BiographyShe was born Clara Lou Sheridan on February 21, 1915, in Denton, Texas, the youngest of five children. She was educated at the local schools Robert E. Lee Grade School and Denton Junior High School where she first got involved with amateur acting. After graduation in 1933 she enrolled in the North Texas Teacher’s College to study drama, singing and dancing.
Whilst involved with the College Theater Group she became “personality girl” for Floyd Graham’s orchestra and she spent several months touring the local area with him.
Later in 1933 her sister Kitty, unbeknownst to Ann, sent her photograph to Paramount Pictures to enter her in a "Search for Beauty" contest.
Hollywood Actress 1934She was one of the contest winners and her prize was a bit part in a Paramount film. She decided to leave college to pursue a career in Hollywood and she duly started with her prize, an uncredited role in the 1934 film 'Search for Beauty' starring Ida Lupino and Larry "Buster" Crabbe. She made an impact and was retained by Paramount to make more appearances in bit parts over the next two years. In 1934 alone she had roles in nineteen movies, nearly all uncredited.
In 1935 Ann continued to appear in tiny roles in largely unforgettable films until she got a recognised starring role in 'Car 99' with Fred MacMurray. She appeared in three further films for Paramount in 1935 but made the decision to change her agent as her career did not appear to be progressing. At this time she also changed her name from "Clara Lou" to the snappier "Ann".
Warner Brothers 1936In 1936 her prospects improved when her new agent, Dick Polimer, signed her up to a six month contract with Warner Brothers. She immediately landed a role in the movie 'Sing Me a Love Song' which was released in 1937, although her scenes were deleted. Nevertheless she had made an impression and she began to be given better scripts and more fulfilling roles, as in her next movie, the powerful drama "Black Legion" with Humphrey Bogart and Dick Foran.
Hollywood Star 1939Ann remained with Warner Bros. for 12 years, a very fruitful time for her career, although punctuated by frequent clashes with management and personal strikes by Ann for better scripts and higher pay. She became better known through such quality films as 'Angels with Dirty Faces' in 1938, and after winning a newspaper contest, she became known as America's "Oomph-Girl", a term which she, herself, hated. Nevertheless, the extra publicity generated gave her bargaining power over the studio and she began to enjoy leading lady status.
In 1940 she starred twice with Humphrey Bogart in the light comedy, 'It All Came True' and then in the drama 'They Drive By Night' along with George Raft and Ida Lupino. She was now routinely partnering top stars, as in 1942 when she appeared with Bette Davis in the classic screwball comedy 'The Man Who Came to Dinner'. She achieved major star status with the memorable 'Kings Row', later in 1942, co-starring with Ronald Reagan and after the war she had more successes with 'The Unfaithful' in 1947 and 'I Was a Male War Bride' with Cary Grant in 1949.
Career DownturnAfter 1950 Ann's movie career began to falter and her film appearances declined in both quality and quantity, as younger actresses competed with her for parts. She made nine more films during the decade including 'Woman on the Run' in 1950, 'Steel Town' in 1952 and 'Come Next Spring' in 1956, but all were disappointing and after the mediocre 'Woman and the Hunter' in 1957 Ann retired from filmmaking.
Television CareerAnn appeared on television on numerous occasions, beginning as early as 1950 in the ABC series 'Stop the Music'. She continued during the rest of her career in such programs as 'Schlitz Playhouse', 'Lux Video Theatre', 'The United States Steel Hour ' and 'Wagon Train'. In 1966 she had her own comedy Western TV series 'Pistols 'n' Petticoats', but in the same year she was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and liver. She died before the end of the series' first season.
PersonalAnn was married three times, each time to movie actors. Her first marriage was to Edward Norris and lasted from 1936 to 1938. She married heartthrob actor George Brent in 1942 . They divorced on 5 January, 1943 - their wedding anniversary. Her third husband was Scott McKay whom she married in June 1966, the marriage ending with her death.
Ann Sheridan died on January 21, 1967, in San Fernando Valley, California, of cancer. She was 51.
Ann Sheridan Academy AwardsNo Nominations:
Ann Sheridan Filmography
Search for Beauty(uncredited)
Come On, Marines!
Murder at the Vanities (uncredited)
Many Happy Returns (uncredited)
Thank Your Stars(uncredited)
Kiss and Make-Up
The Notorious Sophie Lang (uncredited)
Ladies Should Listen
You Belong to Me (uncredited)
Wagon Wheels (uncredited)
The Lemon Drop Kid (uncredited)
Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (uncredited)
Ready for Love (uncredited)
Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove (Short)(uncredited)
Behold My Wife
One Hour Late (uncredited)
Home on the Range
Rocky Mountain Mystery
The Red Blood of Courage
The Glass Key
The Crusades (uncredited)
Hollywood Extra Girl (Documentary short)
Sing Me a Love Song (scenes deleted)
The Great O'Malley
The Footloose Heiress
Wine, Women and Horses
She Loved a Fireman
The Patient in Room 18
Out Where the Stars Begin (Short)(uncredited)
Little Miss Thoroughbred
Romance and Rhythm
Letter of Introduction
Angels with Dirty Faces
They Made Me a Criminal
Naughty But Nice
Devil on Wheels
Angels Wash Their Faces
Years Without Days
It All Came True
They Drive by Night
City for Conquest
Honeymoon for Three
The Man Who Came to Dinner
Wings for the Eagle
George Washington Slept Here
Edge of Darkness
Thank Your Lucky Stars
Shine on Harvest Moon