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Anne Shirley-Cuthbert is the orphaned daughter of Walter and Bertha Shirley, and the adoptive daughter of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert.


Orphanage Edit

Anne was sent to an orphanage in Nova Scotia after both her parents died at an early age. Anne has no memory of her biological parents Walter and Bertha. Before coming to Avonlea, Anne was constantly in and out of the orphanage. She was typically made to work as a nanny and cleaner for the people who adopted her. Despite her hard work, Anne could never gain the love of these families; all of them sent her back to the orphanage. The cruelty Anne endured at the hands of her foster families and those in the orphanage, left her traumatised. Throughout the series, Anne has flashbacks of her troubled childhood. She rarely speaks about her life before Avonlea. 

Time in Avonlea Edit

The Cuthbert siblings wanted an orphan boy to help Matthew with the farm work, as the two were getting older. Though, much to his surprise, Matthew found no boy when he went to the train station; there was only Anne.

Physical appearanceEdit

2017 101 AnneStation

Anne in Season One

Anne's most defining physical attribute is her bright red hair, which she styles in two braids most of the time . Anne hates the uncommon colour of her hair because she gets teased about it . On several occasions, Anne has attributed her fiery temper to being a redhead.

2017 201 AnneHat

Anne at the beginning of Season Two

Anne is also characterised by her fair complexion and face full of freckles. She is lanky as a child and refers to herself as being unattractively skinny. Marilla misconstrues Anne's constant fixation with her hair as vanity, but in reality Anne is extremely self-conscious about her appearance.


Anne's heart is a gold heart. Throughout the series Anne is constantly trying to gain the approval of her adoptive parents, her classmates and the townspeople of Avonlea. Despite her desire to please, Anne has a great deal of personal integrity and this unadulterated honesty can often gets her into trouble.

Anne is passionate about life and has the gift of seeing beauty in the most mundane things. Her imagination is boundless and openly displayed by her creative tales and later by her writing. Anne is also an avid reader. Her vocabulary is well above that of her peers and this, as well as her skill in other academics, is a point of pride for her.

Yet, for all of her skills and accomplishments, Anne harbours deep insecurities as a result of her early upbringing. The instability of her life in the orphanage and being passed around from home to home has made her terrified of rejection. Regardless of her less than ideal beginnings, Anne is an optimist.

As a child, Anne passes judgment easily and is reluctant to change her mind once she has made a decision. Anne loves and hates with equal intensity. She believes both her friendship with Diana Barry and rivalry with Gilbert Blythe will last a lifetime.


Matthew CuthbertEdit

Anne's adoptive father. Matthew took a liking to Anne almost immediately after listening to her constant chatter on the way home from the train station. They have a very wholesome relationship, only temporarily soured when Anne tried to become "an agent of romance" for Matthew by answering the unanswered letters a woman from his past sent to him. Not prone to anger, Matthew is only disappointed in Anne and forgives her not long after. Matthew is proud of Anne and her achievements.

Marilla CuthbertEdit

Anne's adoptive mother. When Matthew first brought Anne home from the train station Marilla wanted to send her back to the orphanage. Eventually Marilla grows to love Anne. Due to Marilla's traditionalist nature, in contrast to Anne's wild imagination, the two don't always see eye to eye. Though, as time goes on the two start loving each other like mother and daughter.

Diana BarryEdit

A kindred spirit of Anne as well as her bosom friend. Anne has an abundance of imagination and Diana is more down to earth, but they always take pleasure in each other's company.

Gilbert BlytheEdit

Anne was told to stay away from Gilbert when first arriving in Avonlea because Ruby had "dibs on Gilbert". Clueless to the situation, Gilbert wonders why Anne is ignoring him and makes the mistake of pulling her hair and calling her Carrots. After that, he is Anne's sworn enemy and they begin an academic rivalry. At the end of season one, they call a truce and start to become friends. Throughout the second season, their friendship grows and they have a mutual respect for each other. Their relationship has a few bumps along the way, as can be seen when Anne grows jealous of Gilbert getting ahead of her academically. At the end of season two, Cole drops a comment to Anne about Gilbert having a crush on her, which also had been hinted at by Diana earlier, but Anne denies it. In season 3 Anne and Gilbert both have feelings for each other but due to a misunderstanding Gilbert thinks Anne doesn't have romantic feelings for him. Gilbert finally learns of Anne's true feelings and visits her at Queens. They admit their true feelings for each other and kiss.

Ruby GillisEdit

Josephine BarryEdit

Cole MackenzieEdit


Charlie SloaneEdit


The name Anne is a French form of the name Anna. In the 13th-century it was imported to England, the United Kingdom, where it was also commonly spelled Ann. A few namesakes are Queen Anne, 1702-1714, and the second wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn (the mother of Queen Elizabeth I), who was eventually beheaded in the Tower of London.

The name Shirley originally, in Old English, meant "bright clearing".

Behind the scenesEdit



  • The casting call describes Anne as, 11-14 year old girl, max. height 5'4", the smaller and wispier the better. Anne is impoverished and underfed. Anne is not old-fashioned, precious or glib. She’s a modern girl with a massive heart, a sense of justice, a searing intellect and, for better and for worse, an inability to self-edit. She is spunky, forthright, full of imagination, quirky and interesting. She is also a deeply wounded kid — she bears the emotional scars of the abusive life she’s led so far. Anne is full of contradictions, insecurities and deep emotions in a time when emotions were not welcomed or acceptable. ANNE will explore what it means to be a young person navigating adolescence and facing a changing era.[1]
  • The official description on the CBC website states: After an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and working in the homes of strangers, 13-year-old Anne Shirley is a remarkably resilient girl with a unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination.[2]


Anne of Green Gables Wiki has 1,315 images of Anne Shirley (view gallery).


Season 1 (Anne with an E)

Season 2 (Anne with an E)

Season 3 (Anne with an E)


See alsoEdit

Major characters
Billy Andrews · Jane Andrews · Diana Barry · Eliza Barry · William Barry · Jerry Baynard · Gilbert Blythe · Marilla Cuthbert
Matthew Cuthbert · Ruby Gillis · Ka’kwet · Sebastian Lacroix · Rachel Lynde · Cole Mackenzie · Mr. Phillips · Josie Pye
Anne Shirley · Miss Stacy
Minor characters
Aluk · Mr. Andrews · Mrs. Andrews · Prissy Andrews · Mr. Avery · Bank Manager · Minnie May Barry · Josephine Barry
Mr. Baynard · Mrs. Baynard · Father Beck · Mrs. Blewett · John Blythe · Tillie Boulter · Cecile Chaminade · Constance
Michael Cuthbert · Doctor · Mr. Dunlop · Malcolm Frost · Mr. Gillis · Mrs. Gillis · Mr. Hammond · Mrs. Hammond · Elijah Hanford
Jeannie · Mary Joe · Jocelyn · Kitpu · Delphine Lacroix · Hazel Lacroix · Mary Lacroix · Caleb Lynde · Thomas Lynde
Madam Lyudmila · Mrs. Mackenzie · Sister Maria · Matron · Mimikej · Minister · Mrs. Morrison · Nathaniel · Older Girl · Oqwatnuk
Paul #1 · Paul #2 · Pawnbroker · Mrs. Pye · Miss Rogerson · Rollings · Winifred Rose · Charlie Sloane · Mrs. Spencer
Moody Spurgeon · Mrs. Spurgeon · Stationmaster · Dr. Ward · Woman in Blue Top Hat
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