Sheree North Profile

Sheree North
Sheree North
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(Dawn Shirley Bethel)
17 January 33 is born in Los Angeles, California, to Edward and June Bethel, nee Shoard, of Scottish descent, the youngest of three children
43 dances at U.S.O. socials in the Los Angeles area
46 becomes part of the company at Greek Theatre at age 13
48 marries Fred A. Bessire, a Los Angeles draftsman. He's 24; she's 16.
17 April 49 gives birth to her daughter, Dawn Jeanette, at age 17
49 as Shirley Mae Bessire, she works at the Florentine Gardens and Papagallo’s in Los Angeles
Late 49 files for divorce from Bessire after eighteen months of marriage
? performs for brief 8mm “home movies”
51 joins the girlie line of Nils T. Granlund’s revue for stage and television
plays the Flamingo, Las Vegas, with Granlund and becomes the protege of Bugsy Siegel’s partner, Moe Sedgeway
tries modeling and works at the Shamrock Hotel in Texas
is an unbilled substitute for Sally Forrest in Excuse My Dust
takes courses at Santa Monica Business College and thinks of taking a job as a secretary at Hughes Aircraft Company
53 choreographer Bob Alton spots her act at the Macayo Club in Santa Monica and signs her as a chorus-dancer extra for the upcoming Here Come the Girls
11 February 53 opens as a dancer in the Broadway musical Hazel Flagg at Mark Hellinger Theatre
? when Paramount films Hazel Flagg as a Martin and Lewis vehicle, she breaks her right foot during dance rehearsals at the studio, and production is held up for two months until she recuperates
March 53 admits to columnist Earl Wilson that she sneaked to Hollywood to do a test for Columbia "but is very shy about our report that she might become Columbia's Marilyn Monroe."
September 53 divorces Bessire, who will die at age 80 in 2004 in Los Angeles
5 February 54 signs with 20th Century-Fox, which has some troubles with newly married Marilyn Monroe
February 54 is considered for her own program by CBS
is screen-tested for Monroe’s role in A Girl in Pink Tights. Her manager, Barron Polan, says: "I'm hoping, but these are pretty big tights to fill."
9 March 54 says she was "shocked" by a U.S. Postal Service statement that home movies she made were "lewd, lascivious, obscene and licentious." U. S. District Judge Ernest A. Tolin overruled the post office and issued a temporary restraining order, which permitted her dance scenes on film to be shipped through the mail. Postal authorities had banned the eight-millimeter, four-minute specialties, featuring her in a bikini suit.
March 54 is tested for Monroe’s part in There’s No Business Like Show Business. Columnist Earl Wilson tells: "Sheree North'll definitely appear in the movie There's No Business Like Show Business. Though she won't get any Marilyn Monroe parts, she's got big things coming..."
April 54 takes a house right around the corner from the home of Marilyn Monroe and Joe Di Maggio
is the cheesecake in Collier's magazine
the press tells that during Marilyn’s absence, Sheree was signed for There's No Business Like Show Business. "But now Sheree is out and Marilyn is in."
May 54 will make Phffft at Columbia as a loan-out from 20th Century-Fox
June 54 columnist Jimmy Fidler notes her frequently with Bud Freeman, musical records executive
Winchell tells that her hairdo is now charcoal-gray
? appears at studio premieres escorted by high-ranking male columnists, such as Sidney Skolsky
September 54 columnist Lee Mortimer writes that her "only serious romance, today anyway, is Bud Freeman, a recording executive, and they have that on-to-the-altar look in their eyes..."
November 54 is among a bevy of film stars attending the Desirée premieres in San Francisco and Chicago. Others are Jeffrey Hunter, Rita Moreno, Tommy Noonan and Debra Paget.
December 54 Winchell knows that she and Rita Moreno are "Hollywood's latest feud. Out-glare each other..."
January 55 columnist Erskine Johnson tells: "Sheree North, who weighed 142 pounds a few months ago and recently dieted down to 124, has been ordered to melt off 15 more pounds for her big break as Marilyn Monroe's successor in How to Be Very, Very Popular..."
gets Marilyn Monroe’s part in How to Be Very, Very Popular when Marilyn turns it down
February 55 columnist Louella Parsons reports: "The sight of the week was our newest glamour girl, Sheree North, and her five-year-old girl washing a batch of soiled clothes in a West Los Angeles laundromat."
11 / 20 February 55 secretly marries music publisher John “Bud” M. Freeman in Quartzside, Arizona. He's 36; she's 22. She wears a red wig and horned-trimmed glasses for disguise at the ceremony. He’s the owner of Belfry Music Publishing Company. It's his first and her second marriage.
April 55 columnist Erskine Johnson thinks she and "Orson Bean are carrying their How to Be Very, Very Popular romantice over inner dinner dates..."
21 March 55 is on the cover of Life
May 55 Winchell tells that her friends wonder if she's secretly married to writer Bud Freeman
June 55 attends the premiere of Broadway’s The Caine Mutiny Court Martial at the Huntington Hartford Theater in Los Angeles with Tony Craig
July 55 in New York to ballyhoo How to be Very, Very Popular; she has 33 TV appearances in four days
Winchell notes her at the Stork Club busy sending scads of picture postcards back home
is put under a doctor's care when she comes down with heat prostration in Manhattan
Late July 55 Earl Wilson tells: "Sheree North phoned her daughter long distance in Hollywood, heard the girl crying, and flew home a week early..."
11 August 55 her studio discloses her February marriage to Freeman. She explains: "We thought that at this stage of my career I shouldn't mix in a marriage, so we kept it quiet."
September 55 her friends report that she and Freeman are knitting tiny garments
56 the Motion Picture Herald names her a Star of Tomorrow
? discovers that Edward Bethel is her stepfather, and that her real father, Richard Francis Crang, recently died
Early January 56 columnist Erskine Johnson reports that Freeman "has definitely taken over as pilot of her career ship. And some people aren't too happy about it."
Late January 56 Johnson tells that she asked for too much to guest on Jimmy Durante's TV show, "so Celeste Holm was roped to replace her..."
February 56 her husband has a slight brush with a garbage truck near their home and gets a cut on his chin
April 56 columnist Harrison Carroll tells: "Sheree North and her dance partner, Jacques D'Amboise, were injured painfully while rehearsing a dance number for their next film, The Best Things in Life Are Free.
c. February 57 she and Freeman separate
March 57 acknowledges that she and Freeman have separated but "that's about all there is to say at the moment. And it's not the first time we have separated, either." A studio spokesman says the separation is amicable.
31 May 57 an operation described as "not serious" is performed on her at the Cedars of Lebanon. She is expected to stay at the hospital for five or six days.
November 57 Wilson tells that jazz impresario Norman Grantz is phoning her
57 divorces Freeman in Juarez, Mexico. Barry Sullivan is beauing her after his divorce following 20 years of marriage.
March 58 is reported to take over the Gwen Verdon role in New Girl in Town on Broadway
13 December 58 she and Dr. Gerhardt Sommer, a Beverly Hills psychoanalyst, announce that they will marry on December 17 at the Unitarian Community Church in Westwood
17 December 58 marries Gerhardt Ralph Sommer at the Bel Air Hotel. He's 31; she’s 26. It's the third marriage for both. Sommer is her psychiatrist and an assistant professor of psychology at UCLA.
April 59 columnist Erskine Johnson tells that she bowed out of A Private Affair. "She's dated the stork..."
17 July 59 her second daughter, Erica Eve, is born in Los Angeles. The child is born prematurely due to an automobile accident Sheree was in months earlier.
61 is on stage at Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with Two for the Sea Saw, and tours in Irma La Douce and Can-Can
Early 62 is hired for I Can Get It for You Wholesale at the Shubert Theatre
23 January 62 sues Sommer for divorce in Los Angeles asking temporary alimony, child support and attorney fees
? Sommer files a cross complaint asking custody of their three-year-old daughter, Erica Eve
29 May 63 obtains her divorce from Sommer in Los Angeles testifying that she liked to eat by candlelight but her husband did not. She obtains custody of Erica.
Early May 64 wins permission to take her four-year-old daughter to the East Coast in the summer. She and her former husband reach a compromise, which is approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court commissioner.
March 66 tells columnist Dick Kleinert that she thinks she’s blacklisted due to her worries about nuclear testing in the atmosphere and her participation in the stage play The Dutchman, written by LeRoe Jones, which caused a controversy in Los Angeles
Late 60s does a lot of stage work
Early 70s lives quietly in a beach house in Malibu
5 September 81 suffers wrist injuries and bruises when hit by a car while crossing a street. She is released after treatment at a hospital. Her companion, Phillip Norman, is listed in serious condition with fractures to his legs and arms. Police say the two were hit while crossing an intersection with a crosswalk but no traffic sign outside a restaurant. The driver is released after questioning.
? marries Phillip Norman
? resides in Pacific Palisades
4 November 05 dies at age 73 in Los Angeles, California, from complications from cancer surgery. She is survived by her husband Phillip Norman, two daughters, a grandchild, her step-daughter Jessica Youd, and Youd's three sons.
The Fox Girls by James Robert Parish, Bombshells by Steve Sullivan, Council Bluffs Iowa Nonpareil, The Lowell Sun, The Times Recorder, Redlands Daily Facts, The Lima News, Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, Panama City News, Nevada State Journal, The Zanesville Signal, Tri-City Herald, The Portsmouth Herald, Dixon Evening Telegraph, Mansfield News-Journal, Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, The Kerrville Times, The Coshocton Tribune, The Daily Register, The Vidette-Messenger, The Frederick Post, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, The Hammond Times, The Odessa American, The Chronicle-Telegram, The Sheboygan Press, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, The Edwardsville Intelligencer,
Motion Picture, Silver Screen Annual 1958
Recommended Books:
Fifties Blondes by Richard Koper
Elvis' Women
JSR Pages: Sheree North