Irish McCalla
American film and television actress
Irish McCalla
Nellie Elizabeth "Irish" McCalla was an American actress and artist best known as the title star of the 1950s television series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Sheena co-starred actor Chris Drake. McCalla was also a "Varga Girl" model for pinup girl artist Alberto Vargas.
Biography
Irish McCalla's personal information overview.
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2002
    Age 73
    At age 73 in 2002, Irish McCalla died of a stroke and complications from her fourth brain tumor — previous tumors were diagnosed in 1969 and 1981.
    More Details Hide Details She was survived by two sons, Kim and Sean McIntyre. McCalla has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1722 Vine Street. As one writer described the effect of McCalla's signature character on girls growing up in that era, "Sheena was the only female portrayed on the tube who didn't conform to the fifties stereotype. Sheena was a real rugged individualist. Watching her struggle with a new adventure every week made me feel more capable at a time when everything was so unexplored. If she could handle the jungle, I felt sure that I could handle my world".
  • 1996
    Age 67
    She made personal appearances at autograph conventions, appearing as late as 1996 in a faux-leopard Sheena costume.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1982
    Age 53
    In 1982, McCalla, then living in Malibu, California, married Chuck Rowland, a national sales manager for an auto glass firm, and moved with him to Prescott, Arizona, where she lived out her days.
    More Details Hide Details They separated in 1989. As an artist, McCalla reportedly completed more than 1,000 paintings and eight collector plates, and sold lithographs of her work. McCalla was a member of Woman Artists of the American West, and her work has reportedly been displayed at the Los Angeles Museum of Arts and Sciences.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1957
    Age 28
    McCalla and McIntyre divorced in 1957, and the following year McCalla married English actor and James Joyce/Sherlock Holmes scholar Patrick Horgan. They divorced in January 1969.
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  • 1955
    Age 26
    Her 26-episode series aired in first-run syndication from 1955-56.
    More Details Hide Details The athletic, reportedly 5'10" (177 cm) McCalla said she performed her own stunts on the series, filmed in Mexico, until the day she grabbed an unsecured vine and slammed into a tree, breaking her arm. Her elder son, Kim McIntyre, once told the press he remembered watching his mother swinging from vine to vine and wrestling mechanical alligators. Following the one-season Sheena, McCalla appeared in five films from 1958 to 1962, and guest roles on the TV series Have Gun — Will Travel and Route 66. Additionally, she formed McCalla Enterprises, Inc.
  • 1952
    Age 23
    McCalla was already a popular pinup model by 1952, when she and several other models appeared in the film River Goddesses, comprising voluptuous young women frolicking in Glen Canyon.
    More Details Hide Details In a newspaper interview, McCalla recalled being discovered by a Nassour Studios representative while throwing a bamboo spear on a Malibu, California, beach, adding of her Sheena experience, "I couldn't act, but I could swing through the trees".
  • 1951
    Age 22
    In 1951, she married insurance salesman Patrick McIntyre, with whom she had two sons.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1928
    Born
    Born on December 25, 1928.
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