Los Angeles, California, USA
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death
complications from cancer surgery
Claim to Fame
a Marilyn Monroe replacement
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Other Crew
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Profile Bio Text
Sheree North (January 17, 1932 '' November 4, 2005) was a two-time Emmy Award-nominated American actress, singer, and dancer.
North was born as Dawn Shirley Crang in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of June, a pearl appraiser and real estate agent. She began dancing in USO shows during World War II at age ten. At 15, she married Fred Bessire and had a child at 16. She continued dancing in clubs under the moniker Shirley Mae Bessire.
After being spotted by a choreographer performing at the Macayo Club in Santa Monica, North was cast as a chorus girl in the 1953 film Here Come the Girls starring Bob Hope. Around that time, she adopted the stage name Sheree North and made her Broadway debut in the musical Hazel Flagg, for which she won a Theatre World Award. She went on to reprise her role in the film version Living It Up.
In 1954, North signed on with 20th Century-Fox. The following year, she won the lead role in How to Be Very, Very Popular, a role that was initially rejected by Marilyn Monroe. Media attention over the choice of North in the role that Monroe rejected resulted in North appearing on the cover of Life magazine with the coverline "Sheree North Takes Over From Marilyn Monroe". Film historians, then and now, continue to cite North`s electrically charged dancing to "Shake, Rattle and Roll", as the film`s most memorable scene.
After the success of How to Be Very, Very Popular, North was groomed by Fox as the "new Marilyn Monroe". However, the studio soon lost interest in promoting her and focused attention on a new Monroe-esque actress, Jayne Mansfield. Decades later, North would play Monroe`s mother in the 1980 television movie Marilyn: The Untold Story.
After North`s contract with Fox ended in 1958, she continued to land roles in films and had guest spots in television shows such as CBS`s Gunsmoke and two medical dramas, Breaking Point and Ben Casey on ABC. In the 1960s, she returned to Broadway in the very successful musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale, which featured Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand.
Her film roles included one as a fugitive-aiding photographer in Don Siegel`s Charley Varrick (1973) and as John Wayne`s long-lost love in the actor`s final film, The Shootist (1976).
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, North appeared in guest spots on Hawaii Five-O, Matlock, Magnum, P.I., The Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which she played Lou Grant`s old flame, and The Golden Girls, in which she played Blanche`s sister, Virginia.
She starred in the NBC sit-com I`m a Big Girl Now with Diana Canova, Danny Thomas, Rori King and a young Martin Short. The series aired 19 episodes during the 1980-1981 season.
In 1983, she appeared in the ensemble cast of the Steven Bochco series Bay City Blues, starring Michael Nouri, Dennis Franz, Pat Corley and Sharon Stone. The hour-long drama series aired 8 episodes.
In the 1990s, she appeared as Kramer`s mother, Babs Kramer, in two episodes of the TV series Seinfeld. North`s last onscreen role came in the 1998 John Landis film Susan`s Plan.
North was married four times and had two children. In 1948, at age 15, she married Fred Bessire, a draftsman with whom she had a daughter, Dawn. The marriage ended in 1953. In 1955, she married music publisher John "Bud" Freedman, but the marriage ended a year later. Her third marriage to psychologist Gerhardt Sommer resulted in another daughter, Erica Eve, but that marriage also ended in divorce in 1963.
At the time of her death, North was married to Phillip Norman.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Dawn Shirley Crang
Santa Monica Business College
Richard Crang, stepfather was Edward Bethel
June nee Shoard
daughter, Dawn, Erica Eve
Sheree North (born Dawn Shirley Crang; January 17, 1932 – November 4, 2005) was an American film and television actress, dancer, and singer, known for being one of 20th Century-Fox's intended successors to Marilyn Monroe.
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Actress, singer, dancer
Posted by brian 1 year ago
what a hot band. love all their music
Posted by Joe 1 year ago
Would love to meet you before I die,
Posted by greg fischer 1 year ago
We are unable to find our family pictures. We would like to order our pictu...
Posted by Michael Wren 1 year ago
You can find the statue proposal on Kickstarter dot com