O’Day, Dawn “Anne Shirley”

Anne Shirley from the 1936 Lawlor Professional School Yearbook
Anne Shirley from the 1936 Lawlor Professional School Yearbook

Dawn O’Day “Anne Shirley”

Born: 17 April 1918, New York, New York
Died: 4 July 1993, Los Angeles, California

Birth name: Dawn Paris

Attended Lawlor Professional School from grade school, graduating in 1936.

Used the stage names of Lindley Dawn, Lenn Fondre, Dawn O’Day, and finally Anne Shirley.

Born Dawn Evelyn Paris in New York City in 1918, she began her career at the age of fourteen months on both the stage and doing modeling. Her mother brought her to Los Angeles in the early 1920s and she got roles in silent movies and then the early talkies under the stage names of Lenn Fondre, Lindley Dawn, and then Dawn O’Day. Most certainly when she started Lawlor Professional School shortly after she arrived in Los Angeles according to a Los Angeles Times article written upon her graduation from Ma Lawlor’s in 1936, her name was Dawn O’Day. In 1933 she was given the lead role of Annie in the movie Anne of Green Gables. She so fell in love with, and identified with the character she played, Anne Shirley, that she assumed the name. In 1937 she received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the movie Stella Dallas.

After the lead role in over 35 films, and appearances in countless others, Anne Shirley retired in 1944. When she passed away on July 4, 1993, she was survived by a son and a daughter. Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame can be seen at 7020 Hollywood Boulevard.

– by Alan H. Simon for Mar-Ken.org

From the 1935 Lawlor Professionals:
Ann Shirley is listed in this Lawlor Professional School casting book under “Some Stars who have attended our School”

From the 1936 Lawlor Professional School Yearbook:
Anne Shirley was a senior class officer in 1936.

Links to other resources about Dawn O’Day:

MSN Entertainment biography:

Photo and filmography from ChildStarlets.com:

Obituary from Variety Magazine: