Corey (coreyann) wrote in howtheylooknow,

Anne of Green Gables

OK by popular request after my post about my experience meeting Jonathan Crombie, here is a "where are they now" of Anne of Green Gables. If anyone is intersted in a Road to Avonlea one, I can do that too. I met a few of the actors over the summer...

Anne of Green Gables Series

Megan Follows (Meeee-gan not Meg-an)
Anne Shirley Blythe



Since Anne Megan has had a lot of bit work in LA (ER, Law & Order) and has done some made-for-tv movies and has been very active on the Canadian stage. She was married to Christopher Porter and had two kids with him and they divorced shortly after her second son was born. She is now "attached" (no one can ever get a straight answer if they are married or not) to a longtime beau, Stuart Hughes whom is involved with the Soulpepper Theater in Toronto. For those that are wondering, she's gone on record saying she wasn't really big on Anne 3 and felt that they departed from what Anne's essence is. Currently, she is in the company with the Soulpepper Theater where she just finished up her run in "Three Sisters" and finished production on the movie Breakfast with Scot.

Jonathan Crombie
Gilbert Blythe



Sine Anne Jonathan has done a few guest starring roles on various projects, most noteably as Lionel on Slings & Arrows. He has mostly stuck to theater since his Anne days however and has been in many productions in Toronto including This Could Be Love, The Dishwashers and was part of the original start of The Drowsy Chaperone as one of the gangsters. He then took over for Bob Martin as "Man in Chair" on Broadway in March when Bob left to do the show in London (and returned again in late summer until September as "Man"). He co-directed the upcoming movie Waiting for Ishtar. He has not married. Currently he is starring as "Man in Chair" on the tour of The Drowsy Chaperone.

Colleen Dewhurst
Marilla Cuthbert


Colleen died on August 22nd 1991 from cervical cancer. After Anne, she won 2 Emmy's for her guest starring role on Murphy Brown (one post-portem) and also was in Lantern Hill, Dying Young and Road to Avonlea prior to her death. Road to Avonlea came about partially due to her and Patricia Hamilton's urge to continue the Avonlea storyline due to her love for Avonlea and PEI (she summered in PEI as a child and owned a home there).

Richard Farnsworth
Matthew Cuthbert


Richard died on October 6th, 2000 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He killed himself because he had terminal lung cancer and decided that this would be easier for his family and himself. Some call it a suicide but I won't. After Anne, he was in Misery, Lassie and he went on to be the oldest actor ever nominated for an Oscar for his role in the straight story.

Schuyler Grant
Diana Berry Wright



After Anne, Schuyler went on to star in All My Children from 1998-2001 as Camille Hawkins. She married Jeff Krasno in 1995 and they have 2 kids. She currently lives in New York where she is the director and a teacher at Kula Yoga Project.

Patricia Hamilton
Rachel Lynde



After Anne, Patricia followed Colleen onto the set of Road to Avonlea and stayed on after Colleen's demise and took on more of a lead role in the series. She stayed on until its final 7th season. Most noteably though, Patricia has been very active in the Canadian stage pretty much acting on every stage it seems in the Toronto area (far too many to name!). Currently, she just finished up her run as "Anna" in A Month in the Country for the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Marilyn Lightstone
Miss Stacey



After Anne, Marilyn went on to do lots of voice-overs for various shows and productions and returned to her Avonlea roots as Miss Stacey in Road to Avonlea. She has had a lot of theater work since her Anne days as well. Currently she is a writer, painter and hosts the "Nocturne" classical listening show in the evenings from 11PM - 1AM.

That's it for the "main" characters but I thought I'd throw in one of the bit characters that you all will probably recognize...

Zack Ward
Moody Spurgeon MacPherson



I know most of you are going SCUT FARCUS! Anne was his second film, after A Christmas Story. Since then he's gone on to do many roles in movies, the most recent being Transformers. Currently, he is often back at A Christmas Story house for promotions and has just completed work on Repo and Dead and Gone.

For the people that like trivia:

Anne of Green Gables

- Producer Kevin Sullivan originally thought that 15 year old Megan Follows was "too old and too fat" to play 12 year old Anne Shirley.

- Before one of Megan's screen tests, her house's pipes sprung a leak and she was watching the house while her parents were out of town leaving her flutered and jittery. The screen test didn't go well but the tape was lost and she luckily got to reshoot it under better conditions.

- Katherine Hepburn was the original first choice for Marilla. She turned down the role but offered up her grand-niece as a hopeful for Anne. Schuyler ended up portraying Diana however because Kevin Sullivan was worried how Canadian audiences would react to an American playing a Canadian heroine. Footage of Schuyler as Anne still exist on the internet and as bonus footage on some DVD's.

- Colleen Dewhurst sought out the role of Marilla after hearing about the role. Anne of Green Gables was the first book her mother ever read to her and Colleen read the book to her sons later in life. She also summered on PEI as a child and bought a home on the island when she grew up.

- You can stay at the home that Colleen owned on PEI, it is now called "The Inn at Bay Fortune."

- Richard Farnsworth had to be convinced to take the role of Matthew on by his ailing wife whom was a fan of the novel.

- Richard was only on set for 6 days. Almost all of his takes which featured just him were filmed after the scene was filmed with just him having to act like he was part of the scene (most noteably the "mouse in the pudding" scene). Most of the shots of Matthew from behind is actually a body double.

- Jonathan Crombie was noticed by Diane Polley (Sarah Polley's mother) in a high school play, he originally had no intention of being in movies. He wasn't the first choice for Gilbert but after his audition he was cast and on set within days.

- Less than 5 % of the film was actually shot on PEI. Of this 5% were all "long" shots of Anne in the forest, spinning in the meadow, walking through snow etc. that were shot long before anyone was cast. Later, Kevin Sullivan took Megan and Schuyler to PEI for a few of the shots (beach shots and the haunted wood scene was partially filmed in the real haunted wood). The remainder of the film was shot in and around Toronto. Butternut Farm was used for the close up shots of Green Gables and the long shots were done in Uxbridge at a home that would later become "King Farm" in Road to Avonlea.

- The first "major" scene shot was of Gilbert talking to Marilla near the covered bridge. Jonathan Crombie would later say how nervous he was.

- The last scene shot was the beginning scene of 12 year old Anne reciting her book and wandering the woods.

- The scene where Marilla comes to comfort Anne after the death of Matthew was Colleen's idea. Originally it was wrote that they would each be crying in their own beds but Colleen felt that Marilla would have gone to Anne. Marilla brought out more of the softness in Marilla than was originally scripted.

- The ending was originally wrote with Megan kneeling at Matthew's lone grave in the field but the tombstone kept falling over so they rewrote the ending.

- Anne of Green Gables the movie was set 10 years after when the novel started.

Anne of Avonlea

- Kevin Sullivan thought that LMM's original novel didn't include enough drama that would translate well to screen so he took stories from the next 3 novels of LMM's, Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island and Anne of the Windy Poplars.

- Actress Megan Follows recalls shooting the scene in which Anne and Diana chase a jersey cow and end up falling into a heap of mud: "They wanted to have a stunt double actually do the fall and then I'd have mud painted onto my face for the rest of the scene. But I wanted to do it myself, so there I go flopping into the mud. When I came up, the mud had formed a perfect oval that framed my face. It looked more fake than anything any makeup man could've painted on. They ended up having to touch it up so it would look real." They had made 4 dresses for this scene but it only took Megan one take to get it right.

- Megan thought that the ending with Anne & Gilbert was "rushed" and it lead to a huge debate with Kevin Sullivan that ended up delaying the taping for over a day.

- Kevin had the hairdressers get bigger and bigger with Megan's hair and said go crazy as long as it is on par with the time. He said that the hair that she's got when she's sitting on the bed showing Marilla her book is the most outlandish of the lot.

- Dame Wendy Hiller broke her hip when stepping into the buggy to go for her afternoon in the park. When you see her stepping in that's as far as she got. After she fell she told Kevin Sullivan to "get me a whiskey, dear boy!" However afterwards it took some convincing to get her to come back to the set.

- The only interior shots of Green Gables were of the kitchen (with its doors closed) because that was the only set that remained after the first series.

Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story

- This story mainly came due to fans that continued to write and beg for more Anne.

- Kevin Sullivan has stated that there was not any more useable stories in the remaining LMM novels that would translate well to television so he created his own sequel. He considered doing an adaptation of Rilla of Ingelside but stated that due to the timeline he created with his series this would not work logistically. He also stated that there was not enough drama in the final novels to create a good story on screen because essentially it was about Anne & Gil raising their kids.

- He pulled things that Anne learned in the earlier movies to tie the three together, like the scene where she blows off the side of the house with the gunpowder she learned from the firecrackers that the Pringle girls put in the fireplace.

- It took a lot of convincing to get Megan on board for this movie. Jonathan wouldn't do it unless Megan did it but he said if she did it he would.

- Megan and Kevin again bashed heads about the way he was taking Anne and felt that he was making her more "McGuyver" than Anne. She has gone on record saying that this was one of the more difficult filming jobs she's had.

FYI there is a 4th Anne that just started filming. It is to be a prequel bookended in "Titanic" fashion with an older Anne telling the story of her before her Green Gables days. Rumor has it she finds letters from her parents in floorboards of her home at Green Gables. They killed off Gilbert. *sniff* Megan is not returning to her role, the older Anne will be played by Barbara Hershey and the younger Anne will be played by Hannah Endicott-Douglas.

Source(s): Eras of Elegance, IMDb, Me (Avonlea Convention), DVD commentaries.

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