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Shirley Patterson / Shawn Smith

1922 - 1995

Biographies on Shirley Patterson note that she was Miss California of 1940. Bill Bertram (V.P. Operations - Miss California) and I connected via e-mails in 2004, and excerpts from Bill's reply follow: "In doing a bit of checking I can't find Shirley anywhere ... there is a chance that Shirley may have been in one of the other Miss Calif. pageants ... USA, World, etc." (See link at the bottom of this webpage - Rosemary LaPlanche was Miss California in both 1940 and 1941.) There is also mention that Shirley was the 1941 California entrant in the Miss America pageant - not so as Rosemary LaPlanche was Miss America in 1941 and represented California.

We do know that the Canadian born Shirley was a 1941 graduate of the Mar-Ken School in Sherman Oaks, California. We also know that she was under contract in the early 1940s to Columbia Pictures followed by a brief contract at MGM. Her Hollywood career consisted of about forty films and a smallish quantity of TV appearances, and her work was split into two different time periods:

While under contract with Columbia Pictures, Shirley was the heroine in the first BATMAN (Columbia, 1943) serial and did a couple Three Stooges shorts including her role as saloon gal 'Lola' in PHONY EXPRESS (Columbia, 1943). Her western leading lady roles were with Charles Starrett, Bill Elliott, and Russ Hayden at Columbia, Johnny Mack Brown at Monogram, and Eddie Dean at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). One of her last films was the heroine in THE LAND UNKNOWN (Universal, 1957), a tale of a military expedition landing inside of a volcano and finding a prehistoric world full of dinosaurs and assorted critters. Stuntman and future Tarzan Jock Mahoney was the star and Henry Brandon (the lead in the Republic Fu Manchu cliffhanger) had a meaty role as a crazed scientist.

In later life, Shirley Patterson Bodette was ill with cancer, had several surgeries, and passed away in 1995.

You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and then to the Social Security Death Index (SSDI). There you will find a record for: Shirley P. Bodette, age 72, born December 26, 1922, Social Security number issued in California, and she passed away April, 1995 in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Shirley Patterson / Shawn Smith:

Shirley was a 1941 high school graduate of the Mar-Ken School in Sherman Oaks, California. Other Mar-Ken graduates included Jane Withers, Lon McCallister, Jimmy Lydon, Gloria DeHaven and Jackie Moran. Alan Simon's Mar-Ken website has a senior photo of Shirley as well as a graduate listing noting that Shirley's "Major Subject" was English:
Photo and comments from the student newspaper and yearbook:
Graduate listing:

The Miss California website has a listing and photos of winners. Note that Rosemary LaPlanche was Miss California in both 1940 and 1941:

The official Miss America website includes info on Rosemary LaPlanche who was runner-up in 1940 and Miss America in 1941:

The Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen website has a bio/timeline on Shirley:

Shirley at the 1986 Charlotte Convention. Both photos courtesy of Bill Sasser, who is with Shirley in the photo on the right.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Russell Hayden, Shirley Patterson and Bob Wills of Texas Playboys fame, in a scene from THE VIGILANTES RIDE (Columbia, 1944).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Roscoe Ates, Eddie Dean (riding Flash) and Shirley Patterson in a lobby card and crop/blowup. DRIFTIN' RIVER (PRC, 1946) was one of four Dean oaters in which Shirley played the heroine.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Shirley and Eddie Dean's sidekick Roscoe Ates in a scene from TUMBLEWEED TRAIL (PRC, 1946).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Ted Adams, Frank Ellis, Shirley Patterson and Eddie Dean in TUMBLEWEED TRAIL (PRC, 1946)

(From Old Corral collection)

Shirley/Shawn was also the heroine in IT, THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958), which featured Ray 'Crash' Corrigan as the monster (wearing a rubber suit).

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