Sheree North Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (4)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (complications from cancer surgery)
Birth NameDawn Shirley Crang
Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Sheree North was born on January 17, 1932 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Dawn Shirley Crang. She was an actress, known for The Shootist (1976), Charley Varrick (1973) and Maniac Cop (1988). She was married to Phillip Alan Norman, Dr. Gerhardt Ralph Sommer, John M. "Bud" Freeman and Frederick Arnold Bessire Jr. She died on November 4, 2005 in Los Angeles.

Spouse (4)

Phillip Alan Norman (6 February 2003 - 4 November 2005) (her death)
Dr. Gerhardt Ralph Sommer (17 December 1958 - 27 May 1963) (divorced) (1 child)
John M. "Bud" Freeman (20 February 1955 - 1 July 1957) (divorced)
Frederick Arnold Bessire Jr. (1948 - 4 October 1952) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (12)

Her mother, June Bethel, was a seamstress.
Best-known in later years for her prolific television work, she played Lou Grant's spunky girlfriend on Mary Tyler Moore (1970) and was Kramer's mom on Seinfeld (1989), who was the first to announce his first name to fans: "Cosmo". She also earned Emmy nominations for appearances on Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) and Archie Bunker's Place (1979).
Used as a bargaining chip by Fox against an unreliable Marilyn Monroe, she was found to have Monroe's exact weight and measurements at the time. She later played MM's unbalanced mother in Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980).
Married four times, she had two daughters: Dawn Jeanette Bessire (B. 1949) and Erica Eve Sommer (B. 1959), from different marriages.
As a young woman she sanded floors and parked cars to pay for her ballet lessons.
Born in Los Angeles and trained in dance, one of her early jobs was as a chorine at the Greek Theatre.
Appeared in such stage musicals as "Can-Can," "Irma La Douce" and "Bye Bye Birdie.".
Was discovered in a Santa Monica night club by a famous choreographer who enticed her to New York for a role in a Broadway musical, which in turn began her stage career.
Began taking dance lessons at the age of six. Moreover, at age 13 she lied about her age so she could become a chorus girl.
Had ambitions of becoming a ballerina. During World War II, at the age of ten, danced in several USO shows. From her late teens, danced in nightclubs in Santa Monica. Eventually spotted by a talent scout, she ended up on Broadway doing a lively routine in the musical "Hazel Flagg" (1953), consequently winning a Theatre World Award. This directly led to her being cast for the film Living It Up (1954).
When she was pictured on the cover of the March 21, 1955, issue of "Life" magazine, the headline read, " Sheree North Takes Over From Marilyn Monroe.".
She took over for Shirley Knight in a Los Angeles production of "Dutchman," which coincided with the 1965 Watts riots. The production was controversial and was blamed by conservatives for inciting unrest. It was picketed, ads were blocked from the newspapers and North's car was set on fire. Despite that, the production ran for a year.

Personal Quotes (3)

[in a 1983 interview] There's still the same reaction when producers hear my name. They remember me as the blond who was to have taken over from Marilyn Monroe.
Of all the actors I've worked with, the three most ego-less, most humane, real people were Robert Ryan, Karl Malden and Tom Selleck.
[on what it was like working with John Wayne on The Shootist (1976), after she had turned down a role in Wayne's The Green Berets (1968)] What is this going to be like? Well, Wayne had been through a lot. I found him to be so open to my way of working. He was completely sweet and vulnerable--unlike every macho story you ever heard about him. When we were rehearsing, he'd hold both my hands in one of his. He would never lose contact. Whenever I wanted to find him on the set, I'd sniff for peanut butter. He was always eating peanut butter-and-jelly crackers. And every chance he got, he'd play chess with Ron Howard. He was so different than his image--and I was so pleased to have had that opportunity.

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