In 1937, Ann was an actress at Hollywood’s biggest studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).
Prior to MGM, she had acted at a smaller studio opposite John Wayne and Gene Autry, and her career was going so well, that in 1937; MGM cast her as Mickey Rooney’s girlfriend in the highly successful “Andy Hardy” movie series.
But just when she was on top of the world, suddenly events threatened her career.
Studio head Louis B. Mayer told her his son-in-law, producer David O. Selznick wanted to cast her in “Gone with the Wind,” as Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Carreen, opposite Vivien Leigh (Scarlett) and Clark Gable (Rhett Butler).
Ann was thrilled as actors everywhere hoped to be cast in this blockbuster movie. But then her bubble burst when Mayer called it “a nothing part,” (perhaps not enough lines for someone of her stature) and said he would tell Selznick to cast someone else.
Ann was crushed, as she saw this opportunity slipping away and pleaded with Mayer to allow her to play the role. At that time pleading with Mayer could put her career at risk because he was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and to offend him meant no more work in Hollywood.
But as her tears streamed down her cheeks; Mayer relented and allowed Ann to take the role in this 1939 movie classic, one which became arguably the biggest picture in Hollywood history and a dream come true for Ann.
In 1942, Ann married David May ll, a grandson of the May Department Stores founder, and in 1944 the couple had a daughter Gloria. Ann cut back her work to be a devoted wife and mother.
However, the couple divorced in 1953 and by that time, television had become very popular and Ann occasionally took television roles, which she did through the 1970’s. Among those roles she played Suzanne’s Plashette’s [Emily’s) mother on the “Bob Newhart Show.”
But also in 1953, Ann married William Dozier, who later produced “Batman” and “The Green Hornet” television series’ and the couple would remain married for 38 years until he passed away at the age of 83 in 1991.
Following Dozier’s death, for the next 20 years, Ann continued an active social life until on June 11th, 2012 at the age of 94 she passed away in her Beverly Hills home. She had been suffering from heart problems.
Ann is survived by her daughter Gloria and by two grandsons and by Al Morley, her companion of 20 years and by her stepdaughter Deborah Dozier. But Ann is also survived by movie fans across the world who love her work, especially in “Gone with the Wind.”
For many years, Ann would attend celebrations for the movie she called “The Wind,” thankful to have remained in the public eye because of the popularity of that film. And she would often say, “That ‘nothing part’ turned my golden years into platinum.”