Anita Ekberg was originally to star, but backed out at the last minute when her contract was bought up by Batjac Productions (John Wayne's production company). Debra Paget also tested for the role. See more »
Neither the 1984 movie with Tanya Roberts, nor the current TV series with Gena Lee Nolin will ever supplant the original "Sheena" TV series of 1955-56, starring pin-up model Irish McCalla as the jungle queen. McCalla's stunning beauty, along with her wide-eyed innocence and physical prowess (she did all her own stunts for the first half of the series before an accident forced a stuntman in drag to take over) made her create a credible portrayal of Sheena that is totally true to the character from the comic book, just as Lynda Carter was able to do two decades later in the "Wonder Woman" TV series. The stories which featured Sheena and hunter guide Bob Rayburn (her boyfriend in the comics, though not identified as such here) fighting assorted bad guys in the jungle are largely run of the mill stories produced on the cheap, with mostly forgettable guest stars (save the pilot show "The Renegades" which featured John Banner, later of "Hogan's Heroes" and Robert Shayne, Inspector Henderson of "Superman", as the villains) that give the series the feel of a B-movie, but it remains good fun to watch years later (about 17 of 26 episodes can be found on video). And McCalla in her leopardskin outfit, is truly a sight to behold. For most fans of the jungle girl genre, Irish McCalla *is* Sheena, and no one has ever taken her place or ever will.
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