Ann Shalla, 84, died peacefully in her sleep on June 25, 2022 in Green Valley Arizona, after enduring several years of dementia. Born in New York, New York on April 10, 1938, the second of six children to Ray Hamill and Donna (Blake) Simpson, she lived in Champaign, Illinois, and attended University High School, where she graduated in 1955. In 1957, she married Theodore Shalla and moved to Chicago, where she had two sons, then divorced and pursued an acting career, including a performance on the television show Matlock. She also won a world-record for laughing (4 hours, 6 minutes on the David Frost special) and worked for Actor’s Equity in Chicago from which she retired in 2009. She lived in Franklin Park, Chicago, and Oak Park, Illinois; South Pasadena, Hollywood, and North Hollywood, California; and since 2009, in Green Valley, Arizona.
She had a lifelong love of all forms of creativity, including acting, comedy, performance, architecture, interior design, sewing and fine arts, as well as music and cooking. She loved people and made friends all over the world with her exuberant and friendly personality, and made some of them through her bed-and-breakfast business (Ann’s Laff Inn). She was always the life of the party, and brought her infectious laughter with her. She was a passionate supporter of women’s rights, and the rights of marginalized people.
Ann is survived by her two sons, Quintin and Kevin (Tory Ferrera); her brothers Jim Simpson (Teri), Bob Simpson (Betty Anderson), and Frank Simpson (Suzan); her grandchildren Luke (Angelina Lucero), William and Jaime; her nieces and nephews, Kathy Kramer (Suzzy McCafferty), Justin Simpson, Josh Simpson (Natalie Baxter), Larkin O’Leary (Peter), and Harriet Hollingsworth (Ben); former sister-in-law, Kris Simpson; and her dear friends Sally Havens, Kayri Mealy, Kathy Lamkey, Hal Baim, Pat Benson, and Kay Thompson.
Ann was preceded in death by her sister, Jean Simpson Sheets; her brother, David Kim Simpson; and her dogs, Kerrie and Marilyn.
A memorial service will be held in Oak Park, Illinois TBA.