Remembering Ann Sheridan

Putting the "oomph" back in "The Oomph Girl"

Ann Sheridan Kept Fatal Illness Secret

January 23rd, 1967

Hollywood, Calif. -- AP -- Actress Ann Sheridan, a red haired Texan who became the movies sultry "oomph girl" of World War II, has died. She would have been 52 on Feb. 21.

Death came Saturday night at her new Hollywood Hills home. Her third husband, actor Scott McKay, was at her bedside.

One friend said Miss Sheridan succumbed to emphysema, a lung ailment. Two others said she was a victim of cancer.

John Conley, producer of her television comedy series, "Pistols 'n' Petticoats," said he had asked the actress' doctor several times the nature of her ailment "and he would never tell me."

"She had been unable to work for the last three weeks," Conley said. "Before that she worked with a lot of guts and character. She said she wanted to see the series through."

Just one more episode of the western satire remained to be filmed to complete the 1966-67 season.

Illness Not Known

One of Miss Sheridan's three sisters, Mrs. Leo R. Kent of Fort Worth, Tex., said the family always kept in close touch, but no one had any idea of the illness.

It was Mrs. Kent who launched her sister's movie career when, as a practical joke, she submitted a picture of Miss Sheridan in Paramount Pictures "search for beauty" contest.

Miss Sheridan, then a student at North Texas State Teachers college in her native Denton, Tex., won a local beauty contest and, in 1933, headed for film roles opposite such stars as Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Errol Flynn.

She co-starred with Ronald Reagan in the movie, "King's Row."

Co-Starred With Big Names

From $75 a week extra, Miss Sheridan rose to leading lady at Warner Bros., her salary in six figures.

She co-starred with Errol Flynn in "Dodge City," with Humphrey Bogart in "They Drive by Night," Gary Cooper in "Good Sam" and Cary Grant in "I was a Male War Bride."

Her marriages to actors Edward Norris and George Brent ended in divorce. In the 1940's, friend thought she would marry film publicist Steve Hannagan, but he died a bachelor, leaving her nearly $250,000 in his will.

She turned to the stage eight years ago and toured in "Kind Sir" with McKay. They were married last June.

Private funeral services were held late Sunday in a mortuary chapel, a family spokesman said.

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