Fans were more than a little excited to find out that a new Anne of Green Gables movie is in the works. Plenty were also brought back to the days of Megan Follows as Anne Shirley and Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe in what many consider the end-all-be-all of Green Gables films. To many, Megan was Anne, and her love with Gilbert will always be ultimate #relationshipgoals. But while some of the actors are still in the biz (you might even be watching “Anne” and not knowing it), others have retired, and we’ve also had to say goodbye to some of our faves. Find out where the cast of Anne of Green Gables is now.
Megan Follows as Anne Shirley (a.k.a. Anne of Green Gables)
It’s hard to imagine anyone else capturing the essence of Anne as well as Megan Follows did in the movie that launched her career in 1985. At just 16, the Toronto, Canada actress perfectly embodied the precocious, strong-willed, trouble-finding orphan that we all adored.
These days, the 48-year-old is a mother of two adult children and still active in the biz, appearing as Queen Catherine in CW’s Reign.
Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe
When Jonathan Crombie was cast as Gilbert Blythe at 17 years old, he not only beat out other actors for the role like 90210’s Jason Priestley, he also became instant crush material. Anne’s initial tormenting nemesis, Gilbert grew into her truest love. Never one to dash fans’ dreams, his sister claims that whenever people would call him “Gil” on the street, Jonathan would always kindly reply.
Though Jonathan continued to act throughout the years, appearing in shows like The Good Wife, he tragically passed away in 2015 at the age of 48 after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Green Gables fans across the globe mourned his passing with touching tributes that showed just how much the role had meant to them.
Schuyler Grant as Diana Barry
As Anne’s loyal best friend, Diana Berry was the ultimate #bestiegoals. She was only 15 years old when she landed the role, and Schuyler Grant was the more timid of the two PEI characters. The IRL great-niece of Katherine Hepburn (betcha never knew that!), it was her famous family member that introduced the teen to casting directors, though beyond Anne of Green Gables, Schuyler has only appeared in one other acting gig — a role on All My Children as Camille and Joy Hawkins.
Now, at 46 years old, you’d never recognize Schuyler and surely wouldn’t connect her with Diana. The co-director of the Wanderlust Festival and teacher at New York’s Kula Yoga Project, she’s a tattooed devotee of yoga, meditation and music.
Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthbert
When Anne showed up to meet her new family, Marilla Cuthbert wasn’t exactly pleased to see the red-haired girl. But as the story went on, Marilla learned to love Anne as much as we loved both characters. Known as the “Queen of off-Broadway,” Colleen Dewhurst enjoyed a successful 40-year-long career before passing away in 1991 at the age of 67.
Richard Farnsworth as Matthew Cuthbert
While Marilla was the curmudgeonly sibling, her brother Matthew was the more friendly of the elderly pair. Starting his career in the biz as a stuntman (yes, a stuntman), he only began acting at the age of 57. Thankfully he did, as his character was one of the most beloved of the Anne of Green Gables folks. In 1999, at the age of 79, he became one of the oldest leading actors to be nominated for an Oscar for his role in The Straight Story. Just a year later, in 2000, Richard passed away as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound while fighting terminal bone cancer.
Who was/is your favorite Anne of Green Gables character/actor? Tweet us @BritandCo!