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Anne Steele[1] (born Joan[2] and formerly known as Sister Sunshine,[3] Chantarelle,[4] and Lily Houston[3]) was a social worker and the director of the East Hills Teen Center in Los Angeles.[1] Herself a former runaway teenager,[3] Anne's life was saved on two occasions by Buffy Summers, the Slayer.[4][3]

Biography

Early life

At an early age, she ran away from home[3] and rejected her birth name, Joan,[2] taking on instead a string of aliases. As a teenager, she became involved in a sect or cult led by a "loser preacher" who dubbed her Sister Sunshine.[3]

Chantarelle

Anne as Chantarelle.

Afterward, she reinvented herself as Chantarelle and became a regular at the Sunset Club, a Gothic nightclub in which vampire posers and vampire worshipers gathered. Like others, Chantarelle romanticized vampires, calling them "the Lonely Ones," and became part of a Sunnydale subculture that adored and emulated them. However, she had never seen a real vampire before, until she nearly died at the hands of Spike and Drusilla. Chantarelle survived the ordeal only thanks to the intervention of Buffy Summers.[4]

Lily

Lily's from a song. Rickie picked it. I'm always changing anyway. Chantarelle was part of my exotic phase.
―Anne as Lily[src]

Anne as Lily with Rickie.

Chantarelle later moved to Los Angeles and became a homeless drifter. She took on the name Lily Houston, given to her by Rickie Thomas, a fellow young runaway, with whom she started a relationship. The two got matching tattoos of one half of a heart and the name of the other and managed to obtain a little money by donating their blood at a local blood bank. It was during this period that she encountered Buffy for the second time, as Buffy was temporarily working as a waitress in Los Angeles, and was herself also going by an alias: Anne, her middle name.[3]

Her boyfriend Ricky died after being abducted by Ken, a demon who posed as the director of the Family Home shelter for runaway teenagers. Ken also abducted Anne later wit the promise to reunite her with Ricky. Buffy went after Anne to free her and other enslaved teenagers from this hell dimension. Anne herself helped in the defeat of Ken, pushing him from a high platform, and Buffy finished him off by smashing his head. Buffy's heroism inspired Anne, and she decided to adopt Buffy's alias as her own. Buffy also helped to set Anne up with her former apartment and waitress job at Helen's Kitchen.[3]

East Hills Teen Center

Anne as the director of a L.A. homeless shelter.

Sometime later, no doubt inspired by her desire to help the kind of runaways that she herself had once been, and that had been so susceptible to predatory demons such as Ken, Anne founded the East Hills Teen Center, where she helped to provide shelter and support for homeless or wayward teenagers in Los Angeles. It was during this period that she became friends with Charles Gunn, a fellow homeless teenager who also sought to protect the helpless, though he did so by hunting vampires. At some point, Anne also had her heart tattoo removed.[1]

With the East Hills Teen Center in financial trouble, Anne accepted the help of Wolfram & Hart, who represented the Center pro bono. This attracted the attention of Angel, who used her as part of his efforts to harass Wolfram & Hart's Lindsey McDonald and Lilah Morgan while they organized a charity ball to steal most of the funds for the firm. However, Angel, with the aid of the demon Boone, stole all the money and gave it to Anne. Even though she knew part of the money came from Wolfram & Hart's corrupt clients and that it was stained by Angel's and Boone's blood, she took the money to ensure the existence of the Center.[1]

Weeks later, she became involved with Angel Investigations, when her center came under attack from zombie police officers.[5] Anne was still successfully running the East Hills Teen Center at least as late as 2004, when she once again encountered Gunn, who sought to spend a day "as if it was the last" before confronting the Circle of the Black Thorn. As he helped her carry boxes and furniture, the two discussed about continuing their struggle despite knowing they could never win against those in power.[6]

Behind the scenes

  • She was portrayed by Julia Lee.
  • Many fans found it strange that, in the episode "Blood Money," neither Angel nor Anne recognized one another, despite having met briefly before in the episode "Lie to Me." In an interview in The Casefiles, Volume 1, writer Mere Smith explains: "... it was three years ago, they said two sentences to each other, he's totally not gonna recognize her... Joss [Whedon] was like, 'Do you remember everybody you met three years ago, and shared three sentences with?' And I was like, 'Oh, fine, use logic.'" Of course, having photographic memory, Angel indeed would remember everyone he'd ever met; on the other hand, that was before Angel spent centuries (from his perspective) in Acathla's dimension.
  • It can also be noted that when she appeared on Angel, she doesn't have the tattoo she had in the episode "Anne," and doesn't have the scar indicating its removal (with no explanation behind it).
  • in the episode "Blood Money," Anne's driver's license has her address listed as "Willoughby Ave"; Anne Steele and John Willoughby are characters from the novel Sense and Sensibility.

Appearances

Canonical

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Angel

Other

References

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