Back to prior page

The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

Sherry Tansey

Sometimes credited as:
James/Jim Sheridan

Real name:
James Sheridan Tansey
Sheridan James Tansey

1904 - 1961

(Courtesy of Dave Tansey)

Special thanks to Dave Tansey for sharing memories and photos of his 'Uncle Sherry'.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Lew Meehan, Sherry Tansey and Bob Steele in a crop from a lobby card from THUNDER IN THE DESERT (A. W. Hackel/Republic, 1938).

One of the more familiar B western faces was James Sheridan Tansey, and from about 1930 through the mid 1940s, he appeared in about 125 sound oaters.

In the silent era, he did 'kid' roles (as 'Master Tansey') before growing up and becoming a bad guy in FBO and Arrow sagebrush features of the late 1920s.

Thanks to Hans Wollstein for checking some of his silent film source material where he found the following credits for 'Sheridan Tansey': CONQUERED HEARTS (Rialto del Luxe Films, 1916); A LUCKY GOLD PIECE (Imperial, 1916); THE RUNAWAY (Empire All Star, 1917): THE FOOLISH VIRGIN (Selznick, 1917); THE LITTLE DUCHESS (World/Peerless, 1917); THE POWER AND THE GLORY (World, 1918); THE TWO BRIDES (Paramount, 1919); OVER THE HILL TO THE POOR HOUSE (Fox, 1920) and UNCLE SAM OF THE FREEDOM RIDGE (Levey Service Co., 1920).  Silent western appearances included THE FIGHTING BOOB (FBO, 1926) starring Bob Custer, CODE OF THE COW COUNTRY (Action Pictures/Pathe, 1927) with Buddy Roosevelt, and THE OBLIGIN' BUCKAROO (Action Pictures/Pathe, 1927) starring Buffalo Bill, Jr.

Tall and thin, Sherry Tansey generally portrayed a henchman and gang member that had a weeks worth of face stubble to make him really look mean and ornery.  Many of these cowboy flicks were directed or scripted or produced by his brother, Bob (Robert Emmett Tansey).  While he did appear in a few sagebrush yarns at Columbia and Republic, Sherry Tansey was generally laboring for production companies such as PRC, Monogram, Imperial, Supreme, Reliable, et al.

Sherry and Bob were two of the 'Hollywood Tansey Family' --- there were others who also worked in Tinseltown, including Dave's father John Tansey and his grandmother Emma Tansey. Will have a webpage on the 'Tansey Family' at a later date.

Dave Tansey fondly remembers: " Uncle Sherry would come by the house, scoop me up, and take me for a four hour adventure -- great for a little kid. When I was on location he included me in everything he did (except the filming of course) --- riding, roping, make believe stunts."

I asked Dave if he could provide some info on Sherry's passing as well as the correct spelling of his uncle's nickname --- was it 'Sherry' or 'Sherrie'?  Dave responded: "I called the cemetery in Woodland, California and their records show his name as Sherry James Tansey, died April 18, 1961, so he was quite young as he was the youngest of the brothers."

Les Adams ran his trusty database on western film performers, and it appears that Tansey's last role was in the Ken Maynard/Eddie Dean HARMONY TRAIL (alternate title: WHITE STALLION) which was filmed by Walt Mattox Productions in 1944.

You may also want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and check the California Death Records database. There you will find a record for: Sherry J. Tansey, born 7/29/1904, and he passed away on 4/12/1961. There was no record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

Don't forget to visit the Old Corral page on "The Tansey Family in Hollywood" which includes producer/director/script writer/jack-of-all-trades Robert Emmett 'Bob' Tansey, Sherry Tansey, John Tansey and Emma Tansey.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Tansey:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Sherry Tansey is about to take a board to Lane Chandler who is poundin' away on an unidentified player in a lobby card from the lost/missing RIDERS OF THE RIO (Round-Up Pictures, 1931).

(Courtesy of Dave Tansey)
Above, a Hollywood henchie on the range

(Courtesy of Dave Tansey)

Above, Tansey is menacing pretty Fay McKenzie in SUNDOWN TRAIL (Imperial, 1934) which starred Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro).  Les Adams was able to identify the player on the far right as Barney Beasley, who's usually far down on the henchie list.

(Lobby card image courtesy of Les Adams)

Ken Maynard has the drop on Carl Mathews (dark hat), Sherry Tansey (light blue shirt), and kneeling is Dave O'Brien. Lobby card from Maynard's PHANTOM RANCHER (Colony, 1940).

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, an interesting lobby card from RIDING THE SUNSET TRAIL (Monogram, 1941), and from L-to-R are: Betty Miles, Tom Keene, Kenne Duncan, Sherry Tansey (James Sheridan Tansey), Earl Douglas, and Tom London. Earl Douglas' real name was Lou Yaconelli, the brother of sidekick Frank Yaconelli. If you look close, you might make out the moustached Arkansas Slim Andrews to the right of Keene's face. Can you spot the error on this lobby card - look at all the gunbelts and the holsters as they are on the left side. Apparently, the photo used in preparation of this card was reversed.

Back to prior page