Anne Jeffreys, the regal beauty who got her start in B movies for Republic and RKO, starred on Broadway and appeared on General Hospital for 20 years has died. She was 94.
Jeffreys' death was confirmed in a tweet by KABC's George Pennacchio.
The North Carolina native was a gifted soprano who came to New York on a scholarship to sing opera, performing at Carnegie Hall. While singing and modeling, she was cast in the early '40s in a revue that directly led to her first credited part in a feature film, in 1942's I Married an Angel.
For the next decade, Jeffreys was under contract to Republic and RKO, working with Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) in Step Lively (1944) and bringing Tess Trueheart to life in Dick Tracy serials. (Oddly, the '90s Tess Trueheart, actress Glenne Headly, also died this year.)
On Broadway, she made an impression in the operatic Street Scene (1947); replaced Patricia Morison (b. 1915 — still going strong at 102) in Kiss Me, Kate (1948); and also starred in Three Wishes for Jamie (1952).
Meeting Anne Jeffreys in 2013!
Jeffreys co-starred with her husband Robert Sterling (1917-2006) and Leo G. Carroll (1886-1972) on the affectionately remembered early-TV series Topper (1953-1955), based on the hit 1937 movie of the same title.
On the show, she and Sterling played Marion and George Kerby, a pair of flippant ghosts only visible to Carroll's irascible banker. The show made perfect use of Jeffreys' elegant wit.
She later starred as the title character on Love That Jill (1958), playing a female modeling agent — with a male secretary, played by Jimmy Lydon (b. 1923) — who butts heads with a rival, again played by her husband.
She had recurring roles on several series: The Bob Cummings Show (1959), Falcon Crest (1982-1983), Finder of Lost Loves (1984-1985), as the mom of David Hasselhoff (b. 1952) on Baywatch (1993-1998) and on the soaps General Hospital (1984-2004) and Port Charles (1999-2003).
Jeffreys also guest-starred on numerous popular series, including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1966); Love, American Style (1972); three trips to Fantasy Island (1978, 1981, 1982); as the love interest of Fred Astaire (1899-1987) on Battlestar Galactica (1979); Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979); and Hotel (1984), to name just a few.
She acted only four times following her husband's death, her final role on an episode of the acclamed HBO series about death and aging, Getting On (2013).