Elaine Shepard

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Elaine Elizabeth Shepard
Elaine Shepard.jpg
1945 pin-up photo from Yank
Born(1913-04-02)April 2, 1913
Olney, Illinois, U.S.
DiedSeptember 6, 1998(1998-09-06) (aged 85)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupationactor, journalist

Elaine Elizabeth Shepard (April 2, 1913 – September 6, 1998) was a Broadway and film actress in the 1930s and 1940s. She was also the author of The Doom Pussy, a semi-fictional account of aviation in the Vietnam War.

Film and stage[edit]

Shepard's first film appearance was in the 1936 Republic serial Darkest Africa, in which she played Valerie Tremaine, the heroine of the film.[1] This was followed with a series of leading roles in other minor films, such as You Can't Fool Your Wife, a 1940 comedy starring Lucille Ball.[1] She then had several minor roles in major films, including playing a secretary in Topper and uncredited roles in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and the 1946 Ziegfeld Follies.[1] A more prominent role came in Seven Days Ashore, a musical in which she plays the principal love interest for the band of sailors on shore leave.[2]

Shepard also had some minor appearances on Broadway, including a part in the 1940 Cole Porter musical Panama Hattie.[3]

Freelance journalism[edit]

Shepard abandoned acting and turned to freelance journalism. She is best known in this role for her Vietnam War coverage, which became the basis for her 1967 book The Doom Pussy, recounting her experiences with aviators in the early part of the war.[4] This book includes an early use of the phrase "the whole nine yards".[5]



  • Forgive Us Our Press Passes (Prentice-Hall, 1962)
  • The Doom Pussy (Trident Press, 1967)
  • The Doom Pussy II (Rockoon Press, 1992)


  1. ^ a b c "Elaine Sheppard". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  2. ^ "Seven Days Ashore". Classic Film Guide. Archived from the original on October 28, 2006. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  3. ^ "Elaine Shepard". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  4. ^ See for example in Pratt, John Clark (2008). Vietnam Voices: Perspectives on the War Years, 1941-1975. University of Georgia Press. p. 223. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ Martin, Gary. "The whole nine yards - meaning and origin". The Phrase Finder. Retrieved 2009-12-16.