Monday, November 18, 2013

So tell me, if you can...

What do Dame Sybil Thorndyke (below) ...

...and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (below) ...

...have to do with this lovely lady?

She is Anna Lee, the actress who played Sister Margaretta in the film version of The Sound of Music. Sister Margaretta is the nun who said of Maria, “I’d like to say a word in her behalf: Maria ... makes me ... laugh!”

After The Sound of Music, Anna Lee spent the years from 1978 until 2003 playing the role of family matriarch Lila Quartermaine on the American television soap opera General Hospital. She died at the age of 91 in 2004.

I know you are just dying to find out more about Lila Quartermaine. Do pay close attention, because you may be tested later.

Lila Quartermaine (née Morgan; previously Tolliver), the matriarch of the wealthy Quartermaine family, was the wife of Edward Quartermaine. Lila often served as the rational party and peacemaker in the constant Quartermaine squabbles, and was adored by pretty much everyone she came in contact with.

Lila Quartermaine came to Port Charles with the rest of her family in 1978 when Dr. Alan Quartermaine, her son, decided to stay at General Hospital and bought a house in town. In 1981, Lila’s first husband Crane Tolliver paid her a visit. He had proof that his and Lila’s divorce was not legal, and therefore her marriage to Edward was illegal and all the Quartermaines were illegitimate. He teamed up with Susan Moore, Lila’s son Alan’s former mistress (and Jason’s mother), to blackmail the Quartermaines. Susan backed out, and Crane killed her. Crane himself died shortly after. Lila legally married Edward in 1983.

In 1986, Alan’s wife Monica and her lover Sean Donely bankrupted the Quartermaines and Monica threw all of them out of the Quartermaine Mansion, which she owned. The family moved in above Kelly’s Diner, but Lila did little complaining. Instead, she founded her own business, called Pickle-Lila, which made a delicious relish that swept the country. This venture put the Quartermaines back in the black. In 1989, when Edward disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle and was thought to be dead, Lila did not appear to be fazed as she preferred conversing with his portrait, which actually talked back to her. Lila was reunited with Edward in 1991, when their daughter Tracy discovered him playing beach bum in the Bahamas.

In 1992, Lila took a bad spill and was badly injured. She opted not to have surgery, and therefore had to use a wheelchair the rest of her life. In 1993, Lila took on a personal assistant, Brenda Barrett. When the teenager’s sister, Lila’s grandson Ned Ashton’s lover Julia, left Port Charles, Lila invited Brenda to live with them. In 1996, when Lila’s grandson Jason Quartermaine was stricken with permanent amnesia after a car crash, Lila reached out and Jason bonded only with his grandmother and his sister Emily. Jason, wanting to distance himself from the family, later took the name “Jason Morgan” as a tribute to her.

Ned Ashton asked Felicia Scorpio-Jones to write Lila’s memoirs. Lila told Felicia about love letters Edward had sent her during World War II. Lila had given them to her cousin for safekeeping. In the process of writing Lila’s memoirs, Luke Spencer and Felicia uncovered a family secret. They found out that Edward had killed Lila’s fiancé and married her instead. Lila, however, revealed the truth. She said that Eliot had forced himself on her after discovering that Edward had been sending her love letters he signed as Eliot. So, Lila had hit him over the head with a fireplace poker, killing him. Luke and Felicia agreed to keep the truth a secret.

Tracy’s 2003 return to Port Charles delighted Lila, until Tracy revealed that Skye was not really a Quartermaine. Disappointed, Lila kicked Tracy out of the mansion. She returned not long after with her teenaged son Dillon Quartermaine in tow.

2004 saw many changes to the Quartermaine family. The Port Charles Hotel, which the family had owned for many years, caught fire and burned to the ground trapping Edward, Alan, Monica, Tracy, Jason, Emily, Skye, and Dillon inside. The whole situation caused Edward to have a near-fatal heart attack. Ned and Reginald were left to try and keep Lila away from the television, worried that the news would kill her.

One evening in July of 2004, Lila told Edward before going to bed that she loved him. She then died peacefully in her sleep. The entire family and town were shocked at her passing. The family continued to bicker as they dealt with their grief. The Quartermaines and the rest of Port Charles came together to say goodbye to Lila at her funeral. Even old friends Lee and Gail Baldwin, Lucy Coe, Kevin Collins, Robin Scorpio, and Amanda Barrington all returned home for Lila’s funeral and many of her family members spoke of what a wonderful person she was. Emily then took over as family peacemaker and always encouraged Jason to have more contact with the Quartermaines, as a favor to Lila.

In 2012, as the family sang before Thanksgiving Dinner, the ghost of Lila appeared with the ghost of Edward.

All of the above information comes from a website dedicated to the character Lila Quartermaine. Her adventures pale in comparison to the exploits and shenanigans of other characters on General Hospital.

Don’t worry. I was just kidding about testing later.

Oh, and here is the answer to the question at the top of the post. When Anna Lee (who was born Joan Boniface Winnifrith in 1913 in Ightham, Kent, England) was christened, Sybil Thorndyke and Arthur Conan Doyle were her godparents.


  1. Well, I wish Sherlock Holmes was MY Godfather!

    What a wondrous world is the world of fiction... limited only by someone's imagination.

  2. Wow. That made me think of the whole of the series 'Dallas' but compacted it had so many dramatic twists and turns. It's nice to read a whole series in short, saves the time watching it. Maybe you could do concise versions of some other series or films even. You're a whizz at the interesting synopsis you know.

  3. I think that Joan Boniface Winnifrith is a much better name for an actress than Anna Lee. By the way is Robert H. Brague just your cool online blogging name? Are you really called Archibald X. Cadwallader-Schultz? Again a much better name. Have a nice day Archie!