Ann Phillips Basart
August 26, 1931–February 7, 2020
Born in Denver, Colorado, to Burrill L. and Alberta C. (née Mayfield) Phillips, she was raised by her maternal grandparents in Southern California due to the hardships of the Great Depression. She worked as a child actress (under the name Ann E. Todd) between 1939 and 1953, appearing in almost 40 movies alongside notable stars such as Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Temple, James Stewart, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and Marlene Dietrich.
She later moved to Berkeley, CA, and in 1951 married Robert David Basart (1927–1993), a music professor and contemporary music composer. She and Bob were happily married until his death in 1993—and Bob also died on a February 7. They lived in a wonderful quirky Berkeley brown shingle house on Oregon Street that had been previously inhabited by the film critic Pauline Kael and was full of murals painted by artist Jess.
She attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she obtained a master's degree in library science in 1958 and a Master of Arts in 1960. She was a reference librarian at U.C. Berkeley from 1960-61 and 1970-90.
In 1984, Ann established Fallen Leaf Press (named after her favorite summer vacation spot in the Sierras), publishing 70 works including reference books in music as well as scores of contemporary American chamber music. She closed the business in 2000.
In 1993, the Music Library Association bestowed its Citation for lifetime achievement to Ann for her work as an author, editor, publisher and librarian.
Ann loved science fiction, physics, poetry, astronomy, theater, contemporary and classical music, Tom Baker of Doctor Who and, towards the end of her life, she especially enjoyed reading and re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Lawrence of Arabia.
She also loved California; the family travelled to all corners of the state, including summers at Fall Leaf Lake, Christmases at Yosemite and The Sea Ranch, hikes in Desolation Wilderness, and trips to Point Reyes Peninsula, the gold country, Sonoma County and missions in the Central Valley.
Although Ann had dementia for the final seven years of her life, her passing was serene.
Ann is survived by her daughter Kathryn (Kate) Basart, her son Nathaniel (Nat) Basart, and her three grandchildren.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 11 to Feb. 16, 2020.