Margaret Sheridan

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Margaret Sheridan
Margaret Sheridan.jpg
Margaret Elizabeth Sheridan

(1926-10-29)October 29, 1926
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMay 1, 1982(1982-05-01) (aged 55)
Years active1951–1954, 1964
Spouse(s)William F. Pattison (1946–1952) (1 child)
Paul Wellington Wildman (1953–1982) (2 children) her death

Margaret Elizabeth Sheridan (October 29, 1926 – May 1, 1982) was an American actress of the early 1950s, and protégée of director Howard Hawks. She is best remembered for her role as Nikki Nicholson opposite Kenneth Tobey in the 1951 science fiction classic The Thing from Another World.


She was born in Los Angeles, California, to Thomas J. and Julia P. Sheridan. Sheridan was discovered by Howard Hawks while she was still attending college. Initially, Hawks believed she was the most promising woman actress of her era.

In 1947 she married William F. Pattison, a professional airline pilot. Hawks offered Sheridan the female lead opposite John Wayne in the 1948 film Red River. Sheridan turned down the role because she was expecting the birth of her first child. Joanne Dru accepted the role.

Hawks offered her the role of Nikki Nicholson in the 1951 film The Thing from Another World, where the quality of the film and her performance cemented her in the minds of film lovers. Sheridan's career suffered, and she never achieved the fame Hawks had hoped. Motherhood and a few years of maturity had evidently changed her. Hawks is quoted as saying she was just "not the same girl" he had discovered. He later commented that if she had taken the role in Red River, her career would have flourished.

She died of lung cancer on May 1, 1982 in Orange, California.


Year Title Role Notes
1951 The Thing from Another World Nikki Nicholson
1952 One Minute to Zero Mary Parker
1953 I, the Jury Velda
1954 Pride of the Blue Grass Helen
1954 The Diamond Marline Miller
1964 Man's Favorite Sport? Maggie, Cadwalader's Secretary Uncredited


  • McCarthy, Todd (1997). Howard Hawks: the Gray Fox of Hollywood. Grove Press.

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