The actress who will forever be known to a certain generation of Canadians as Anne of Green Gables is this year’s recipient of the Stratford Festival Legacy Award.
Megan Follows, who portrayed the literary character in the 1985 miniseries Anne of Green Gables and its sequel Anne of Avonlea, will receive the honour at a gala Sept. 24 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel.
Follows, 50, was a member of the festival company for two seasons and played Juliet to now artistic director Antoni Cimolino’s Romeo in 1992, but her family’s connection with the fest goes back to its founding in 1953 when her mother, Dawn Greenhalgh, joined. Her father, Ted Follows, joined two years later and sister Edwina Follows was a company member in 1974, Stratford said in a news release.
Megan began acting at the age of 9, landing her first lead role at 11 in the TV series Matt and Jenny. Her long list of TV credits includes playing Queen Catherine de’ Medici in Reign, the 2012 miniseries World Without End and Michelle Gibson in Wynonna Earp.
Follows also appeared in the films Hockey Night, opposite Rick Moranis; Stephen King’s Silver Bullet; A Time of Destiny, with William Hurt and Timothy Hutton, and Inherit the Wind, opposite Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards.
She has done theatre for Soulpepper, the National Arts Centre, L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse and San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and starred in 2013 in Nightwood Theatre’s The Penelopiad, a sort of sequel to Homer’s Odyssey by Margaret Atwood, which Follows will direct for the Grand Theatre later this year.
“Megan was always incredibly gifted and she has become extremely accomplished not only as an actor onstage and screen but now as a director as well,” Cimolino said in the release.
The Legacy Gala will be hosted by longtime Stratford actor and TV and movie star Colm Feore, who received the award in 2015, and will include tributes from Cimolino, author Margaret Atwood, actress Sara Farb, singer-songwriter Dayna Manning and more.
By Debra Yeo