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Sheila Ryan


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Tonight I caught the caboose end of Railroaded!, a suspense movie with a knockdown fight between two women (or two stunt doubles posing as women, at least). One of them looked familiar, and I soon realized it was Sheila Ryan: Andy Mason's "girlfriend" in The Gang's All Here. I barely recognized her without the benefit of Technicolor. She looked quite beautiful in Railroaded, though it looked as if they had to be careful about the correct angle to photograph her. She's very self-assured and poised. I see from her imdb bio that she was married to Pat Buttram -- "Mr. Haney" from Green Acres! Does anyone know anything else about her? Looks like she was mainly in B-pictures. Why not the boost to more prestigious pictures?

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Jack and Vallo,

I also noticed Sheila Ryan's exceptionally beautiful face when I caught part of Railroaded a couple of weeks ago. I think Jack's right about the need for careful camera angles for her as well, since she seemed to look harder in certain scenes than in others. She had a slight resemblance to Ava Gardner, don't you think? She also had an attractive streak of steel in her screen persona, at least in this tight little noir. Like the Meredith Willson lyric goes, Miss Ryan was "no bright-eyed, blushing, breathless baby-doll baby, no sir!"


I suspect that one of the main handicaps to her career might've been her height, aside from languishing in numerous B westerns and her, um, intriguing choice of life partner, (though it must've been pretty solid, considering that it lasted from '52 until her death). As a vertically challenged individual, (5'3" in my socks), I also noticed that she looked like she was lucky if she was 5 feet tall. Sort of a pocket Venus, I guess. I found one link on the web with pics, but they don't do her justice. See what you think:


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Thank you both for helping feed my Sheila Ryan curiosity! I noticed when she was shot from the lower right side, she had a harder, handsome look. It hadn't occurred to me that she was tiny. But I always find height disorienting. I went to the Museu Carmen Miranda in Rio de Janeiro, where they exhibit some of Miss Miranda's costumes and shoes. I was shocked at how small she was -- 5'3"! I guess those tall fruity hats lend the illusion of height.


Another shocker is Joan Crawford. I cannot bend my mind around the fact that she was 5'5". I'm 6' and deep inside me, I know that all of Joan Crawford's characters were taller than I.

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Say, Vallo, you're in good company as far as height. Let's remember that some of the real greats--Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Claude Rains(*sigh*) and Alan Ladd were well on the shady side of six feet. That's just one of the things that made them more interesting than the conventional cardboard types.


Besides, I've heard tell that Robert Redford, Jude Law and even everyone's favorite couch jumping nutjob, Tom Cruise are not big guys. And as a female who's dated tall and short guys, I can honestly say that it's the kind of fella inside who mattered most.


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