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Sheila Guyse

Performer
( b. Jul 14, 1925 Forest, Mississippi, USA - d. Dec 28, 2013 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ) Female
Also known as: Etta Drucille Guyse [Birthname]
Relations: Wife of Shelby Irving Miller (divorced)
Wife of Kenneth Davis (divorced)
Wife of Joseph Jackson
Sheila Guyse was a popular actress and singer who appeared on Broadway and in so-called race movies in the 1940s and '50s, and for a time, despite limited opportunities in the entertainment industry, appeared headed for broader fame.

For several years, Ms. Guyse was compared to stars like Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Ruby Dee, black actresses who broke through racial barriers. But by the late 1950s she was out of show business, a result of some combination of health problems, a religious conversion and family obligations.

She left behind a handful of films. The best was probably "Sepia Cinderella" (1947), in which she played a girl-next-door who is initially overlooked by a musician she loves, played by the singer Billy Daniels. She also appeared in Broadway musicals and in nightclubs. Her only album, "This Is Sheila," a collection of standards, was released by MGM Records in 1958, a decade after her heyday.

Etta Drucille Guyse was born in Forest, Miss. She took Sheila as a stage name. She followed her father, Wilbert, to New York when she was a teenager and lived for a time in a Harlem rooming house with Billie Holiday.

After winning an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater, Ms. Guyse had a small role on Broadway in the musical Memphis Bound! and appeared in a series of all-black films, beginning with a small role in "Boy! What a Girl!" (1947), which starred the vaudeville performer Tim Moore. She moved on to starring roles in "Sepia Cinderella" and "Miracle in Harlem" (1948), in which she played a woman wrongly accused of murder.

She also appeared in the Broadway musicals Finian's Rainbow (1947) and Lost in the Stars (1949).

Source: The New York Times obituary



Productions Date of Productions
Lost in the Stars
[Musical, Tragedy, Original]
  • Performer: Sheila Guyse [Linda]
Oct 30, 1949 - Jul 01, 1950
Finian's Rainbow
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Sheila Guyse
    • Singer - Replacement
    • 5th Sharecropper - Additional
  • Understudy: Sheila Guyse
    • 5th Sharecropper - Replacement
Jan 10, 1947 - Oct 02, 1948
Memphis Bound!
[Musical, Comedy, Original]
  • Performer: Sheila Guyse [Lily Valentine]
May 24, 1945 - Jun 23, 1945
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