Born Clara Lou Sheridan on February 21, 1915, in Denton, Texas, Ann Sheridan did not harbor early acting interests. In 1933 she was attending college when her sister sent her photo to the Paramount Studios "Search for Beauty" contest, which selected 30 male and female winners. Ann Sheridan was one of the lucky few to be chosen; she was given a round-trip ticket to Hollywood, $250, and a small part in Paramount's film Search for Beauty (1934; with Buster Crabbe). The end result from Paramount's million-dollar film and promotion stunt was a short-term contract for six of the winners. Sheridan secured one of the contracts and was used by the studio in more than a dozen films during 1934 and 1935, but the roles were small and often uncredited. In 1936, Sheridan signed with Warner Bros., and the studio changed her name from Clara Lou to Ann. Sheridan also married her first husband, actor Edward Norris, the same year. She secured better roles in Warner's B productions, and her big breakthrough role came in The Great O'Malley (1937; with Humphrey Bogart). While her film career was going well, her marriage went to the dogs, and she and Norris were divorced in 1939.

Ann SheridanAnn Sheridan

Seductive late 1930s and early 1940s shots of Ann Sheridan

Warner Bros. most often cast Sheridan in comedies and film noir thrillers. In promoting the beautiful young star, Warner's publicity machine dubbed her "The 'Oomph' Girl," but she reportedly hated the moniker. She had become a popular actress and pin-up by the early 1940s. In 1942, she married fellow Warner Bros. contract player George Brent, but the marriage failed quickly. Her career, however, was quite strong with starring roles in George Washington Slept Here (1942; with Jack Benny), Shine on Harvest Moon (1944; with Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson), and Nora Prentiss (1947; with Bruce Bennett). Frequently at odds with Warner Bros. management, Sheridan's contract with Warner Bros. ended in 1948. Afterward, she freelanced in such films as I Was a Male War Bride (1949; with Cary Grant), Appointment in Honduras (1953; with Glenn Ford and Zachary Scott), and Woman and the Hunter (1957; with Jan Merlin). The latter proved to be her final film.

the films of ann sheridan

The Footloose Heiress (1937)

Ann Sheridan

From The Footloose Heiress, one of Sheridan's early Warner Bros. comedies

Broadway Musketeers (1938)

Ann Sheridan and Marie Wilson

Campy shot of Sheridan and Marie Wilson in Broadway Musketeers

Naughty But Nice (1939)

Gale Page, Dick Powell, and Ann Sheridan

With Gale Page and Dick Powell in the Warner Bros. comedy Naughty But Nice

Winter Carnival (1939)

Ann Sheridan and Richard Carlson

With Richard Carlson in the drama Winter Carnival

It All Came True (1940)

Ann Sheridan and Humphrey Bogart

With frequent co-star and friend Humphrey Bogart in the crime comedy It All Came True

Honeymoon for Three (1941)

Ann Sheridan and George Brent

With fellow Warner Bros. contract player George Brent in the comedy Honeymoon for Three. The year following the release of this film, Brent and Sheridan actually did go on a honeymoon, but the marriage survived only one year

George Washington Slept Here (1942)

Ann Sheridan and Jack Benny

Funnyman Jack Benny is married to Ann Sheridan in George Washington Slept Here

Juke Girl (1942)

Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan

With frequent co-star Ronald Reagan in the mystery Juke Girl

Kings Row (1942)

Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan, and Robert CummingsRobert Cummings and Ann Sheridan

LEFT: With Ronald Reagan and Robert Cummings in the drama Kings Row. This film was Reagan's best. RIGHT: With Robert Cummings

Good Sam (1948)

Ann Sheridan and Dick Ross

From the Gary Cooper comedy Good Sam with Dick Ross. This film was released by RKO

I Was a Male War Bride (1949)

Cary Grant and Ann SheridanCary Grant and Ann Sheridan

With Cary Grant in the hilarious I Was a Male War Bride

Steel Town (1952)

John Lund, Ann Sheridan, and Howard Duff

With John Lund and Howard Duff in the Universal-International drama Steel Town

Appointment in Honduras (1953)

Ann Sheridan, Glenn Ford, and Zachary Scott

With Glenn Ford and Zachary Scott in the RKO adventure Appointment in Honduras

Take Me to Town (1953)

Ann SheridanSterling Hayden and Ann Sheridan

From the western comedy Take Me to Town with Sterling Hayden

The Opposite Sex (1956)

Ann Miller, Dolores Gray, June Allyson, Joan Collins, Ann Sheridan, and Joan Blondell

MGM's remake of the 1939 film The Women, The Opposite Sex had an all-star cast. Pictured are Ann Miller, Dolores Gray, June Allyson, Joan Collins, Ann Sheridan, and Joan Blondell

later years

Ann Sheridan's star began to fade in the 1950s, when her age began to belie the ingenue roles usually afforded her. By 1958, with her film career over, she concentrated on TV guest spots and live theater. She made a comeback on television in the mid 1960s, taking a role on the NBC soap Another World during the 1965-1966 season, and then landing a role on the CBS western situation comedy Pistols 'n' Petticoats (1966-1967; with Lon Chaney Jr.). However, not long after production began on the series, Sheridan was diagnosed with lung cancer. She continued working on the series through December 1966, and she passed away on January 21, 1967, at the age of 51. She was survived by her fourth husband, actor Scott McKay (1915-1987).

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The Woman and the Hunter (1957) with Jan Merlin
The Opposite Sex (1956) with June Allyson, Leslie Nielsen, Joan Collins, Ann Miller, Jeff Richards, Agnes Moorehead, and Leslie Parrish
Come Next Spring (1956) with Steve Cochran, Sonny Tufts, and James Best
Take Me to Town (1953) with Sterling Hayden
Appointment in Honduras (1953) with Glenn Ford and Zachary Scott
Just Across the Street (1952) with Cecil Kellaway, Natalie Schafer, and Harvey Lembeck
Steel Town (1952) with Howard Duff, John Lund, and James Best
Stella (1950) with Victor Mature and David Wayne
Woman on the Run (1950) with Dennis O'Keefe
I Was a Male War Bride (1949) with Cary Grant
Good Sam (1948) with Gary Cooper and Ruth Roman
Silver River (1948) with Errol Flynn and Bruce Bennett
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) with Humphrey Bogart, Bruce Bennett, and Tim Holt
The Unfaithful (1947) with Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott, and Eve Arden
Nora Prentiss (1947) with Bruce Bennett and Rosemary DeCamp
One More Tomorrow (1946) with Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, and Alexis Smith
Shine On, Harvest Moon (1944) with Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, and Marie Wilson
The Doughgirls (1944) with Alexis Smith, Jack Carson, and Eve Arden
Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943) with Eddie Cantor
Edge of Darkness (1943) with Errol Flynn
Juke Girl (1942) with Ronald Reagan
Kings Row (1942) with Ronald Reagan and Robert Cummings
George Washington Slept Here (1942) with Jack Benny and Percy Kilbride
Wings for the Eagle (1942) with Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, and Don DeFore
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) with Bette Davis and Mary Wickes
Navy Blues (1941) with Jack Oakie, Jack Carson, Martha Raye, Jack Haley, and Jackie Gleason
Honeymoon for Three (1941) with George Brent
Torrid Zone (1940) with James Cagney, Andy Devine, and George Reeves
City for Conquest (1940) with James Cagney
They Drive by Night (1940) with George Raft and Humphrey Bogart
It All Came True (1940) with Humphrey Bogart and Zasu Pitts
Castle on the Hudson (1940) with John Garfield
Angels Wash Their Faces (1939) with Ronald Reagan, Huntz Hall, and Leo Gorcey
Indianapolis Speedway (1939) with John Payne
Winter Carnival (1939) with Richard Carlson
Naughty But Nice (1939) with Dick Powell, Ronald Reagan, and Zasu Pitts
Dodge City (1939) with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Bruce Cabot
They Made Me a Criminal (1939) with John Garfield, Claude Rains, Huntz Hall, and Leo Gorcey
She Loved a Fireman (1938) with Dick Foran
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Leo Gorcey, and Huntz Hall
Broadway Musketeers (1938) with Marie Wilson
Letter of Introduction (1938) with Adolphe Menjou and Eve Arden
Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938) with Dick Powell, Priscilla Lane, Dick Foran, and Ronald Reagan
Little Miss Thoroughbred (1938)
Mystery House (1938) with Dick Purcell and William Hopper
The Patient in Room 18 (1938)
Alcatraz Island (1937) with John Litel and Dick Purcell
The Footloose Heiress (1937) with Anne Nagel and William Hopper
Wine, Women and Horses (1937) with Dick Purcell
San Quentin (1937) with Humphrey Bogart and Pat O'Brien
The Great O'Malley (1937) Humphrey Bogart and Pat O'Brien
Black Legion (1937) with Humphrey Bogart and Dick Foran
Fighting Youth (1935) with Charles Farrell and Jean Rogers
The Glass Key (1935) with George Raft and Ray Milland
The Red Blood of Courage (1935) with Kermit Maynard
Mississippi (1935) with W.C. Fields, Joan Bennett, and Bing Crosby
Rocky Mountain Mystery (1935) with Randolph Scott
Car 99 (1935) with Fred MacMurray and William Frawley
Behold My Wife (1935)
Home on the Range (1935) with Randolph Scott
Ready for Love (1934) with Ida Lupino and Richard Arlen
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934) with W. C. Fields and Zasu Pitts
The Lemon Drop Kid (1934)
You Belong to Me (1934)
Ladies Should Listen (1934) with Cary Grant
Kiss and Make Up (1934) with Cary Grant and Toby Wing
Shoot the Works (1934) with Jack Oakie
Come on Marines (1934) with Ida Lupino, Richard Arlen, and Toby Wing
Bolero (1934) with George Raft
Search for Beauty (1934) with Buster Crabbe, Ida Lupino, and Toby Wing

Pistols 'n' Petticoats, 1966-1967 CBS TV series. Sheridan portrayed Henrietta Hanks. Also in the cast was Lon Chaney Jr.
Another World, 1964-1999 NBC daytime drama series. Sheridan portrayed Kathryn Corning during the 1965-1966 season

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Watch Ann Sheridan's 1953 romantic comedy Take Me to Town
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