Wow. What a brief, but spectacular career. Ann Sheridan was indeed the “Oomph Girl.’
Born Clara Lou Sheridan in Texas in 1915, she was a tomboy as a girl, and trained as a teacher before a beauty contest win, which came with a screen test at Paramount, intervened. (She made her movie debut at the studio with 1934’s Search For Beauty.)
Sheridan was far more than a sex symbol, as worthy as that is. She was an actress of amazing versatility costarring in hard boiled crime dramas (check her out in director Raoul Walsh’s They Drive By Night) as well musicals and “womens’ pictures”.
She played a sassy secretary in 1941’s Honeymoon For Three opposite dapper George Brent (Bette Davis’ favorite leading man and one-time lover). Whatever Brent had Sheridan liked since the two married in 1942 (it lasted a year).
Sheridan’s career extended into the late Fifties, about a decade before her death from cancer at age 51 in 1967.
Ok, let’s get to the answers — some of which we’ve already answered — to our Ann Sheridan Mini Quiz. To review the questions, just scroll down to the blog blow. Here we go:
1) Answer: b) False. Sheridan disliked her ‘Oomph Girl’ designation, however accurate, because she felt it limited her scope as an actress.
2) Answer: As you can tell from today’s introductory remarks, the answer here is (a) True. And, she really could get under the hood and repair that malfunctioning car engine.
3) Answer: ‘Oomphies’ were (b) a brand of women’s house slippers inspired by Sheridan’s image. Talk about merchandising.
4) Answer: As indicated, Sheridan was married to (d) George Brent. It didn’t last long.
5) Answer: a) George Raft and (c) Humphrey Bogart. They Drive By Night is an excellent picture, and Sheridan is terrific in it. Take a look.
Bonus Question: Most movie fans, if they remember Sheridan singing at all, remember her production number in one particular movie — 1943’s Thank Your Lucky Stars, Warner’s all star vehicle about entertaining at the Hollywood Canteen. Ann in a negligee, in a bedroom setting, belted out the provocative tune, Love isn’t born, It’s made!