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17 October 2007 @ 03:19 pm
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.

· la que el xavi se llevó ·: Marie Antoinette // readinggaueko_izar on October 17th, 2007 08:14 pm (UTC)
I REALLY need to read these books again; I loved them so much. The movies (at least the first two) were really well done, but of course they have nothing on the books.

Great post. :)
Ms. Glassfranny_glass on October 17th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful. Thank you.
Kellyquelliet on October 17th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
But wasn't Anne adopted? How would she find letters from her parents?
the infamous Midwestern subterrainean Explodebear.hkath on October 17th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had the same reaction. There is no way anyone can convince me of this scenario.
Nina: Accio brainargentina on October 17th, 2007 08:43 pm (UTC)
that's what I'm wondering, too
Coreycoreyann on October 17th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
She was but even in the novels she did go back to her birth home and was given a box of love letters that her parents had exchanged.
Allee: gilbertblytheladiesmanlady_lyca on October 17th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
Jonathon Crombie still makes me blush and giggle like a silly fangirl. ^_^

Zack Ward was also on the tv show Titus. I often feel like I was the only to ever see it. But it was hilarious! And he was awesome in it.

That's so sad about Richard Farnsworth! But I agree, I wouldn't call it suicide either. :(

I am watching my Anne DVDs as soon as I get home!
Corey: Anne of Green Gables: I Need Youcoreyann on October 17th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
I met him last night and he's such a doll.

I ♥ your icon!
Allee: gilbertblytheladiesmanlady_lyca on October 17th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
Ack! So jealous!!!!

And it's totally gankable. Just credit dallowayward if ya ever wanna use it. =D
Zoe: AoGG - Thwack!garfpooky on October 18th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
haha, love your icon.

Jonathon Crombie still makes me blush and giggle like a silly fangirl. ^_^
Agreed! :P
ww_sb_xfww_sb_xf on October 18th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC)
Hey!!! I watched Titus too!!! it has soooo funny!!!

I knew about Colleen Dewhurst death, but i didn´t knew about Richard Farnsworth, that´s sad :(

Green Queen: Dom: OMG (Embracing the New Mouth)green_queen on October 22nd, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC)
I loved Titus. Zack Ward is a legend.
Lisaxlillybelle on October 17th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Favorite Post Ever. Good Job :)
Coreycoreyann on October 17th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
awwww thanks!
pixceepixcee on October 17th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Fab job Corey!! Schuyler Grant looks awesome these days..as does Megan..I think after Anne she was best in Under The Piano...but she will always be Anne to me. I'm not so sure about this new anne movie comin out..I'm rather frightened to see it after what they did to the 3rd one...and without Megan..well its just not the same. I'm sure I'll still watch it anyway.

Appreciate the effort!
devooshadevoosha on October 17th, 2007 10:16 pm (UTC)
Really awesome post! I LOVE the books...love the first movie, like the second...shivered in disappointment during the 3rd! Megan also did a great guest role on Law and Order that was really powerful.

And...Fred Wright (in the 2nd) was played by Kids in the Hall alum Bruce McCullough (spelling?). I almost choked when I recognized him :D

But yes...very well done post!
Allee: gilbertblytheladiesmanlady_lyca on October 17th, 2007 10:46 pm (UTC)
Bruce FTW! My favorite Kid in the Hall. :)
Goosey Looseylisamaria on October 18th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
the pretty kid in the hall, dave, was also in the series. he danced with anne.
ktnflag on October 17th, 2007 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the great memories! I always thought the casting for this was spot-on. I wish I still lived in Canada so I could see it again!
vixvix on October 17th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
Fun post! I have never read the books but I loved the first two movies and simply adored Megan Follows. What a lovely young woman she was in those films; can't believe the director thought she was "too old and fat" to play Anne. I can't think of anyone better suited to the role, frankly.
Ms. Glassfranny_glass on October 17th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC)
Agreed wholeheartedly.
Georgiabecomingun on October 21st, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
Let me tell you, she's just as beautiful in person as on film. She's amazing.
Di-Tutetamine Brohohibe: Star.undeniablynikki on October 17th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
Excellent post.

But wow, cervical cancer and a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Extremely sad.
Aryaa_dawn on October 18th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
This was great. I would love (LOVE) to see a Road to Avonlea one if you ever feel up to it.
ob-la-di, ob-la-dagoddessdream on October 18th, 2007 01:25 am (UTC)
WHOA! Scut Farcus was in Anne of Green Gables?! Lmao. I love this movie as well as the books. Mmm, Gilbert.
Crazy Random Happenstance: bsg - tricia and trucco are sexaysuperfrayed on October 18th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
I love this post, thanks for doing it!

I reread the series a few months ago and I keep meaning to watch the movies again.

A Road to Avonlea post would be great :D

suzaroosuzaroo on October 18th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
wow. i went looking around lj for something to cheer me up, and this sure did it. i love love love anne of green gables. thanks for doing all of this work and sharing! :)
Cherylsmileygal77 on October 18th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
One of the best how they look now posts ever!

Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea are my all time favorite movies...i wore out the VHS tapes watching them when i was younger, and now am doing the same with the DVDs! =)
Zoe: AoGG - Anne/Gilbertgarfpooky on October 18th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Loved the movies. :) Finally working my way through the books...like 15 years too late, lol
Heather: gusfelicitykiss [aliaspiral]heatherosa on October 18th, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC)
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.

They have this in the special features of the DVD and it's pretty amusing.
boogirl1984: Text 1boogirl1984 on October 19th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
Great post. I wasn't as crazy about the movies as I was the books, but I freaking LOVED Avonlea. I mean, to an unhealthy obsession. I for one would love a post on that too.
femme_futuriste on October 19th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
yay, thanks for this
femme_futuriste on October 19th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
And yes, do a 'Road to Avonloa' update! I was OBSESSED with Avonlea. Gus/Felicity 4ever
Lanasquirrelsarerad on October 19th, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
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.

I think that would have been more interesting than the WWI storyline.
ladygoddess: Aliceladygoddess on October 22nd, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
Seriously. I had a tantrum in a video store when I read about this film. Anne was at least 50 during WWI and ahh, Walter's death tore me up. Yes, Rilla was annoying as hell, but by the end, how happy are you when Ken shows up with his, "Rilla, my Rilla?" line? Ah. <3 And he was so much older than her.

What isn't to love about how Ken's parents got together? Or how much I cried when Joy lived on that one day...

I think the movies deserve to be reshot with more faithfulness to the wonderful story LM Montgomery wrote. There's a secret from one of those websites which said, "I think everyone should read LM Montgomery growing up. The world would be a nicer place." I couldn't agree more.


(though Emily and Pat were her very depressing heroines)
Christinechristinemozart on October 27th, 2007 04:31 am (UTC)
Same here
I also imagine their target audience would be more interested in characters and real life situations than an action-packed war drama.
I'd rather be a forest than a street: Marianne // 2soupdupcosmogrl on October 19th, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
hey, carrots!
Wow, how the hell did I not know that Richard Farnsworth killed himself?! Matthewwww. :(

Marilyn Lightstone is too cool for words. Which cast members have you met?
Coreycoreyann on October 19th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Re: hey, carrots!
I've met Jonathan (Gilbert), Mickey (Gus from RtA), Mag (Alice Lawson/Olivia in RtA), Ian (Mr. Tremayne in RtA) and Abner Jeffries and I can't recall what his real name is LOL
Georgiabecomingun on October 21st, 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
Awesome! I'm a student at the George Brown College theatre school, which shares space with Soulpepper. Let me tell you it's weird to walk out of class and see Anne of Green Gables running lines in the hallway. And her run isn't done yet, the production was breifly extended. She's incredibly sweet and gracious to her fans. When I started at the school she remembered me from the Gemini Awards more then two years ago. She's very pleased to know that people still love her work.

By the way, if anyone remembers the girl who used to faint in Anne's class, Essie? Well, she's a close family friend of ours, Kathryn Trainor. She got married a few years ago and is currently in charge of a famous Choir school in Toronto.
Mikeygreens on October 21st, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
- 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.

Not true. There are a few scenes of Anne in her bedroom.
the dark defendercoreycoreycorey on October 26th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
HOW FREAKIN COOL IT'S ANOTHER COREY ANN. i spell mine anne but wow
Christinechristinemozart on October 27th, 2007 04:33 am (UTC)
One of the greatest things ever put on TV!