Jump to content

Anne Jeffreys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anne Jeffreys
Jeffreys in 1955
Annie Jeffreys Carmichael

(1923-01-26)January 26, 1923
DiedSeptember 27, 2017(2017-09-27) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California
Other namesAnne Jeffries, Ann Jeffries
Occupation(s)Actress, singer
Years active1941–2015
Joseph R. Serena
(m. 1945; annul. 1949)
(m. 1951; died 2006)
Pat O'Brien and Jeffreys in Riffraff (1947)
Cast of Topper (1953) Jeffreys, Robert Sterling, Leo G. Carroll and Lee Patrick

Anne Jeffreys (born Annie Jeffreys Carmichael; January 26, 1923 – September 27, 2017)[1][2] was an American actress and singer. She was the female lead in the 1950s TV series Topper.


Jeffreys was born Annie Jeffreys Carmichael on January 26, 1923, in Goldsboro, North Carolina,[3] 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 presentations as La bohème, Traviata, and Pagliacci.[4] 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 revue, 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 Sinatra musical 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), the 1948 musical, My Romance, and the 1952 musical Three Wishes for Jamie.[5] 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".

In 1955, she appeared in two TV musicals. On April 9, she starred in the title role of the Widow in the Max Liebman production of the "Merry Widow". Later that year on November 26, she appeared with her husband in "Dearest Enemy", set during the American Revolution, also produced by Liebman.

On December 18, 1957, 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 to 1985, she starred in the short-lived Aaron Spelling series Finder of Lost Loves.[3] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Her most recent career was in daytime television; From 1984 to 2004, she appeared on the soap opera General Hospital[3] (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.[6] In the last year of Port Charles, Amanda last appeared on screen in 2004 when Amanda attended Lila Quartermain's funeral. In 2012, she appeared in an episode of California's Gold being interviewed, along with Ann Rutherford, by Huell Howser.


Jeffreys' star in the Television category on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 1501 Vine Street. It was dedicated February 8, 1960.[7] In 1997, she was a recipient of a Golden Boot Award as one who "furthered the tradition of the western on film and in television."[8] In 1998, she received the Living Legacy Award from the Women's International Center.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Jeffreys and Robert Sterling, 1956
Jeffreys in 2010

Jeffreys was married twice. Her first marriage, to Joseph Serena in 1945, was annulled in 1949.[10] They had no children.

She married actor Robert Sterling in 1951. Sterling appeared with Jeffreys in one episode of the series Wagon Train ("The Julie Gage Story", in which their characters also married each other), and in Topper. In January 1958, the duo starred in another series, Love That Jill. It ran only three months, with 13 episodes shot. They had three sons: Jeffrey, Dana and Tyler. Robert Sterling died on May 30, 2006, at age 88.[11]

A Republican, she and Sterling supported the campaign of Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election.[12] She was a Baptist.[13]

In July 1956, Jeffreys' mother, Kate Jeffreys Carmichael, 67, was run down and killed by her own automobile in the driveway of her daughter's home. Police said Carmichael was taking books from the car's trunk when the emergency brake apparently slipped. The car rolled down the sloping driveway, dragging the actress's mother 26 feet (8 m).[14]


Jeffreys died on September 27, 2017, at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 94.[15][16]



Year Title Role Notes
1942 Billy the Kid Trapped Sally Crane
Yokel Boy Witness at wedding Uncredited
Tarzan's New York Adventure Young woman Uncredited
Moonlight Masquerade Singer at Trio Uncredited
I Married an Angel Polly
Joan of Ozark Marie Lamont
The Old Homestead Goldie
Flying Tigers Nurse Uncredited
X Marks the Spot Lulu
1943 Chatterbox Vivan Gale
Calling Wild Bill Elliott Edith Richards
The Man from Thunder River Nancy Ferguson
Crime Doctor Reporter on telephone Uncredited
Bordertown Gun Fighters Anita Shelby
Wagon Tracks West Moon Hush
Overland Mail Robbery Judy Goodrich
Death Valley Manhunt Nicky Hobart
1944 Mojave Firebrand Gail Holmes
Hidden Valley Outlaws June Clark
Step Lively Miss Abbott
Nevada Julie Dexter
1945 Dillinger Helen Rogers
Zombies on Broadway Jean La Danse
Those Endearing Young Charms Suzibelle, officer's club waitress
Sing Your Way Home Kay Lawrence
Dick Tracy Tess Trueheart
1946 Ding Dong Williams Vanessa Page
Step by Step Evelyn Smith
Genius at Work Ellen Brent
Dick Tracy vs. Cueball Tess Trueheart
Vacation in Reno Eleanor
1947 Trail Street Ruby Stone
Riffraff Maxine Manning
1948 Return of the Bad Men Cheyenne
1962 Boys' Night Out Toni Jackson
1968 Panic in the City Myra Pryor
1976 Southern Double Cross
1994 Clifford Annabelle Davis
2008 Richard III Duchess of York
Empire State Building Murders Betty Clark TV movie
2012 Sins Expiation Susanna
2015 Le Grand Jete Millie Halifax


Year Title Role Notes
1953–1955 Topper Marion Kerby 78 episodes
1955 Merry Widow Sonya Sadoya TV musical
1955 Dearest Enemy Betsy Burke TV musical
1957 Wagon Train Julie Gage Episode: The Julie Gage Story
1957 Wagon Train Mary Beckett Episode: The Mary Beckett Story
1958 Love That Jill Jill Johnson 13 episodes
1966 Bonanza Lily Episode: "The Unwritten Commandment"
1966 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Calamity Rogers Episode: "The Abominable Snowman Affair"
1969 My Three Sons Mrs. Carstairs Episode: What did you do today Grandpa
1972 Love, American Style the First Lady Segment "Love and the President"
Episode: "Love and the Clinic/Love and the Perfect Wedding/Love and the President/Love and the Return of Raymond"
1972–1973 The Delphi Bureau Sybil Van Loween
1975–1976 Police Story Examiner Murphy / Marie Tabor 2 episodes
1978–1982 Fantasy Island Nancy Ogden / Cissy Darumple / Sally Dupres 3 episodes
1978 Flying High Mrs. Benton Episode: "In the Still of the Night"
1979 Battlestar Galactica Siress Blassie Episode: "The Man with Nine Lives"
1979 Vega$ Cynthia Episode: "Doubtful Target"
1979 Beggarman, Thief Honor Day TV movie
1982–1983 Falcon Crest Amanda Croft 7 episodes
1983 Matt Houston Elisabeth Davis Episode: "Here's Another Fine Mess"
1984 Hotel Mrs. Jenks Episode: "Tomorrows"
1984–1985 Finder of Lost Loves Rita Hargrove 23 episodes
1984–2004 General Hospital Amanda Barrington 361 episodes
1986 Murder, She Wrote Agnes Shipley Episode: "If a Body Meet a Body"
1992 L.A. Law Lilah Vandenberg Episode: "I'm Ready for My Closeup, Mr. Markowitz"
1993–1998 Baywatch Irene Buchannon 5 episodes
1999–2003 Port Charles Amanda Barrington 17 episodes
2013 Getting On Donna Hewler Episode: "If You're Going to San Francisco"

Selected musical theatre work[edit]


  1. ^ US Federal Census1930; Census Place: Goldsboro, Wayne, North Carolina; Roll: 1728; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 51.0; FHL microfilm: 2341462
  2. ^ Gates, Anita (September 28, 2017). "Anne Jeffreys, Glamorous Ghost of '50s TV, Is Dead at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Buck, Jerry (January 22, 1985). "Actress Anne Jeffreys juggles two television roles". Indiana Gazette. Pennsylvania, Indiana. The Indiana Gazette. p. 9. Retrieved January 14, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  4. ^ Boesen, Vic (June 28, 1942). "Meet the Stars". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. The San Bernardino County Sun. p. 16. Retrieved December 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  5. ^ "Anne Jeffreys". Playbill Vault. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  6. ^ "Soap opera scenes". Boca Raton News. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Anne Jeffreys". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  8. ^ "Golden Boots Go To Film Greats". American Cowboy. September 1997. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  9. ^ "Anne Jeffreys". Women's International Center. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  10. ^ "Divorces-Anne Jeffreys". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. October 11, 1947. Retrieved May 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "'Topper' star Sterling passes away at 88". Jacksonville Daily News. Associated Press. June 3, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  12. ^ Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers
  13. ^ Morning News, January 10, 1948, Who Was Who in America (Vol. 2).
  14. ^ Article in the Bartlesville Daily Enterprise, July 5, 1956 (page 20).
  15. ^ Anne Jeffreys Dies: ‘General Hospital’, ‘Topper’ Actress Was 94 Deadline Hollywood, September 28, 2017
  16. ^ "Anne Jeffreys, vivacious 'ghostess with the mostest' on TV's 'Topper,' dies at 94". The Washington Post. September 28, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.

External links[edit]