Ann Sheridan

Clara Lou "Ann" Sheridan (February 21, 1915 – January 21, 1967) was an American actress and singer. She is best known for her roles in the films San Quentin (1937), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), They Drive by Night (1940), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Kings Row (1942), Nora Prentiss (1947), and I Was a Male War Bride (1949).

Ann Sheridan
Ann Sheridan Argentinean Magazine AD.jpg
Sheridan in 1934
Born
Clara Lou Sheridan

(1915-02-21)February 21, 1915
DiedJanuary 21, 1967(1967-01-21) (aged 51)
Resting placeHollywood Forever Cemetery
Occupation
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active1934–1967
Spouse(s)
(m. 1936; div. 1938)

(m. 1942; div. 1943)

(m. 1966)

Early lifeEdit

Born in Denton, Texas, on February 21, 1915, Clara Lou Sheridan was the youngest of five children (Kitty, Pauline, Mabel and George) of George W. Sheridan and Lula Stewart (née Warren).[1][2] According to Sheridan, her father was a grandnephew of Civil War Union general Philip Sheridan.[3][4]

She was active in dramatics at Denton High School and at North Texas State Teachers College. She also sang with the college's stage band and played basketball on the North Texas women's basketball team.[5] Then, in 1933, Sheridan won the prize of a bit part in an upcoming Paramount film, Search for Beauty,[6] when her sister Kitty entered Sheridan's photograph into a beauty contest.

CareerEdit

ParamountEdit

After the release of Search for Beauty in 1934, Paramount put the 19-year-old under contract at a starting salary of $75 a week ($1,519 today), where she played mostly uncredited bit parts for the next two years.[7] She can be glimpsed in the following 1934 films, and if credited, as Clara Lou Sheridan: Bolero, Come On Marines!, Murder at the Vanities, Shoot the Works, Kiss and Make-Up, The Notorious Sophie Lang, College Rhythm (directed by Norman Taurog whom Sheridan admired), Ladies Should Listen, You Belong to Me, Wagon Wheels, The Lemon Drop Kid, Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch, Ready for Love, Limehouse Blues, and One Hour Late.

Along with fellow contractees, Sheridan worked with Paramount's drama coach Nina Mouise and performed on the studio lot in such plays as The Milky Way and The Pursuit of Happiness. While in The Milky Way, Paramount decided to change her first name from Clara Lou to the same as her character Ann.[8]

Sheridan was then cast in the film Behold My Wife! (1934) at the behest of director and friend Mitchell Leisen. The role provided two standout scenes for the actress, including one in which her character commits suicide, to which she attributed Paramount's keeping her under contract.[9]

She continued with bit parts in Enter Madame (1935), Home on the Range (1935), and Rumba (1935), until her first lead role in Car 99 (1935), with Fred MacMurray.[10] "No acting, it was just playing the lead, that's all", she later said.[9] She next had a support role as the romantic interest in Rocky Mountain Mystery (1935), a Randolph Scott Western.

She then appeared in Mississippi (1935) with Bing Crosby and W. C. Fields, The Glass Key (1935) with George Raft, and (having one line) The Crusades (1935) with Loretta Young. In her last picture under her deal with Paramount, the studio loaned her out to Poverty Row production company Talisman to make The Red Blood of Courage (1935) with Kermit Maynard. After this, Paramount declined to renew her contract.[11] Sheridan made Fighting Youth (1935) at Universal and then signed a contract with Warner Bros. in 1936.

Warner Bros.Edit

Sheridan's career prospects began to improve at her new studio. Her early films for Warner Bros. included Sing Me a Love Song (1936); Black Legion (1937) with Humphrey Bogart; The Great O'Malley (1937) with Pat O'Brien and Bogart, her first real break;[12] San Quentin (1937), with O'Brien and Bogart, singing for the first time in a film; and Wine, Women and Horses (1937) with Barton MacLane.[13]

Sheridan moved into B picture leads: The Footloose Heiress (1937); Alcatraz Island (1937) with John Litel; and She Loved a Fireman (1937) with Dick Foran for director John Farrow. She was a lead in The Patient in Room 18 (1937) and its sequel Mystery House (1938). Sheridan was in Little Miss Thoroughbred (1938) with Litel for Farrow and supported Dick Powell in Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938).[14]

Universal borrowed her for a support role in Letter of Introduction (1938) at the behest of director John M. Stahl. For Farrow, she was in Broadway Musketeers (1938), a remake of Three on a Match (1932).

 
Sheridan and James Cagney in Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Sheridan's notices in Letter of Introduction impressed Warner Bros. executives and she began to get roles in better quality pictures at her own studio starting with Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), wherein she played James Cagney's love interest; Bogart, O'Brien and the Dead End Kids had supporting roles. The film was a big hit and critically acclaimed.

Sheridan was reunited with the Dead End Kids in They Made Me a Criminal (1938) starring John Garfield. She was third-billed in the Western Dodge City (1939), playing a saloon owner opposite Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The film was another success.

Oomph girlEdit

In March 1939, Warner Bros. announced Sheridan had been voted by a committee of 25 men as the actress with the most "oomph" in America.[15] "Oomph" was described as "a certain indefinable something that commands male interest."[15]

She received as many as 250 marriage proposals from fans in a single week.[16] Sheridan reportedly loathed the sobriquet that made her a popular pin-up girl in the early 1940s.[17][18][19] However, she expressed in a February 25, 1940, news story distributed by the Associated Press that she no longer "bemoaned the 'oomph' tag."[20] She continued, "But I'm sorry now. I know if it hadn't been for 'oomph' I'd probably still be in the chorus."[20]

StardomEdit

Sheridan co-starred with Dick Powell in Naughty but Nice (1939) and played a wacky heiress in Winter Carnival (1939).

She was top billed in Indianapolis Speedway (1939) with O'Brien and Angels Wash Their Faces (1939) with the Dead End Kids and Ronald Reagan. Castle on the Hudson (1940) put her opposite Garfield and O'Brien.

Sheridan's first real starring vehicle was It All Came True (1940), a musical comedy costarring Bogart and Jeffrey Lynn. She introduced the song "Angel in Disguise".

Sheridan and Cagney were reunited in Torrid Zone (1940) with O'Brien in support. She was with George Raft, Bogart and Ida Lupino in They Drive by Night (1940), a smash-hit trucking melodrama. Sheridan was back with Cagney for City for Conquest (1941) and then made Honeymoon for Three (1941), a comedy with George Brent.

 
Sheridan (1950)

Sheridan did two lighter films: Navy Blues (1941), a musical comedy, and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) with Bette Davis, wherein she played a character modeled on Gertrude Lawrence. She then made Kings Row (1942), in which she received top billing playing opposite Ronald Reagan, Robert Cummings, and Betty Field. It was a major success and one of Sheridan's most memorable films.

Sheridan and Reagan were reunited for Juke Girl (1942). She was in the war film Wings for the Eagle (1942) and made a comedy with Jack Benny, George Washington Slept Here (1943). She played a Norwegian resistance fighter in Edge of Darkness (1943) with Errol Flynn and was one of the many Warner Bros., stars who had cameos in Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943).

She was the heroine of a novel, Ann Sheridan and the Sign of the Sphinx, written by Kathryn Heisenfelt and published by Whitman Publishing Company in 1943. While the heroine of the story was identified as a famous actress, the stories were entirely fictitious. The story was probably written for a young teenaged audience and is reminiscent of the adventures of Nancy Drew. It is part of a series known as "Whitman Authorized Editions", 16 books published between 1941 and 1947 that always featured a film actress as heroine.[21]

Sheridan was given the lead in the musical Shine On, Harvest Moon (1944), playing Nora Bayes, opposite Dennis Morgan.[22] She was in a comedy The Doughgirls (1944).

Sheridan was absent from screens for over a year, touring with the USO to perform in front of the troops as far afield as China.[23] She returned in One More Tomorrow (1946) with Morgan. She had an excellent role in the noir Nora Prentiss (1947), which was a hit. It was followed by The Unfaithful (1948), a remake of The Letter, and Silver River (1948), a Western melodrama with Errol Flynn.

Leo McCarey borrowed her to support Gary Cooper in Good Sam (1948). She was meant to star in Flamingo Road.[24] She then left Warner Bros., saying: "I wasn't at all satisfied with the scripts they offered me."[25]

Freelance starEdit

Her role in I Was a Male War Bride (1949), directed by Howard Hawks and co-starring Cary Grant, was another success. In 1950, she appeared on the ABC musical television series Stop the Music.

She made Stella (1950), a comedy with Victor Mature at Fox.

In April 1949, she announced she wanted to produce Second Lady, a film based on a story by Eleanor Griffin.[25][26] She was going to make Carriage Entrance at RKO.[25] They fired her and Sheridan sued for $250,000 ($2,847,203 today)[27] New York Times archive reports the amount as $350,000 ($3,986,084 today).[28] Sheridan ultimately won $55,162 ($628,230 today).[29]

UniversalEdit

Sheridan made Woman on the Run (1950), a noir, which she produced. She wanted to make a film called Her Secret Diary.[30]

Woman on the Run was distributed by Universal, and Sheridan signed a contract with that studio. While there, she made Steel Town (1952), Just Across the Street (1952), and Take Me to Town (1953), a comedy directed by Douglas Sirk.

Later careerEdit

 
Sheridan in her final role as Henrietta Hanks on Pistols 'n' Petticoats

Sheridan supported Glenn Ford in Appointment in Honduras (1953), directed by Jacques Tourneur. She appeared opposite Steve Cochran in Come Next Spring (1956) and was one of several stars in MGM's The Opposite Sex (1956). Her last film, Woman and the Hunter (1957), was shot in Africa.[31]

She performed in stage tours of Kind Sir (1958) and Odd Man In (1959), and The Time of Your Life at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. In all three shows, she acted with Scott McKay, whom she later married.[32][33]

In 1962, she played the lead in the Western series Wagon Train episode entitled "The Mavis Grant Story".

In the mid-1960s, Sheridan appeared on the NBC soap opera Another World.[31]

Her final work was the television comedy Western series Pistols 'n' Petticoats, which was filmed while she became increasingly ill in 1966, and was broadcast on CBS on Saturday nights.[34] The 19th episode of the series, "Beware the Hangman", aired as scheduled on the same day that she died in 1967.[35]

For her contributions to the motion picture industry, Ann Sheridan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7024 Hollywood Boulevard.

Personal lifeEdit

Sheridan married actor Edward Norris August 16, 1936, in Ensenada, Mexico.[36] They separated a year later and divorced in 1939. On January 5, 1942, she married fellow Warner Bros. star George Brent, who co-starred with her in Honeymoon for Three (1941); they divorced exactly one year later. Following her divorce from Brent, she had a long-term relationship with publicist Steve Hannagan that lasted until his death in 1953. Hannagan bequeathed Sheridan $218,399 ($2,211,969 today).[37] On June 5, 1966, she married actor Scott McKay, who was with her when she died, seven months later.[38]

DeathEdit

In 1966, Sheridan began starring in a new television series, a Western-themed comedy called Pistols 'n' Petticoats. She became ill during the filming and died of esophageal cancer[39] with massive liver metastases at age 51 on January 21, 1967, in Los Angeles. She was cremated and her ashes were stored at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles until they were interred in a niche in the Chapel Columbarium at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2005.[40]

FilmographyEdit

Year Film Role Director Notes
1934 Search for Beauty Dallas Beauty Winner Erle C. Kenton uncredited
1934 Bolero Minor Role Wesley Ruggles uncredited
1934 Come on Marines! Loretta Henry Hathaway
1934 Murder at the Vanities Earl Carroll Girl Mitchell Leisen uncredited
1934 Many Happy Returns Chorine Norman Z. McLeod uncredited
1934 Shoot the Works Hanratty's Secretary Wesley Ruggles uncredited
1934 Kiss and Make Up Beautician Jean Negulesco (associate director)
1934 The Notorious Sophie Lang Mannequin Ralph Murphy uncredited
1934 Ladies Should Listen Adele Frank Tuttle
1934 You Belong to Me Wedding Party Guest Alfred L. Werker uncredited
1934 Wagon Wheels Young Lady Charles Barton uncredited
1934 The Lemon Drop Kid Minor Role Marshall Neilan uncredited
1934 Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch Town Girl Norman Taurog uncredited
1934 College Rhythm Chorine / Gloves Salesgirl Norman Taurog uncredited
1934 Ready for Love Priscilla at Basket Social Marion Gering uncredited
1934 Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove Sands of the Desert Model Short; uncredited
1934 Behold My Wife Mary White Mitchell Leisen
1934 Limehouse Blues Minor Role Alexander Hall uncredited
1934 One Hour Late Girl Ralph Murphy uncredited
1935 Enter Madame Flora's Shipboard Friend Elliott Nugent
1935 Home on the Range Singer Arthur Jacobson
1935 Rumba Chorus Girl Marion Gering uncredited
1935 Car 99 Mary Adams Charles Barton
1935 Rocky Mountain Mystery Rita Ballard Charles Barton
1935 Mississippi Schoolgirl A. Edward Sutherland uncredited
1935 Red Blood of Courage Elizabeth Henry John English
1935 The Glass Key Nurse Frank Tuttle
1935 The Crusades Christian Slave Girl Cecil B. DeMille uncredited
1935 Hollywood Extra Girl Genevieve Documentary short
1935 Fighting Youth Carol Arlington Hamilton MacFadden
1937 Sing Me a Love Song Ray Enright
1937 Black Legion Betty Grogan Michael Curtiz
1937 The Great O'Malley Judy Nolan William Dieterle
1937 San Quentin May Kennedy aka May De Villiers Lloyd Bacon
1937 The Footloose Heiress Kay Allyn William Clemens
1937 Wine, Women and Horses Valerie Louis King
1937 Alcatraz Island Flo Allen William C. McGann
1937 She Loved a Fireman Marjorie 'Margie' Shannon John Farrow
1938 The Patient in Room 18 Sara Keate Crane Wilbur
1938 Mystery House Sarah Keate Noel M. Smith
1938 Out Where the Stars Begin Herself Short; uncredited
1938 Little Miss Thoroughbred Madge Perry Morgan John Farrow
1938 Cowboy from Brooklyn Maxine Chadwick Lloyd Bacon
1938 Letter of Introduction Lydia Hoyt John M. Stahl
1938 Broadway Musketeers Fay Reynolds Dowling John Farrow
1938 Angels with Dirty Faces Laury Martin Michael Curtiz
1939 They Made Me a Criminal Goldie Busby Berkeley
1939 Dodge City Ruby Gilman Michael Curtiz
1939 Naughty but Nice Zelda Manion Ray Enright
1939 Indianapolis Speedway 'Frankie' Merrick Lloyd Bacon
1939 Winter Carnival Jill Baxter Charles Reisner
1939 The Angels Wash Their Faces Joy Ryan Ray Enright
1940 Castle on the Hudson Kay Anatole Litvak
1940 It All Came True Sarah Jane Ryan Lewis Seiler
1940 Torrid Zone Lee Donley William Keighley
1940 They Drive by Night Cassie Hartley Raoul Walsh
1940 City for Conquest Peggy Nash Jean Negulesco (uncredited)
1941 Honeymoon for Three Anne Rogers Lloyd Bacon
1941 Navy Blues Marge Jordan Lloyd Bacon
1942 The Man Who Came to Dinner Lorraine Sheldon William Keighley
1942 Kings Row Randy Monaghan Sam Wood
1942 Juke Girl Lola Mears Curtis Bernhardt
1942 Wings for the Eagle Roma Maple Lloyd Bacon
1942 George Washington Slept Here Connie Fuller William Keighley
1943 Edge of Darkness Karen Stensgard Lewis Milestone
1943 Thank Your Lucky Stars Ann Sheridan David Butler
1944 Shine On, Harvest Moon Nora Bayes David Butler
1944 The Doughgirls Edna Stokes Cadman James V. Kern
1946 Cinderella Jones Red Cross Nurse Busby Berkeley uncredited
1946 One More Tomorrow Christie Sage Peter Godfrey
1947 The Unfaithful Chris Hunter Vincent Sherman
1947 Nora Prentiss Nora Prentiss Vincent Sherman
1948 Silver River Georgia Moore Raoul Walsh
1948 Good Sam Lu Clayton Leo McCarey
1949 I Was a Male War Bride 1st Lt. Catherine Gates Howard Hawks
1950 Stella Stella Bevans Claude Binyon
1950 Woman on the Run Eleanor Johnson Norman Foster also co-producer
1952 Steel Town 'Red' McNamara George Sherman
1952 Just Across the Street Henrietta Smith Joseph Pevney
1953 Take Me to Town Vermilion O'Toole aka Mae Madison Douglas Sirk
1953 Appointment in Honduras Sylvia Sheppard Jacques Tourneur
1956 Come Next Spring Bess Ballot R.G. Springsteen
1956 Calling Terry Conway Terry Conway TV Movie
1956 The Opposite Sex Amanda Penrose David Miller
1957 Woman and the Hunter Laura Dodds
1967 The Far Out West Henrietta 'Hank' Hanks archive footage

Radio appearancesEdit

Year Program Episode Ref
1943 Screen Guild Players Love Is News [41]
1952 Stars in the Air Good Sam [42]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bubbeo, Daniel (June 21, 2010). The Women of Warner Brothers: The Lives and Careers of 15 Leading Ladies, with Filmographies for Each. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-6236-0.
  2. ^ "Miss Pauline Sheridan Weds in Oklahoma". Denton Record-Chronicle. Denton, Texas. March 27, 1931. p. 5. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ "Ann Sheridan Is Still a Favorite After Years as a Successful Star". Albuquerque Journal. New Mexico, Albuquerque. March 30, 1952. p. 29. Retrieved June 18, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  4. ^ Inc, Time (July 24, 1939). LIFE. Time Inc.
  5. ^ "Miss Sheridan Is Winner in Screen Contest". Denton Record-Chronicle. Denton, Texas. July 19, 1933. p. 8. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  6. ^ "Denton Girl Wins World Contest; to be Given Part in Paramount Movie". Denton Record-Chronicle. Texas, Denton. September 9, 1933. p. 1. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ "Ann sheridan, film star, dies". Chicago Tribune. January 22, 1967. ProQuest 179108425.
  8. ^ Hagen, Ray (September 17, 2004). Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames. McFarland. p. 171. ISBN 978-0786418831.
  9. ^ a b Hagen p 172
  10. ^ "Clara Lou "Ann" Sheridan". Denton Record-Chronicle. January 25, 1935. p. 5. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  11. ^ "Ann Sheridan Reveals "Love at Sight" Wedding". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 30, 1936. p. 18.
  12. ^ "STAR OF THE WEEK: ANN SHERIDAN MARTINEE". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 18, 1948. p. c23.
  13. ^ "Ann Sheridan dead". The Guardian. January 23, 1967. p. 9.
  14. ^ Ann Sheridan, Ex-Film Queen The Washington Post, Times Herald 23 Jan 1967: B3.
  15. ^ a b "Ann sheridan voted leading 'oomph' girl by jury of 25 men". Chicago Daily Tribune. March 18, 1939. ProQuest 175248402.
  16. ^ "Everybody Wants to Marry Annie", AP, May 25, 1941. Accessed June 2, 2009.
  17. ^ "Ann Sheridan, Actress, Born Clara Lou Sheridan on Feb. 21, 1915 in Denton, Texas, Died Jan. 21, 1967 of cancer in Los Angeles, California", by Paul Houston, Los Angeles Times, January 22, 1967
  18. ^ "When a Woman Could Be an Oomph Girl", by Art Rogoff, The New York Times, September 12, 1988.
  19. ^ "The Oomph Girl" Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Classic Cinema Gold, February 21, 2012
  20. ^ a b "'Oomph Girl' Is Happy Now". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. Utah, Ogden. Associated Press. February 25, 1940. p. 11. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  21. ^ Whitman Authorized Editions for Girls
  22. ^ WILKINSON, L. A. (February 6, 1944). "NOTHING BUT OOMPH?". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 165486550.
  23. ^ "Ann Sheridan Back From Tour". New York Times. September 7, 1944. p. 21.
  24. ^ "Ann Sheridan Has Crowded Schedule". Los Angeles Times. July 6, 1947. p. C2.
  25. ^ a b c Scheuer, Philip K. (May 22, 1949). "Ann Sheridan to Risk Oomph on Own Movie: Ann Sheridan Carries on to Finish That Jinx Film". Los Angeles Times. p. D1.
  26. ^ "Ann Sheridan's Indie". Variety. April 20, 1949. p. 2 – via Archive.org.
  27. ^ "Ann Sheridan Tells Dispute Over Male Star". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 31, 1951. p. a9.
  28. ^ Brady, Thomas F. (November 22, 1949). "ANN SHERIDAN SUES R. K. O. FOR $350,000; Alleges Breach of Contract and Bad Faith by Studio in Deal on 'Carriage Entrance'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  29. ^ Brady, Thomas F. (February 7, 1951). "$55,162 WON IN SUIT BY ANN SHERIDAN; Federal Jury on Coast Gives Actress Damages for Claim Against R.K.O. Studios Of Local Origin". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  30. ^ Hopper, Hedda. (May 9, 1949). "Ann Sheridan Gets 'Her Secret Diary'". Los Angeles Times. p. B6.
  31. ^ a b Crawford, Linda. (January 30, 1966). "Ann Sheridan Slips Into TV Soap Opera". Chicago Tribune. p. m4.
  32. ^ "Douglas, Ann Sheridan Join Roster at Edgeswater Beach". Chicago Daily Tribune. May 25, 1958. p. e9.
  33. ^ "Actor Denies Affair With Ann Sheridan". Los Angeles Times. February 25, 1960. p. 13.
  34. ^ Humphrey, H. (January 22, 1967). "Ann Sheridan hits the mark with pistols it's about time tries a new format". Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 155643644.
  35. ^ "Pistols and Petticoats", in Single Season Sitcoms, 1948–1979: A Complete Guide, by Bob Leszczak (McFarland, 2012) p155
  36. ^ "Ann Sheridan and Edward Norris Wed". Denton Record-Chronicle. Texas, Denton. August 31, 1936. p. 4. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  
  37. ^ May 7, 1956; Stephen J Hannagan Will; File No. P 440/1953; Surrogates Court in the County of New York; Hall of Records.
  38. ^ "Ann Sheridan Biography". Remembering Ann Sheridan. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  39. ^ "Why the Forgotten Ann Sheridan Deserves to Be Remembered". Best Movies by Farr. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 9, 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 39 (1): 32–41. Winter 2013.
  42. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 9, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  

External linksEdit