|Ann Sheridan circa 1934|
Despite Clara Lou Sheridan's obvious good looks, Paramount cast the starlet only in bit roles for the most part. Even changing her stage name to "Ann" after being told "Clara Lou Sheridan" was too long to fit on a cinema marquee did not improve the roles that Paramount gave her. Ann Sheridan then left Paramount for Warner Bros. in 1936, where she would be much better utilised. It was not long before she was appearing in such films as Angels with Dirty Faces, Dodge City (1939), Torrid Zone (1940), and They Drive by Night (1940). It was not also long before Ann Sheridan became known as "the Oomph Girl". In 1939 in his column Walter Wincell wrote of Miss Sheridan, "she's got an 'umphy' quality." Warner Bros. head of publicity Bob Taplinger seized upon this and dubbed Ann Sheridan "the Oomph Girl". Despite the popularity of the nickname, Ann Sheridan never liked being called "the Oomph Girl" as she thought it was demeaning.
|Ann Sheridan in the Early Forties|
|Ann Sheridan circa 1952|
|Ann Sheidan in a publicity still for Pistols 'n' Petticoats|
In an interview with film historian John Kobal, Ann Sheridan once said, "That's the only thing I ever wanted to be. A good actress. But I suppose I can't get away from that Ann Sheridan Oomph thing. I wish I could." Miss Sheridan was right that she was never able to get away from that "Oomph thing". To this day she is still known as "Oomph Girl". With a face and figure like hers it is little wonder that she is still known that way. That having been said, I believe that she is regarded by most classic film buffs as a good actress. Her performance as Lorraine Sheldon in The Man Who Came to Dinner remains well loved to this day. Her performances in such film as Angels with Dirty Faces, King's Rowk, and I Was a Male War Bride also remain respected to this day. In the end Ann Sheridan was a pin-up girl who could act. And for that she has remained among the most beloved stars 100 years after her birth.