Who Was Anne Whitfield? Exploring Her Life And Career As White Christmas Actress Passes Away At 85

A celebration of Anne Whitfield's life is scheduled for March 22nd at The Cove Community Club in Normandy Park, Washington, where friends and loved ones will gather to pay their respects.

Published on Mar 01, 2024  |  11:45 AM IST |  36.9K
Anne Whitfield (IMDb)

Anne Whitfield, the actress best known for the 1954 holiday classic White Christmas, is no more. She was 85. 

Whitfield, also a prolific TV actress, died February 14, surrounded by her family at Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Washington, following an accident during a walk in her neighborhood, her obituary informed. 

“Through the kindness of neighbors who provided expert medical support, family had the gift to say goodbye and express love and gratitude, a gift we will always cherish,” the obituary further read. 

Below, we are honoring the life and enduring legacy of the late luminary who brought joy to a whole generation of audiences in the 1950s and 1960s.

Anne Whitfield – Early Life and Career

Anne Whitfield (IMDb)

Whitfield was born on August 27, 1938 in Oxford. She moved to Hollywood at age 4 with her mother when her father was posted on the frontlines during the second world war. Whitfield quickly began working as an actor on nationally broadcast radio programs like One Man’s Family, The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, and more. 

At age 15, Whitefield was cast in White Christmas, the most enduring project of her life. In the film, she played Susan Waverly, the granddaughter of Major General Thomas Waverly (Dean Jagger). Susan encourages her hotelier grandfather to host a performance by the film’s main cast (played by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen) at his hotel, which eventually yields a touching tribute to the general himself. 

“Just this past December during the holidays, Anne was able to watch White Christmas with her family on the movie’s 70th anniversary,” Whitfield’s obituary lamented. 

The late actress’ TV credits include Peter Gunn, Manhunt, The Untouchables, The Six Million Dollar, Emergency, The Donna Reed Show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, and more. 

Anne Whitfield Exited Showbiz in 70s for a Life Beyond Hollywood

Anne Whitfield (IMDb)

In the 1970s, Whitfield left her life in Hollywood behind and moved to Olympia, Washington. She went back to college and earned a bachelor’s degree from Evergreen State College. Later, she worked as a steward for clean water at the Department of Ecology for the State of Washington. 

In her obituary, Whitfeild’s family remembers her as a traveler and a tireless activist who worked 'right up until the day she passed away'. She spent her 85th birthday hiking with a close friend in the Italian Alps. 

“Anne’s greatest wish is for her family and future generations to thrive in a world characterized by love, acceptance, natural beauty, and the cessation of political and social injustices,” her obituary provides. 

Whitfield is survived by her three children and seven granddaughters. 

ALSO READ: Did Jon Stewart Help NYC Animal Shelter Raise Money? Here's What Happened


What did Anne Whitfield do after leaving showbiz?
In the 1970s, Anne Whitfield left Hollywood and moved to Olympia, Washington, where she pursued a career in activism and stewardship, advocating for clean water.

What was Anne Whitfield's greatest wish?
Anne Whitfield's greatest wish was for future generations to thrive in a world characterized by love, acceptance, and natural beauty.

When did Anne Whitfield pass away?
Anne Whitfield passed away on February 14th at the age of 85.

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Greetings! I'm a storytelling enthusiast with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Mumbai University.



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