Ann Gillis

Alma Mabel Conner (February 12, 1927 – January 31, 2018), known professionally as Ann Gillis, was an American actress, best known for her film roles as a child actress. She was sometimes credited as Anne Gillis or Ann Gilles.[4] She performed the voice of Faline in the 1942 Disney animated film Bambi.

Ann Gillis
Ann Gillis in 1966, photo taken by her husband Richard Fraser
Alma Mabel Conner

(1927-02-12)February 12, 1927
DiedJanuary 31, 2018(2018-01-31) (aged 90)[1]
Horam, East Sussex, England
OccupationActress and voice artist
Years active1934–1968
Spouse(s)Paul Ziebold (1947–1951) (divorced) (two children)
Richard Fraser (1952–1970) (divorced) (1 child)
René Van Hulst (1991–1999) (his death)[2][3]

Early life and career

Gillis was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States.[5] She started her career in the early 1930s, when she was seven years old. After some smaller roles, she got her first major part in King of Hockey (1936). In the following years she played supporting roles, and her film studio, Warner Brothers Pictures, wanted her to be another Shirley Temple, but she mostly played spoiled brats.

Starring roles

Among her biggest roles were Becky Thatcher in David O. Selznick's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) and Annie in Little Orphan Annie (1938). She also provided the voice of Faline in Bambi (1942).[4]

Personal life and later career

She ended her Hollywood film career in 1947 and married her second husband, British actor Richard Fraser, in 1952. Following her Hollywood career, she turned to occasional television work in the UK. Gillis appeared in two episodes of The Saint in 1964/1965, followed by a small part in 2001: A Space Odyssey, playing Dr Poole's mother. She is seen onscreen congratulating her son on his birthday. She later lived in Belgium.[6]


On January 31, 2018, Gillis died in a nursing home in Horam, East Sussex, England.[7]


Year Title Role Note
1934 Men in White Flower Girl Uncredited
1936 The Great Ziegfeld Mary Lou as a Child Uncredited
The Singing Cowboy Lou Ann Stevens
Postal Inspector Little Alice Uncredited
The Garden of Allah Convent Girl #2 Uncredited
The Man I Marry Little Girl Uncredited
Under Your Spell Gwendolyn Uncredited
King of Hockey Peggy 'Princess' O'Rourke
1937 Off to the Races Winnie Mae
You Can't Buy Luck Peggy Uncredited
The Californian Rosalia as a Child
1938 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Becky Thatcher
Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus Fleurette de Cava
Little Orphan Annie Annie
1939 Beau Geste Isobel Rivers as a Child
The Under-Pup Letty Lou
1940 Edison, the Man Nancy Grey
All This, and Heaven Too Emily Schuyler
My Love Came Back Valerie Malette
Little Men Nan
1941 Nice Girl? Nancy Dana
Mr. Dynamite Joey, a.k.a. Abigail
Glamour Boy Brenda Lee
1942 Meet the Stewarts Jane Goodwin
Tough As They Come Frankie Taylor
Bambi Adult Faline Voice, Uncredited
'Neath Brooklyn Bridge Sylvia
1943 Stage Door Canteen Herself
The Man from Music Mountain Penny Winters
1944 Since You Went Away Becky Anderson – Class President Uncredited
Janie Paula Rainey
In Society Gloria
A Wave, a WAC and a Marine Judy
1945 The Cheaters Angela Pidgeon
1946 Gay Blades Helen Dowell
Janie Gets Married Paula Rainey
The Time of Their Lives Nora O'Leary
Sweetheart of Sigma Chi Sue
1947 Big Town After Dark Susan Peabody LaRue
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey Poole's Mother (final film role)


  1. "Ann Gillis, Young Leading Lady in 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  2. Magers, Donna. "Ann Gillis Interview". Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  3. Cochran, Robert; McCray, Suzanne (2015). Lights! Camera! Arkansas!: From Broncho Billy to Billy Bob Thornton. University of Arkansas Press. ISBN 9781610755580. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  4. Phillips, Robert W. (1995). Roy Rogers: A Biography, Radio History, Television Career Chronicle, Discography, Filmography, Comicography, Merchandising and Advertising History, Collectibles Description, Bibliography, and Index. McFarland. pp. 95–. ISBN 9780899509372. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
  5. "An Interview With ... Ann Gillis". Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  6. Barnes, Mike (February 2, 2018). "Ann Gillis, Young Leading Lady in 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,' Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.


  • Best, Marc. Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen (South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., 1971), pp. 95–99.

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