Ann Doran

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Ann Doran
Stooge057 anndoran.jpg
BornAnn Lee Doran
(1911-07-28)July 28, 1911
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
DiedSeptember 19, 2000(2000-09-19) (aged 89)
Carmichael, California, U.S.
Resting place
Years active1922–88
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Ann Doran
Stooge057 anndoran.jpg
BornAnn Lee Doran
(1911-07-28)July 28, 1911
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
DiedSeptember 19, 2000(2000-09-19) (aged 89)
Carmichael, California, U.S.
Resting place
Years active1922–88
Doran (far right) takes the dignified approach as Curly Howard proceeds to shave a cream pie off her face in The Three Stooges film Three Sappy People (1939)

Ann Lee Doran (July 28, 1911 – September 19, 2000) was an American character actress.[1]

Film career[edit]

Born in Amarillo, Texas, Doran began acting at the age of four. She appeared in hundreds of silent films under assumed names to keep her father's family from finding out about her work. Rarely in a featured role (with the exceptions of Jean Andrews in Rio Grande (1938) and James Dean's dominating mother in Rebel Without a Cause (1955)), Doran appeared in more than five hundred motion pictures and one thousand episodes of television shows, such as the American Civil War drama Gray Ghost.

Doran worked as a stand-in, then bit player, then incidental supporting player. By 1938 she was under contract to Columbia Pictures, where the company policy was to use the members of its stock company as often as possible. Thus, Doran appears in Columbia's serials (such as The Spider's Web and Flying G-Men), short subjects (including those of The Three Stooges, Charley Chase, Andy Clyde, and Harry Langdon), B features (including the Blondie, Five Little Peppers, and Ellery Queen series), and major feature films. She became a favorite of Columbia director Frank Capra and appears in many of his productions. Most of these appearances were supporting roles, although she did play leads in Columbia's Charley Chase comedies of 1938-40.

When Columbia launched the boy-and-his-dog Rusty series in 1945, Doran was cast and prominently featured when she took over the role in 1947. Although the actor playing the boy's father changed several times, Doran continued constant as the boy's mother beginning with her first entry in the series, FOR THE LOVE OF RUSTY (Columbia, 1947). Her steady, sensible maternal roles led to her being cast as James Dean's mother in Rebel Without a Cause.


Doran guest starred on many television programs, including three appearances in the role of Bonnie Landis in the CBS legal drama, The Public Defender, starring with fellow Texan Reed Hadley. She appeared in the religion anthology series, Crossroads in the 1956 episode "The White Carnation", along with Elinor Donahue, James Best, and J. Carrol Naish.

Doran was cast in the CBS children's western My Friend Flicka, the story of a boy and his horse on a Wyoming ranch. She also appeared in episodes of Ray Milland's CBS sitcom Meet Mr. McNutley and Kenneth Tobey's syndicated aviation adventure series, Whirlybirds. Doran guest starred on CBS's Perry Mason in "The Case of the Prodigal Parent" (1958), "The Case of the Lurid Letter" (1962), and "The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito" (1963).

Doran was cast twice in 1959-1960 in episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston.

In 1960, she was cast as Martha Brown, the mother of horse rider Velvet Brown (Lori Martin) in the NBC family drama National Velvet. Arthur Space played her husband, Herbert Brown. She made one appearance on ABC's McHale's Navy as Mrs. Martha "Pumpkin" Binghampton, wife of Captain Binghampton (Joe Flynn).

Doran in her later years.

Three years later, she appeared in the 1965-1966 season of the 34-episode ABC western series, The Legend of Jesse James as Zerelda James Samuel, the mother of Jesse and Frank James.

She also appeared in the program M.A.S.H. as "Nurse Meg Cratty" who runs an orphanage in Korea. In Season four episode "The Kids" Nurse Cratty and her charges bunked with the M.A.S.H. unit to avoid snipers.

Later years and death[edit]

Doran continued to work in movies and television until shortly before her death of natural causes at the age of 89 on September 19, 2000, in Carmichael, California. Following her death her remains were cremated. She bequeathed $400,000 to the Motion Picture Country House, the retirement home for the movie industry.

Selected filmography[edit]

1922Robin HoodPage to RichardUncredited
1934Servants' EntranceMarie, the MaidUncredited
1936Mr. Deeds Goes to TownGirl on BusUncredited
Palm SpringsSchoolgirlUncredited
1937Paid to DanceRose TrevorAlternative title: Hard to Hold
1938PenitentiaryBlanche Williams
You Can't Take It With YouMaggie O'Neill
1939Blind AlleyAgnes
The Man They Could Not HangBetty Crawford
Three Sappy PeopleParty guest
1940His Girl FridayNewspaper Office WorkerUncredited
1941Sun Valley SerenadeWaitressUncredited
1942They All Kissed the BrideHelene - the Drew's MaidUncredited
1943So Proudly We Hail!Lt. Betty Peterson
Air ForceMrs. Mary QuincannonUncredited
1944Mr. SkeffingtonMaria, a nursemaidUncredited
1945Pride of the MarinesElla Mae MerchantAlternative title: Forever in Love
1946The Strange Love of Martha IversBobbi St. John
1947My Favorite BrunetteMiss Rogers
1949The Kid from ClevelandEmily Barrows Novak
1950Never a Dull MomentJean Morrow
1951The People Against O'HaraBetty Clark, Policewoman
1952The Rose Bowl StoryMrs. Addie Burke
1952RodeoMrs. Martha Durston
1953Island in the SkyMoon's wifeUncredited
1954Them!Child PsychiatristUncredited
1954The High and the MightyMrs. Joseph
1955Rebel Without a CauseCarol Stark
1955The Desperate HoursMrs. WallingUncredited
1957Shoot-Out at Medicine BendSarah Devlin
1958The Deep SixElsie - Mike's WifeUncredited
1958It! The Terror from Beyond SpaceMary Royce
1959A Summer PlaceMrs. TalbertUncredited
1963Captain Newman, M.D.Mrs. PyserUncredited
1964The Brass BottleMartha Kenton
1964Kitten with a WhipMavis Varden
1965MirageTenant in Apartment 3RUncredited
1966Not with My Wife, You Don't!Doris Parker
1967The HostageMiss Mabry
1968Live a Little, Love a LittleLandladyUncredited
1969The ArrangementNurse Costello
1970There Was a Crooked Man...Mrs. Lomax
1971The Hired HandMrs. Sorenson
1976The Gumball RallyMrs. Ontley
1981All Night LongGrandmother Gibbons
1986WildcatsMrs. ChathamAlternative title: First and Goal
1952Adventures of SupermanMrs. King1 episode
1953The Danny Thomas ShowTeacher1 episode
1954Ramar of the JungleIrene Loring1 episode
1955Brave EagleWhispering Grass1 episode
1956Father Knows BestDorothy Tyler1 episode
1957December BrideMiss Moore1 episode
1958M SquadMrs. Rainey1 episode
Perry MasonMrs. Claire Durrell in "The Case of the Prodigal Parent"1 episode
1959Frontier DoctorMa "Dallas" Bell1 episode
Bourbon Street BeatMary Dumont1 episode, "The Tiger Moth"
1960Wagon TrainAunt Lizzie1 episode
1963–1970The VirginianVarious5 episodes
1965McHale's NavyMrs. Binghamton1 episode
1966–1967Hey, LandlordMarcy Banner2 episodes
1968The Guns of Will SonnettMargaret Stover1 episode
1970The Bold Ones: The LawyersMrs. Grimbi1 episode
1970IronsideDora Copeland1 episode
1971–1972LongstreetMrs. Kingston23 episodes
1972The Odd CoupleLoretta Spoon1 episode
1973Emergency!Mrs. Perigrew and Hannah2 episodes
1973Barnaby JonesNurse Nora Randall1 episode
1974The RookiesMrs. Coleman1 episode
1974Little House on the PrairieMrs. Tyler1 episode
1975M*A*S*HNurse Meg Cratty1 episode
1978Fantasy IslandEmma Howard1 episode
1979Eight Is EnoughMs. Ryder1 episode
1980ShrileyCharlotte McHenry13 episodes
1982Father MurphyAbby1 episode
1983Tales of the UnexpectedMary Deacon1 episode
1984Knots LandingMercy1 episode
1985Highway to HeavenMrs. Bradley2 episodes
1986The A-TeamNora1 episode
1986Trapper John, M.D.Mrs. McAndrew1 episode
1987The Twilight ZoneMrs. Clark1 episode
1988HunterMrs. Rawling1 episode


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