Best know for her roles in Kings Row, They Drive By Night, The Man Who Came To Dinner and I Was a Male War Bride.
Search for Beauty
Come on Marines
Murder at the Vanities
Shoot the Works
Kiss and Make Up
The Notorious Sophie Lang
Ladies Should Listen
You Belong to Me
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch
Ready for Love
Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove (short subject)
Behold My Wife
One Hour Late
Home on the Range
Rocky Mountain Mystery
The Red Blood of Courage
The Glass Key
Hollywood Extra Girl (short subject)
Sing Me a Love Song (scenes deleted)
The Great O’Malley
Wine, Women and Horses
The Footloose Heiress
She Loved a Fireman
The Patient in Room 18
“Out Where the Stars Begin” (short subject)
Little Miss Thoroughbred
Cowboy from Brooklyn
Letter of Introduction
Angels with Dirty Faces
They Made Me a Criminal
Naughty but Nice
The Angels Wash Their Faces
Castle on the Hudson
It All Came True
City for Conquest
Honeymoon for Three
Wings for the Eagle
George Washington Slept Here
Edge of Darkness
Thank Your Lucky Stars
Shine On, Harvest Moon
One More Tomorrow
Woman on the Run (also co-producer)
Just Across the Street
Take Me to Town
Appointment in Honduras
Come Next Spring
The Opposite Sex
Woman and the Hunter
The Far Out West
Ann Sheridan was never nominated for an Academy Award.
They nicknamed me “The Oomph Girl”, and I loathe that nickname! Just being known by a nickname indicates that you’re not thought of as a true actress . . . It’s just crap! If you call an actress by her looks or a reaction, then that’s all she’ll ever be thought of as. ~ Ann Sheridan
Clara Lou “Ann” Sheridan was born in Denton, Texas on February 21, 1915, Sheridan was the daughter of G. W. Sheridan and Lula Stewart Warren Sheridan. 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.
In 1932, she was a student at North Texas State Teachers College when her sister, Pauline, sent a photograph of her to Paramount Pictures. She subsequently entered and won a beauty contest, with part of her prize being a bit part in a Paramount film, The Search for Beauty. She left college to pursue a career in Hollywood.
After making her film début in 1934, aged 19, in Search for Beauty, she played uncredited bit parts in Paramount films for the next two years, starting at $75 a week.
Some of those uncredited parts were in Bolero (1934), Come On Marines! (1934) (billed as “Clara Lou Sheridan”), Murder at the Vanities (1934), Shoot the Works (1934), Kiss and Make-Up (1934), The Notorious Sophie Lang (1934), College Rhythm (1934) (directed by Norman Taurog who Sheridan admired), Ladies Should Listen (1934), You Belong to Me (1934), Wagon Wheels (1934), The Lemon Drop Kid (1934), Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1934), Ready for Love (1934), Limehouse Blues (1934), One Hour Late (1934).
Sheridan worked with Paramount’s drama coach Nina Mouise and would perform plays on the lot with fellow contractees, including The Milky Way and The Pursuit of Happiness. When she did The Milky Way she played a character called Ann and the Paramount front office decided to change her name to “Ann”.
Sheridan had a good part in Behold My Wife! (1934) which she got at the behest of director Mitchell Leisen, who was a friend. She had two good scenes, one in which her character had to commit suicide. Sheridan attributed this role to Paramount keeping her for two years.
She followed it with Enter Madame (1935), Home on the Range (1935), and Rumba (1935).
Then she was in Mississippi (1935), The Glass Key (1935), and The Crusades (1935), having one line. Paramount loaned her out to Talisman, a small production company, to make The Red Blood of Courage (1935). After this Paramount declined to take up her option.
Sheridan did one film at Universal, Fighting Youth (1935), then signed a contract with Warner Bros.
Sheridan’s career prospects began to improve. 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; San Quentin (1937), with O’Brien and Bogart, singing for the first time in a film; Wine, Women and Horses (1937) with Barton MacLane.
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).
Universal borrowed her for a support role in Letter of Introduction (1938) at the behest of director John Stahl. For Farrow she was in Broadway Musketeers (1938), a remake of Three on a Match (1932).
Sheridan married actor Edward Norris August 16, 1936, in Ensenada, Mexico. They separated a year later and divorced in 1939.
Sheridan’s notices in Letter of Introduction impressed Warner Bros. executives. “Oomph” was described as “a certain indefinable something that commands male interest.” and she began to get roles in A pictures, starting with Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), where she played James Cagney‘s love interest; Bogart, O’Brien and the Dead End Kids had support 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 notable success.
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 The Angels Wash Their Faces (1939) with O’Brien, 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 trucking melodrama. Sheridan was back with Cagney for City for Conquest (1941) then made a comedy with George Brent Honeymoon for Three (1941).
Sheridan did two lighter films: Navy Blues (1941), a musical comedy; and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1941), playing 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 huge success and one of Sheridan’s most memorable films.
On January 5, 1942, she married fellow Warner Brothers star George Brent, who co-starred with her in Honeymoon for Three (1941). They divorced exactly one year later.
Following her divorce from George Brent, she had a long-term relationship with Steve Hannagan, the super publicist, that lasted until his death in 1953. Hannagan’s estate bequeathed Ms. Sheridan $218,399 ($2,000,000 in current dollars).
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).
Sheridan was absent from screens for over a year before returning 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 popular remake of The Letter, and Silver River (1948), a Western melodrama with Errol Flynn. She then left Warner Bros.
Sheridan was a popular pin-up girl in the early 1940s.
Sheridan supported Gary Cooper in Good Sam (1948). Her role in I Was a Male War Bride (1949), directed by Howard Hawks and co-starring Cary Grant, gave her 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. She announced she wanted to produce a film, Second Lady based on a story by Eleanor Griffin.
Sheridan made Woman on the Run (1950), a noir, which she did produce. It was distributed by Universal and Sheridan signed a contract with that studio. While there she made Steel Town (1952); Just Across the Street (1952), a comedy; Take Me to Town (1953), a comedy directed by Douglas Sirk.
Sheridan supported Glenn Ford in Appointment in Honduras (1953). She appeared opposite Steve Cochran in Come Next Spring (1956) and was one of several stars in MGM’s The Opposite Sex (1956).
She did stage tours of Kind Sir (1958) and Odd Man In (1959), and in The Time of Your Life at the Brussels World Fair in 1958. In all three she shows she acted with Scott McKay who she later married.
In 1962, she played the lead in “The Mavis Grant Story” on the Western series Wagon Train. In the middle 1960s, Sheridan appeared on the NBC soap opera Another World.
On June 5, 1966 she married actor Scott McKay, who was with her when she died.
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 and liver cancer 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 her remains were interred in a niche in the Chapel Columbarium at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in 2005. The 19th episode of the series, “Beware the Hangman”, aired, as scheduled, on the same day that she died.