Ann Sheridan was a popular actress from Hollywood’s Golden Age, with some of her best performances being from films such as 1938’s Angels with Dirty Faces and 1943’s Edge of Darkness. The latter film saw Ann starring alongside Errol Flynn, whom she had multiple affairs with over the course of her lifetime. One of these affairs came during Ann’s marriage to actor George Bent, though there were other reasons that Ann and George couldn’t make things work as a couple. Join Facts Verse as Ann Sheridan revealed why her marriage to George Brent failed.
Ann Sheridan’s Early Life
Ann Sheridan was born on February 21, 1915, in Denton, Texas. At the time of her birth, the future star was given the name of Clara Lou. When she ventured into show business, she changed it to Ann to keep things simple. As she was growing up, Ann was an active young girl who spent more time playing with the boys than she did the girls. Some of her favorite activities were horseback riding and playing football, and she could be found spending her free time fixing cars as a teenager. Despite these tomboyish proclivities, there was always a part of Ann Sheridan that was fascinated by the glamorous life when she was growing up. In the back of her mind, Ann daydreamed of becoming a star.
Whenever Ann’s parents picked up on the fact that their tomboyish daughter was holding onto vague aspirations of stardom, they would do whatever they could to quell them. The young girl’s parents felt that there was no future for her in show business, and would’ve preferred for her to have pursued a career that was more practical. In most cases, Ann’s parents would’ve been right. However, it seems that Ann was one of the lucky few that was destined for stardom.
In her daydreams, Ann was a singer with a big band. However, the star ended up finding her calling in front of the cameras. Ann’s journey to Hollywood started when her older sister enrolled her in a beauty pageant. This older sister likely wanted to see Ann stretch beyond her tomboy origins, and this beauty pageant proved just the venue. The beauty pageant was being held by Paramount Pictures, and 30 winners ended up being chosen. The prize was a short-term contract with the studio that would pay $50 a week. Ann was one of the winners, and she was thus brought out to Hollywood. Though 30 girls were chosen, Ann Sheridan was the only one of the girls whose time with Paramount Pictures lasted beyond the initial length of the prize contract.
Ann’s Early Hollywood Days
Paramount Pictures placed Ann Sheridan into around 30 films before letting the actress go from her contract in 1935. Some of the numerous films that she appeared in while working for the studio included Come on Marines! and Rumba. The studio ended up letting Ann go from her contract because they didn’t believe she had a bright future. Thankfully, Paramount Pictures was wrong!
At the time that she was let go from her Paramount Pictures contract, Ann Sheridan was still only 19 years old. Warner Bros. Pictures subsequently swept the young star up as soon as she became available, and the studio made much better use of the actress than Paramount Pictures had. After taking on roles in numerous B pictures such as Black Legion and The Great O’Malley, Ann finally struck it big in 1938 when she was cast as the love interest of James Cagney’s character in the film Angels with Dirty Faces. The film made Ann a mainstream superstar, and she would remain as such over the course of the 1940s.
In 1939, she appeared alongside Errol Flynn in the Western film Dodge City. Ann would go on to work with Errol in many more pictures, and the two would also spark up an on-and-off-again relationship that would overlap with several of the stars’ multiple marriages.
Ann Sheridan Was Married Multiple Times
Ann Sheridan was married three times over the course of her lifetime, with her first husband being an actor by the name of Edward Morris. The two married in 1936 and divorced in 1938. Though Dodge City was released in 1939, it was being filmed while Ann was still with Edward. However, this didn’t stop Ann from developing romantic feelings for Errol.
Though Ann and Errol were romantically involved to a significant degree over the course of their lives, the two never married. Instead, Ann went on to marry a completely different actor after divorcing from Edward Norris, and that actor was a man by the name of George Brent. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
How Ann Met George Brent
During Ann Sheridan’s time with Warner Bros. Pictures, the studio put on a contest to have the public come up with a nickname for the actress that could be used during advertising campaigns. The nickname that ended up winning was “the Ooomph Girl”. Ann went into the 1940s being known by this silly nickname, and it actually helped her career quite a bit! The public already knew Ann as the Ooomph Girl when she met second husband George Brent. George was better known at the time for being the preferred leading man of Warner Bros. Picture’s biggest star. Though Ann was working her way up at the studio, the biggest female star there at the time was actually Bette Davis.
Bette Davis always asked for George Brent to be her leading man on the screen, but it was Ann Sheridan who ended up securing George Brent as her leading man in real life. Sadly, the pair’s marriage was even shorter than Ann’s first marriage had been. Ann and George met while working together in the 1941 release Honeymoon for Three. They subsequently tied the knot in 1942, and were divorced just a year later. Ann and George’s 1943 divorce came for a number of reasons. Though the divorce may have shocked the public, it didn’t shock those who knew the couple best. In fact, those who were close to the pair were more shocked by the fact that the two had gotten married in the first place!
Between Ann Sheridan and George Brent, George was the older and more experienced of the two. George had already seen his career peak and was a veteran star. Meanwhile, stardom was a relatively new thing for Ann Sheridan. George wanted a wife that was going to stick by his side during the encroaching second half of his life, while Ann Sheridan was arguably just going along for the ride when she accepted the actor’s proposal of marriage. George had rocketed to stardom around a decade prior to marrying Ann. The actor had been helped in his career by marrying an actress by the name of Ruth Chatterton, who was much more popular than him at the time. Being married to Ruth gave George certain perks, and it allowed him to blossom into a popular star himself. George ended up saying goodbye to Ruth Chatterton, but Hollywood stardom stayed by his side.
Why Ann and George Brent Got Divorced
There were numerous reasons that Ann Sheridan and George Brent’s marriage failed after only a year, and the fact that the two were at completely different stages in their lives was only one of them. Other reasons included the fact that Ann cheated on George with the aforementioned Errol Flynn numerous times, as well as the fact that Ann and George simply didn’t get along that entirely well. George was apparently incredibly antisocial, and he would constantly be coming up with reasons that he and Ann needed to cancel plans that they had made with friends. This began to grow on Ann’s nerves over the course of the short marriage.
If George Brent was antisocial, then Ann Sheridan could’ve been viewed as the exact opposite. The actress was the perfect socialite, and she took every opportunity to get out on the town and experience new things. This certainly got in the way of Ann’s marriage to George. In fact, Ann realized after divorcing from George that marriage might not be her thing. She remained unmarried for over two decades after divorcing George Brent in 1943, though she did try her hand at marriage for a third and final time in the 1960s.
Ann Sheridan’s final marriage was to an actor by the name of Scott McKay. They tied the knot in 1966, though their marriage was doomed to be just as short-lived as Ann’s previous two. This time, however, the failure of the marriage wasn’t due to irreconcilable differences. Instead, the end of Ann and Scott’s marriage came as a result of Ann’s 1967 death. In the years leading up to her death, Ann had been cast in a Western comedy television series by the name of Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats. On the day that Ann passed away, the series aired it’s 19th episode. Ann passed away on January 21, and she was only 51 years old at the time.
Ann Sheridan’s Legacy and Later Work
Ann Sheridan starred in numerous notable pictures after divorcing from George Brent. Towards the end of the 1940s, Ann was let go from her contract with Warner Bros. Pictures after the studio began having some trouble finding roles for the slightly aging actress. Ann, who was entering into her late 30s around the time, ended up having much more luck as a freelance actress. Her biggest film after the 1940s was Howard Hawks’ I Was a Male War Bride.
Though the public was shocked when it was announced that Golden Age stars Ann Sheridan and George Brent were divorcing after less than a year of marriage, those who knew the couple were more surprised that they had gotten married in the first place. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Ann Sheridan had numerous affairs with costar Errol Flynn over the course of her lifetime, and that she was known to the public as “the Oomph Girl”? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!