October 19, 1936
Orlando, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||June 25, 2011
Westlake Village, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Education||Wagoner High School|
|Alma mater||Northeastern State College|
|Spouse(s)||Chad Everett (1966–2011; her death)|
Thompson was born on October 19, 1936, in Orlando, Oklahoma to parents, Lawrence and Mae Thompson. She was raised in Wagoner, Oklahoma, and completed high school at Wagoner High School.
Thompson enrolled at Northeastern State College, now known as Northeastern State University, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where she studied drama and speech. She became Northeastern State's football queen in 1959. She also won the title of Northeastern Oklahoma Dairy Princess in 1959 as well.
Grant appeared in local television commercials for KTUL-TV, based in Tulsa, after college. In 1962, she moved from Oklahoma to southern California to pursue an acting career. She initially worked as a teacher of special education and deaf students at Hollywood High School while trying to enter the entertainment industry.
Thompson was discovered by a 20th Century Fox talent scout. She changed her professional name to Shelby Grant. She "drew Shelby Grant out of a hat", according to an interview she gave to columnist, Hedda Hopper.
She debuted in television in a 1963 episode of Bonanza. She soon became a contracted actor with 20th Century Fox. Her film roles under contract with Fox included The Pleasure Seekers in 1964, the 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage, Our Man Flint in 1966 and The Witchmaker in 1969. Her television credits grew to include Batman (episodes 7 and 8) and Marcus Welby, M.D..
Grant married her husband, actor Chad Everett, in a ceremony held on May 22, 1966, in Tucson, Arizona. Chad Everett had been on location in Tucson filming the 1967 movie, Return of the Gunfighter, at the time of their wedding. They had two daughters, Kate and Shannon. Grant appeared in her husband's television series, Medical Center, where he portrayed Dr. Joe Gannon from 1969 to 1976. Grant largely left acting to focus on philanthropy during her later life. She and her husband sponsored more than twenty heart surgeries for children.
Shelby Grant died of a brain aneurysm in Westlake Village, California, on June 25, 2011, at the age of 74. She was survived by her husband of 45 years, actor Chad Everett; their two daughters, Katherine Thorp and Shannon Everett; and six grandchildren. Chad Everett died of lung cancer on July 24, 2012, at the age of 75, a little over a year after Shelby died.
- Stanley, Tim (2011-07-02). "Actress from Wagoner led life of fame, philanthropy". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
- "Shelby Grant Everett (1936–2011) obituary". Ventura County Star. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-07-07.
- Lisanti, Tom (2002). "Film fatales: women in espionage films and television, 1962-1973 Shelby Grant (pgs. 135-7)". Film fatales: women in espionage films and television, 1962-1973 (Google Books). Retrieved 2011-07-07.