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

Early life and career

Born in Amarillo, Texasmarker, 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 on thousand episodes of television shows, including 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 (like 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. Although the actor playing the boy's father changed several times, Doran continued constant as the boy's mother. Her steady, sensible maternal roles led to her being cast as James Dean's mother in Rebel Without a Cause. She guest starred in the CBS children's western My Friend Flicka, the story of a boy and his horse on a Wyomingmarker ranch. She also guest starred in Ray Milland's CBS sitcom Meet Mr. McNutley. In 1960, she was cast as Martha Brown, the mother of horse rider Velvet Brown (played by Lori Martin) in the NBC family drama National Velvet.
Doran in her later years.
years later, she appeared in the 1965-1966 season as Zerelda James Samuel, the mother of Jesse and Frank James in the 34-episode ABC western series The Legend of Jesse James.

Later years and death

Doran continued to work in movies and television until shortly before her death of natural causes at the age of eighty-nine. She bequeathed $400,000 to the Motion Picture Country House, the retirement home for the movie industry.

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1922 Robin Hood Page to Richard Uncredited
1934 Servants' Entrance Marie, the Maid Uncredited
1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Girl on Bus Uncredited
1937 Paid to Dance Rose Trevor Alternative title: Hard to Hold
1938 You Can't Take It With You Maggie O'Neill
1939 Blind Alley Agnes
The Man They Could Not Hang Betty Crawford
1940 His Girl Friday Newspaper Office Worker Uncredited
1941 Sun Valley Serenade Waitress Uncredited
1942 They All Kissed the Bride Helene - the Drew's Maid Uncredited
1943 So Proudly We Hail! Lt. Betty Peterson
1944 Mr. Skeffington Maria, a nursemaid Uncredited
1945 Pride of the Marines Ella Mae Merchant Alternative title: Forever in Love
1946 The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Bobbi St. John
1947 My Favorite Brunette Miss Rogers
1948 Pitfall Maggie
1949 The Kid from Cleveland Emily Barrows Novak
1950 Never a Dull Moment Jean Morrow
1951 The People Against O'Hara Betty Clark, Policewoman
1953 Island in the Sky Moon's wife Uncredited
1954 Them! Child Psychiatrist Uncredited
1955 The Desperate Hours Mrs. Walling Uncredited
1957 Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend Sarah Devlin
1958 The Deep Six Elsie - Mike's Wife Uncredited
1959 A Summer Place Mrs. Talbert Uncredited
1963 Captain Newman, M.D. Mrs. Pyser Uncredited
1964 Kitten with a Whip Mavis Varden
1965 Mirage Tenant in Apartment 3R Uncredited
1966 Not with My Wife, You Don't! Doris Parker
1967 The Hostage Miss Mabry
1968 Live a Little, Love a Little Landlady Uncredited
1969 The Arrangement Nurse Costello
1970 There Was a Crooked Man... Mrs. Lomax
1971 The Hired Hand Mrs. Sorenson
1976 The Gumball Rally Mrs. Ontley
1981 All Night Long Grandmother Gibbons
1986 Wildcats Mrs. Chatham Alternative title: First and Goal
Year Title Role Notes
1952 Adventures of Superman Mrs. King 1 episode
1953 The Danny Thomas Show Teacher 1 episode
1954 Ramar of the Jungle Irene Loring 1 episode
1955 Brave Eagle Whispering Grass 1 episode
1956 Father Knows Best Dorothy Tyler 1 episode
1957 December Bride Miss Moore 1 episode
1958 M Squad Mrs. Rainey 1 episode
1959 Frontier Doctor Ma "Dallas" Bell 1 episode
1960 Wagon Train Aunt Lizzie 1 episode
1965 McHale's Navy Mrs. Binghamton 1 episode
1966-1967 Hey, Landlord Marcy Banner 2 episodes
1968 The Guns of Will Sonnett Margaret Stover 1 episode
1970 The Bold Ones: The Lawyers Mrs. Grimbi 1 episode
1971-1972 Longstreet Mrs. Kingston 23 episodes
1973 Barnaby Jones Nurse Nora Randall 1 episode
1974 The Rookies Mrs. Coleman 1 episode
1975 M*A*S*H Nurse Meg Cratty 1 episode
1978 Fantasy Island Emma Howard 1 episode
1979 Eight Is Enough Ms. Ryder 1 episode
1982 Father Murphy Abby 1 episode
1983 Tales of the Unexpected Mary Deacon 1 episode
1984 Knots Landing Mercy 1 episode
1985 Highway to Heaven Mrs. Bradley 2 episodes
1986 Trapper John, M.D. Mrs. McAndrew 1 episode
1987 The Twilight Zone Mrs. Clark 1 episode
1988 Hunter Mrs. Rawling 1 episode

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