In films from age nine, red-haired Ann Gillis excelled in spoiled brat roles for nearly a decade. She was somewhat more benignly cast as Becky Thatcher in 1938's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (though her "mad scene" when trapped in a bat-filled cave was one of the most terrifying scenes ever captured on film) and as the perky title character in 1939's Little Orphan Annie. When adulthood beckoned, Gillis found it hard to secure good roles; perhaps her best showing during her late teen years was as Lou Costello's spunky Irish sweetheart in The Time of Their Lives (1946). Retiring from films in 1947, she made sporadic comeback attempts throughout the next decade. In 1959, she briefly resurfaced on TV as hostess of a nationally telecast presentation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Thereafter, Ann Gillis retired to private life in England, save for one final appearance in Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey (1968) as the mother of astronaut Gary Lockwood.