Megan Follows is a Canadian actress best known for her role of Anne Shirley in the television miniseries titled ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and also in its two sequels. She is the daughter of actor parents who were also the founding members of Canada's summer theatre culture. Her three elder siblings are also in the showbiz. Having been raised in a showbiz family, she developed an interest in acting and dancing in the early years of her life. Her first acting job was in a commercial for ‘Bell Canada’ when she was just nine years old. At the age of eleven, she moved to Los Angeles to attend school and polish her acting skills. Upon her return, she found steady employment in Canada, making appearances in many TV series, including a guest role in ‘The Littlest Hobo.’ In the ensuing years, she appeared in many TV series, movies, and theatrical productions. She holds dual Canadian and American citizenship.
Childhood & Early Life
Megan Follows was born on March 14, 1968, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Ted Follows and Dawn Greenhalgh. Her father was a Canadian theatre actor and director while her mother is a Canadian actress.
She is the fourth and youngest child of her parents. Her sister Edwina Follows is a producer and writer, while her other sister Samantha Follows is an actress and her brother Laurence Follows is a producer.
She attended the Grams Chapel High in Toronto and also learned acting and dancing. She took part in several beauty shows and talent hunt programs before landing her first commercial role at the age of nine.
When she was 11, her parents got divorced and she moved with her mother to California where she attended a local public school. She then moved to Los Angeles to further her education and got enrolled in a public college there.
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Megan Follows began her acting career at the age of nine with a role in a commercial for ‘Bell Canada’. Her job was to make some child-like gestures out of a school bus window; instead, she made some rather obscene adult gestures.
She got steady employment in Canadian TV series like ‘Matt and Jenny’ (1979), ‘The Baxters’ (1980), ‘The Littlest Hobo’ (1981), and ‘The Facts of Life’ (1982). In 1983, she also appeared in the short film ‘Boys and Girls’.
She was cast as Anne Shirley in the 1985 miniseries ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and also appeared in its two sequels. All the three segments of the series were big hits.
She made an appearance in the movie ‘Silver Bullet’ in 1985. She made her stage debut in 1988 in a production of ‘The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds’ followed by the role of Juliet in the Stratford Festival's production of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in 1992.
She has appeared in both Canadian and American TV shows, including ‘The Dwarf’ (1989), ‘Open Heart’ (2005), ‘Brothers and Sisters’ (2009), ‘Hollywood Heights’ (2012) and ‘Reign’ in 2013-17.
Her film credits include roles in ‘Reluctant Angel’ (1998), ‘A Foreign Affair’ (2003) and ‘Christmas Child’ (2004).
She has also been active in the theatre scene and has made appearances in ‘Fool for Love’ (2005), ‘The Real Thing’ (2006), and Caryl Churchill's ‘Top Girls’ (2007). She returned to the stage in 2010 in a revival of ‘Cloud 9,’ followed by an appearance in ‘The Penelopiad’ (2012).
Megan Follows is best known for her role of Anne Shirley in the series ‘Anne of Green Gables’. The series, which aired in 1985, still remains one of the highest-rated dramas in Canadian television history. She won the Gemini Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actress in a Single Dramatic Program or Miniseries. She also appeared in its two sequels.
Her role of Catherine de' Medici in the historical drama series ‘Reign’ (2013) earned her ‘Canadian Screen Award’ nominations for Best Actress consecutively for three years (from 2015-17).
Family & Personal Life
Megan Follows married Canadian gaffer and photographer Christopher Porter in 1991. The couple had first met while shooting for ‘Deep Sleep’ (1990). They have two children: a daughter named Lyla Porter-Follows, born in December 1991, and a son named Russel Porter-Follows, born in July 1994. She divorced Porter in 1996.
She eventually got engaged to actor Stuart Hughes. This relationship ended in 2010.
She worked with the relief organization World Vision Canada as their spokeswoman and is also a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism.