Ryan in 1941
Katherine Elizabeth McLaughlin|
June 8, 1921
Topeka, Kansas, U.S.
November 4, 1975 (aged 54)|
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, U.S.
(m. 1945; div. 1946)
Edward Norris (1950s)
(m. 1952; her death 1975)
Sheila Ryan (born Katherine Elizabeth McLaughlin, June 8, 1921 – November 4, 1975) was an American actress who appeared in more than 60 movies.
Born in Topeka, Kansas, Ryan went to Hollywood in 1939 at the age of 18. Her acting career began when she tried out for a role on a program at television station W6XAO (later KCBS) in Los Angeles, California. An article in a contemporary magazine reported, "She proved to be a perfect television type and was given a role at once."
At age 19, Ryan was selected by a group of Hollywood directors as one of 13 "baby stars of 1940." She was signed by 20th Century Fox in 1940 and was credited in her early films as Bettie McLaughlin. Adopting the name Sheila Ryan, she starred in the crime drama Dressed to Kill the following year.
Ryan appeared in other memorable films, including two Laurel and Hardy movies, Great Guns (1941) and A-Haunting We Will Go (1942), and the Busby Berkeley musical The Gang's All Here (1943). Ryan also was featured in several Charlie Chan and Michael Shayne mysteries. By the late 1940s, however, her career waned and she began appearing mostly in B movies, especially low-budget westerns.
She also had roles in several television shows such as The Lone Ranger, notably the Pete-and-Pedro episode (#7 in 1949) and another entitled "The Whimsical Bandit" in 1950.
Ryan retired from acting in 1968.
Ryan had brown hair, was 5 feet, 2 inches tall, and weighed 107 pounds. A 1940 newspaper story included her in a group of actresses "whose alluring curves alone might have disqualified them from screen careers not so long ago," in the words of Travis Banton, a Hollywood stylist.
While working with Autry, Ryan met actor Pat Buttram. They married in 1952 and remained together until her death in 1975. They had a daughter, Kathleen Buttram, nicknamed Kerry.
- "Sheila Ryan Buttram WWII Pinup Beauty Dies". Maryland, Cumberland. The Cumberland News. November 5, 1975. p. 1. Retrieved January 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Television Starlet" (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror. 15 (2): 28. December 1940. Retrieved 14 March 2015.
- "Directors Favor Brunettes". Arizona Independent Republic. October 19, 1940. Retrieved March 13, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Curves Are Back In Style; Women Healthier & Happier". The Times Recorder. October 6, 1940. p. 16.
- "Sheila Ryan Separates". Louisiana, Monroe. The Monroe News-Star. January 18, 1946. p. 10. Retrieved January 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Sheila Ryan, Mate Drop Divorce Plan". California, San Bernardino. The San Bernardino County Sun. June 17, 1948. p. 4. Retrieved January 22, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
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