Ann Little

Ann Little (born Mary Brooks, February 7, 1891 – May 21, 1984), also known as Anna Little, was an American film actress whose career was most prolific during the silent film era of the early 1910s through the early 1920s. Today, most of her films are lost, with only twelve known to survive.

Ann Little
Little in 1916
Mary Brooks

(1891-02-07)February 7, 1891
DiedMay 21, 1984(1984-05-21) (aged 93)
Other namesAnna Little
Years active1911–1925
Allan Forrest
(m. 1916; div. 1918)

Life and career

Born on a ranch near the town of Mount Shasta, California, Little first appeared in a traveling stock theater group after graduating high school. After briefly relocating to San Francisco in the early 1910s, she made the transition to films; first appearing in one-reel Western shorts with actor and director Broncho Billy Anderson. Her first film appearance was in the 1911 release The Indian Maiden's Lesson as a Native American named 'Red Feather'. Little subsequently appeared as Native American characters in many of her earliest films.

By 1912, Little appeared regularly in Thomas H. Ince directed Western-themed serials, often as an "Indian princess" and usually with Francis Ford, Grace Cunard, Olive Tell, Jack Conway, Ethel Grandin, early American child actress Mildred Harris, and notable early cowboy star Art Acord for Essanay Studios. Between 1911 and 1914, Little was in approximately sixty shorts, the overwhelming majority of them Westerns, including many serials that ran in installments. Her other notable co-stars at this time included Harold Lockwood, Jane Wolfe, William Worthington, Tom Chatterton, and actor/director Frank Borzage.

Although possibly best recalled for her appearances in Westerns, Ann Little showed versatility as an actress by appearing in a number of well received roles in other dramatic genres and even comedies. Most notably among her dramatic roles was the early American cinematic Civil War serials directed by William J. Bauman and Thomas Ince. Another notable film was the 1914 Ruth Ann Baldwin penned and Allan Dwan adapted epic Damon and Pythias, which had thousands of extras. While signed under contract to Universal Studios, she made nearly six serials, most of them Western-themed one- and two-reel dramas.

By 1917, Little signed to Paramount Pictures and was often paired with the highly successful actor Wallace Reid in a number of popular dramas and comedies. Although she was allegedly tired of being typecast in Western serials, she starred opposite cowboy actor Jack Hoxie in the popular 1919 serial Lightning Bryce. By the early 1920s however, Little only took dramatic roles outside the Western genre. Her notable films in this period include the World War I drama The Firefly of France (1918), the race-car adventure films The Roaring Road (1919) and Excuse My Dust (1920) with Wallace Reid, The Cradle of Courage with William S. Hart and the crime-drama The Greatest Menace (1923) opposite Wilfred Lucas.

Later years

While still at the peak of her public popularity in the early 1920s, Little retired from the motion picture industry. In her later years, she managed the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip but rarely spoke of her years in acting.[1]

Ann Little died at age 93, in Los Angeles, and was interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Selected filmography


  1. Driscoll, Molly (May 1, 2013). "Life at the Marmont': 6 stories of Hollywood stars at the famous hotel". The Christian Science Monitor.
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