Sunday, January 27, 2008

Anne of Green Gables turns 100 this year

Megan Follows
as Anne Shirley
Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe.
Anne of Green Gables - The Sequel. CBC TV - 1987.
Books originally written by Lucy Maud Montgomery
First Published 1908.

Who amongst us booklovers have not heard of Anne of Green Gables? Who amongst us readers have not read the books? Who amongst us knows that Anne actually turns 100 years old this year? That's right the very first book Anne of Green Gables was published in June 1908.

Anne, who's about to celebrate her centennial birthday, has been captivating readers since June 13, 1908, when the Page Company of Boston, Mass., published her story, a first novel by Canada's Lucy Maud Montgomery. The book was an immediate bestseller, with more than 19,000 copies sold in the first five months. Since then, an estimated 50 million copies have been sold worldwide.

Who amongst us has NOT seen the very successful CBC produced TV series Anne of Green Gables, starring Megan Follows, Jonathan Crombie, Colleen Dewhurst and Richard Farnsworth, which aired in 1985. (That's over 22 years ago - Gosh has it really been that long?) Anne of Green Gables, The Sequel was made in 1987, and a 3rd part aired in 2000.

Megan Follows, who set the standard for portraying Anne in the 1985 film produced by Sullivan Entertainment and its two sequels, says playing Anne opened doors around the world.

"I loved playing her," Follows says from Los Angeles. "I've pretty much found that wherever I go in the world ... people have been very touched and loved that character. So I've found a tremendous amount of generosity of spirit from people when I have travelled. And people I have met really just loved the story and that character."

Well, Guess what. Sullivan Entertainment are now making a remake of their own series. The NEW Anne Shirley is a young Canadian actess named Hannah Endicott-Douglas.

The new movie, set for broadcast later this year, comes on the 100th anniversary of the publication of the original novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which launched a century-old love affair with the pig-tailed orphan. But a century hasn't dimmed the relevance of the spunky Anne Shirley, Endicott-Douglas says.

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