The Fascinating Life of Anne McLaren

Anne Laura Dorinthea McLaren was born on June 21, 1927 in Cape Town,. South Africa to Elsie Dorothea and Leonard Alexander Lennie McLaren. She was their second child of four. Anne McLaren grew up in a diverse neighborhood filled with people from all different backgrounds. But her family quickly became one of the most respected families in the area due to her father’s success. As an attorney and his involvement in local politics.

Family History


Anne McLaren was born in 1927 and lived on a farm in South Africa. She had a very happy childhood, with much time spent outdoors exploring. Anne loved to climb trees, explore streams and make dens under big bushes. Whilst her younger sister kept her company as she did so. Her father was an architect and he drew detailed plans for their ‘den building’; they also had pet rabbits which they took care of every day. Anne’s mother had to work hard on the farm. But made sure that Anne knew how to cook healthy food and keep their house clean. So that she could be a good wife one day!

Early Years


Born on February 15, 1927, in South Orange, New Jersey,. Anne McLaren moved to Little Neck, Long Island when she was five years old. Her father worked as a carpenter and her mother stayed at home to raise her. Anne was an intelligent child who thrived in school and graduated from high school at age 16. She spent two years working as a secretary before enrolling at Yale University in 1945. With plans to become a teacher. Her teachers found her too bright for that profession and encouraged. Her instead to pursue law or go into government service during World War II.

Wartime Experiences


During World War II, Anne first left her home in Oxford to move to London. In 1940, she was evacuated to Devon, where she met her future husband, Patrick Garland. They married in 1944 and moved to New York City in 1946 after both their studies were completed. It was there that Anne changed from an academic path to a career on stage; Patrick opened his own theatre company and went on to direct plays by Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. The couple had three children together: Sebastian (born 1945), Daniel (born 1948) and Charlotte (born 1954). Their marriage lasted until his death in 1987.

Marriage and Family Life


Anne died in 2007 at age 80, having written eight novels. Her final book is said to have been completed just days before her death. She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. To date, she has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and has translated into 17 languages; some critics consider her work to be on par with that of J.R.R Tolkien and Stephen King.

Later Career


Anne McLaren continued to develop her unique brand of unadorned, acutely detailed fine art photography until her death in 2007. In 1990, she became one of only a handful of women to be elected a Royal Academician. And was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by The Royal Photographic Society in 1995. Her work is held in collections all over Britain. As well as several institutions around the world including The National Portrait Gallery, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée de l’Elysée Lausanne; Australian Centre for Photography Sydney and Leica Galerie Hamburg Germany to name but a few. Her photographs are not only highly sought after by collectors but were also influential on many young photographers. Including Martin Parr and Simon Norfolk who borrowed liberally from her documentary style.

Later Successes


Following her Carnegie Medal award in 1962, she was a consistent presence on panels, juries and judging lists. The Royal Society of Literature and appointment as an Officer (O.B.E.) in 1990. She also sat on various arts councils and adjudicated many literary awards over her lifetime including:. CILIP Carnegie Medal (formerly Library Association). Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, Whitbread Prize for Poetry. The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography among others.

Death and Legacy


Anne McLaren passed away in 2007 at age 80. She suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, which ultimately led to her death. A Scottish-born Australian, she was survived by three children and several grandchildren. She is perhaps best known for her role as a senior detective in Perry Mason. Although she also portrayed Peggy Rogers on Combat! and played Henrietta Pussycat in Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom (1961). Following her death, ABC Australia showed several of her memorable moments as Peggy Rogers during a tribute program. To mark what would have been her 86th birthday.

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