Courtesy of Barbara Roisman Cooper.

It’s time to share more of my interview with Barbara Roisman Cooper, the author of Anna Lee: Memoir of a Career on General Hospital and in Film. (If you missed the first part, you can find it here Anna Lee’s Book Author Interview, Part I.) I hope you enjoy getting a rare look into the life of one of our favorite General Hospital characters of all time as much as I have. Part III of this interview will be up next week. Again, it’s time to pour some hot tea and go back in time!

SOAPS.COM: One thing that stands out to me about her life is that in spite of her success, money (or lack thereof) seemed to be a problem at various points in her life. Those of us who aren’t in show business probably assume that someone with such a long and wide-ranging career would’ve had plenty of resources. But there were times when she even had to farm her children out to relatives to better provide for them, right? She had so many hardships, yet she never seemed to let them get the best of her, did you find that to be true?

BRC: Money didn’t seem to be a problem for Anna in her early life. The money problem seems to have stemmed from her second marriage. During Anna’s 20-year marriage to George (Stafford), he never had a proper job. Anna gave up her career and moved to Texas for him; then it was on to the East Coast and Darien, Connecticut, where she resumed her career, this time in television. George had a job as a car salesman while Anna appeared on every television anthology show that was produced in New York as well as appearing in the series, A Date With Judy and appeared as a regular panelist on It’s News to Me. She appeared on so many shows that media called her “The First Lady of Television.” She was making money. But George decided he wanted to be a rancher, found a ranch (or as Anna would say, “rahnch”) in Montana and used all her money to purchase it and the live stock for it. Again, she gave up her career to move to Montana with the children; there were now four of them. When she finally left George and drove to California with the children, she was destitute because of the financial drain of the ranch. Until well after the birth of her fifth child, money was scarce. She’d been away from Hollywood too long, and people in Hollywood have short memories. They had forgotten her and her work.

Lila Quartermaine came to the rescue…but with Anna’s marriage to (poet) Robert Nathan, there were more expenses. She moved into his home on Doheny Drive. His health failed during a significant portion of their life together, and at one point, Anna had to mortgage the home to pay for medical bills, his and hers when her industry insurance ran out.

The reason she had her children live with friends or relatives was a source of great anguish for Anna. Venetia was living with her father, Robert Stevenson, a rift having developed between mother and daughter at Anna’s marriage to George. Caroline, the youngest of the Stevenson daughters, did not get along with George, and Anna tried several times to find her a stabilized living arrangement. No matter what the situation, Anna seemed always to cope. She never complained. She just solved the problem.