A 1940 newspaper article called Sheila Ryan “an actress whose alluring curves alone might have disqualified them from screen careers not so long ago.” The petite, dark-haired beauty made 60 films during her thirty-year career.
She innocently auditioned for a small role in a locally-produced show for LA station KCBS. She got the role immediately. Sheila went on to roles in several Laurel and Hardy comedies, as well as parts in a few Charlie Chan and Michael Shayne mysteries. But, eventually, she only appeared in bit parts in Western B-movies, alongside Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. She was briefly married to Western actor Allan “Rocky” Lane, the future voice of TV talking horse Mr. Ed.
While working with Autry, she met actor Pat Buttram and married him in 1952. She retired from show business in 1968, three years into Buttram’s stint as the shifty “Mr. Haney” on the TV sitcom Green Acres.
Sheila entered the Motion Picture Hospital in 1975 suffering from chronic lung disease. She passed away in 1975 at the age of 54.