Sheila Terry (actress)

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Sheila Terry
The Lawless Frontier (1934) 02.png
Terry in The Lawless Frontier, 1934
Born Kay Clark
(1910-03-05)March 5, 1910
Warroad, Minnesota, U.S.
Died January 19, 1957(1957-01-19) (aged 46)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1932-1938

Sheila Terry (March 5, 1910 – January 19, 1957) was an American film actress. She was born Kay Clark in Warroad, Minnesota.


Terry first studied dramatics at Dickson-Kenwin academy, a school affiliated with London's Royal Academy. Later she moved to New York, where she continued her studies and appeared in a number of plays. While appearing on Broadway in The Little Racketeer, she was spotted by an alert film scout and given a test which led to a contract with Warner Bros.

She played in 1930s for Warner Bros. She appeared with John Wayne in the Western films Haunted Gold (1932); Neath the Arizona Skies and The Lawless Frontier (1934). She appeared with Bette Davis, Louis Calhern and Spencer Tracy in Michael Curtiz's film 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932). She appeared with Cary Grant and Sylvia Sidney in Marion Gering's film Madame Butterfly (1932). She also played with Loretta Young, Thelma Todd, Gail Patrick, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, William Powell, George Brent and Adolphe Menjou.

In 1933 she left Hollywood briefly for the New York stage.

Personal life[edit]

She married Major Laurence E. Clark, a wealthy Toronto socialite on August 16, 1928. She divorced him February 16, 1934.

In 1937, she married William Magee of San Francisco, and retired from show business. After his death, Terry wanted to return to show business, but couldn't find a job.

In 1947, she said in a newspaper-interview: "I'm going back into show business and I need an act, I can't sing, I can't dance and I can't play the piano. I should be terrific in night clubs".

She worked as a press agent for 15 years.


In January 1957, her body was discovered in the third floor apartment, which was both her home and office. A friend and neighbour, Jerry Keating, went to the apartment when he failed to reach her on the telephone. The door was locked, and Terry did not answer the bell. Keating called the police; they broke in and found Terry's body on the bedroom floor, her back leaning against the bed. Five capsules, their contents gone, were on the floor beside her.

Friends told the police that she returned from a trip to Mexico a few days before her death and that she was ill when she came home. It was later discovered that she died broke; she left only a scanty wardrobe. She was buried in Potter's Field in New York City.



  • Border Cities Star,Feb 16,1934:"Sheila Terry divorces hubby"
  • The Milwaukee Sentinel,April 11, 1936:"Sheila Terry turns unwanted role into personal triumph".
  • Chicago Daily Tribune "Tower Ticket", December 27, 1948.
  • Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1957:"Sheila Terry,Starlet and playgirl of the 1920s, dies".

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