close
Saturday April 13, 2024

Anne Whitfield, child star of 'White Christmas', passes away at 85

Anne Whitfield left the Hollywood in 1976

By Web Desk
March 01, 2024
Anne Whitfield, child star of White Christmas, passes away at 85
Anne Whitfield, child star of 'White Christmas', passes away at 85

Anne Whitfield, a beloved actress who graced the silver screen and television for decades, passed away peacefully on February 14th, 2024, at the age of 85.

Surrounded by family at Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Washington, she succumbed to complications following an "unexpected accident" during a walk in her neighbourhood, according to her obituary.

“Through the kindness of neighbours who provided expert medical support, the family had the gift to say goodbye and express love and gratitude, a gift we will always cherish,” her family wrote.

Whitfield's career began at a young age, with her first foray into acting coming on the radio at just seven years old. However, her breakthrough role came at the tender age of 15 when she landed the part of Susan Waverly, the granddaughter of Dean Jagger's character, in the iconic holiday classic White Christmas (1954).

The film, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, remains a cherished Christmas tradition for many, and Whitfield's performance as the charming and optimistic Susan continues to resonate with audiences.

Following her memorable debut, Whitfield went on to build a prolific career in television, appearing in numerous popular shows throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. 

Some of her notable credits include Father Knows Best, 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, That Girl, Ironside, and Emergency! Known for her versatility and talent, she effortlessly transitioned between comedic and dramatic roles, captivating viewers with her presence.

After leaving Hollywood in 1976, Whitfield embarked on a new chapter, demonstrating her multifaceted nature. She returned to college, earning a degree in Mass Communications, and pursued a successful career as a water quality educator with the Washington State Department of Ecology.