review, Fun for the Money. Her appearance in that revue led to her being cast in her first movie role, in I Married an Angel (1942), starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. She was under contract to both RKO and Republic Studios during the 1940s, including several appearances as Tess Trueheart in the Dick Tracy series, and the 1944 Frank Sinatramusical Step Lively. She also appeared in the horror comedy Zombies on Broadway with Wally Brown and Alan Carney in 1945 and starred in Riffraff with Pat O’Brien two years later. Jeffreys also appeared in a number of western films and as bank robber John Dillinger’s moll in 1945’s Dillinger When her Hollywood career faltered, she instead focused on the stage, playing lead roles on Broadway in productions such as the 1947 opera Street Scene, the 1948 Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate (having replaced Patricia Morison) and the 1952 musical Three Wishes for Jamie. With long-term husband Robert Sterling, she appeared in the CBS sitcom Topper (1953–1955), in which she was billed in a voiceover as “the ghostess with the mostest”.
On December 18, 1957, Anne Jeffreys and her husband played a couple with an unusual courtship arrangement brought about by an attack of the fever in the episode “The Julie Gage Story”, broadcast in the first season of NBC’s Wagon Train. After a semi-retirement in the 1960s, she appeared on television, appearing in episodes of such series as Love, American Style (with her husband), L.A. Law and Murder, She Wrote. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in The Delphi Bureau (1972). From 1984-85, she starred in the short-lived Aaron Spelling series Finder of Lost Loves. She also appeared in Baywatch as David Hasselhoff’s mother, and also had a recurring role in the night-time soap Falcon Crest as Amanda Croft. In 1979, she guest starred as Siress Blassie in the Battlestar Galactica episode “The Man with Nine Lives” as a love interest of Chameleon, a part played by Fred Astaire. She was the last person to dance with him onscreen. She also guest starred as Prime Minister Dyne in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode “Planet of the Amazon Women” as the leader of the titular planet. Her most recent career was in daytime television; From 1984 to 2004, she appeared on the soap opera General Hospital (as well as its short-lived spinoff, Port Charles) in the recurring role of wealthy socialite Amanda Barrington, a long-time board member of both the hospital and ELQ. In her initial storyline, she was part of a blackmail scheme which led to the murder of Jimmy Lee Holt’s mother, Beatrice, of whose death she was a suspect in. In the last year of Port Charles, Amanda last appeared on screen in 2004 when Amanda attended Lila Quartermain’s funeral. Anne Jeffreys died on September 27, 2017 at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 94.
- January, 26, 1923
- Goldsboro, North Carolina
- September, 27, 2017
- Los Angeles, California