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The General Hospital Articles Pages

2002 General Hospital Opinion Articles and Essays!

All About Lila

Written in 2002 originally for Bella Online

By Jaclyn Kratzer

Lila is the matriarch of the Quartermaine family. She is the nicest, sweetest, person in the family and the one that everyone loves and respects the most (sometimes the ONLY one that anyone loves and respects). She has been a good and supporting wife to Edward Quartermaine for decades, despite his problems with fidelity, kindness, or compassion. He is almost always good to her and knows that he is nothing without her. (Who else would put up with him?) But Lila is not weak; she doesn't tolerate dishonesty, rudeness, or people who try to kiss up to her (like Katherine Bell), but she does often act kindly with people that others often ostracize (Carly, Lucy, Sonny). She and Luke even flirt!

Lila and Edward have two children, Tracy and Alan. Tracy is, unfortunately, more like Edward than Lila and is a great disappointment to both. She doesn't live in town any more. Alan is a doctor and Chief of Staff so Lila is very proud of him, even when Edward is not. She is a wonderful grandmother to Jason, AJ, and Emily. She treats Monica like she is her own daughter. Edward has had two illegitimate children, Jimmy Lee Holt and Bradley Ward. Lila forgave Edward for both indiscretions and treated Jimmy Lee, and Bradley's son, like family. She is always gracious and elegant. Lila treats everyone the same, servants, family or strangers. Their butler Reginald is like part of the family and he is Lila's most strident protector.

Lila has been in a wheelchair for a few years now, but it has not altered any of her feistiness. In family disputes, she is always the one who has the last word with Edward. If he misbehaves, she often tells him to be quiet.

I always admired Lila and I admired GH for allowing her character to continue despite disability. I often thought that Lila was a great person, but when she began to use a wheelchair for mobility I felt closer to her even still because I, too, use a wheelchair for mobility.

The actress who plays Lila is the incredible Anna Lee. Anna Lee was born Joan Boniface Winnifrith on January 2, 1913, in the village of Ightham, Kent, England, where her father was Rector of St. Peter's Church. At the age of 17, Miss Lee began to study with Elsie Fogarty at the famed Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The alumni of this academy include Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud. From there she joined the London Repertory Theatre and toured in such plays as The Constant Nymph and Jane Eyre.

"Lila gives me a chance to challenge to my comedic skills."

In 1935, Miss Lee was signed by Gaumont British and appeared in over a dozen films during the next four years, including King Solomon's Mines (with Paul Robeson), The Camels Are Coming, Passing of the Third Floor Back, Young Man's Fancy, Return to Yesterday and Non-Stop New York. In 1939, she came to the United States to star opposite Ronald Colman in My Life With Caroline. The following year she appeared as Bronwen in the Academy Award-winning How Green Was My Valley, thus beginning an association with the great director John Ford, which would span 25 years and eight pictures.

During World War II, besides starring in Seven Sinners and Flying Tigers (both with John Wayne), Commandos Strike at Dawn (with Paul Muni), Flesh and Fantasy (with Edward G. Robinson and Charles Boyer) and Hangmen Also Die (directed by Fritz Lang); she volunteered for overseas duty with the U.S.O. and entertained Allied troops in North, Central and East Africa, Iran and Sicily, first with Jack Benny and then with Adolphe Menjou. Then, under special orders from General George Patton (who made her an honorary private in the Sixth Army), she spent several months visiting field hospitals throughout the Mediterranean area.

During the years following the war, she made Bedlam, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, G.I. War Brides, High Conquest and Fort Apache. In 1950, she moved to New York to appear in the new medium of television. For four years, she played in the ABC live weekly series, A Date With Judy; while also appearing every Thursday evening as "anchorman" in a panel show for CBS called It's News to Me, with John Daly, and during the fifth year, with Walter Cronkite. During the early fifties in New York, she also appeared in numerous live shows such as Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, Kraft Theatre, Studio One, Robert Montgomery Presents and Ford Theatre.

In 1957, Miss Lee returned to films, appearing opposite Jack Hawkins in John Ford's Gideon of Scotland Yard, which was followed by The Last Hurrah, Horse Soldiers, This Earth is Mine, The Prize, The Crimson Kimono, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, In Like Flint, The Sound of Music and Seven Women. She has appeared in the television shows, Eleanor and Franklin, Scruples and The Night Rider, and guest-starred in such series as Maverick, Dr. Kildare, The F.B.I., Mr. Novak, Mission: Impossible, Perry Mason, Mannix, Family Affair and Glitter.

Since 1978, Miss Lee has appeared as Lila Quartermaine in General Hospital. She enjoys the role greatly, both for the diversity of the character of Lila, a challenge to her comedic skills, and because she feels so close to her television "family.

The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The TV MegaSite or its other volunteers.

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Page updated 8/15/12

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