Irish McCalla was 74 when she died in February 2002.  She faced some difficult times in her last few decades, and I'm also sure her life was full of her fair share of personal turmoil, but by all accounts she largely led a charmed life.  She once commented that things just seemed to happen to her without really trying.

As a young woman she joined Bettie Page in becoming astronomically famous as a model, without having a movie contract.  Her physical beauty so captivated the modelling industry that a new magazine, Eve, was launched specifically to feature her.

When the door to the entertainment industry opened for her soon afterward, she stepped into a role that fit her like a glove, and which guaranteed her lasting fame beyond her demise.  However, it was not only her Amazonian features - slanted eyes, high cheek bones and towering curvaceous frame - that made Sheena legendary.  Without the spunk of Irish's athleticism and tomboy background Sheena would not have been nearly as believable.

As her small screen fame began to decline Irish launched herself into yet another highly successful career - that of professional artist.  She had been artistic as a child and art had always held an enthusiastic fascination for her, but now Irish proved herself to be a highly gifted artist in the Americana genre.

She continued to bask in her Sheena glory by making personal appearances at fan conventions for many years and in interviews expressed how blessed she felt to have the best of both worlds - the satisfaction of success at artistic achievement and the loving adoration of her fans.  A charmed life indeed!

Click on the images below to explore the major phases of Irish McCalla's life:



Click on the image at left to:
• See a sample of Irish's rare early-1950s beach movie;
• See the two scenes of Sheena Irish was most proud of;
• Hear a full-length one-hour interview with Irish where she discusses details of her life not covered in the biographical pages of this site.

• The glamour portrait of Irish wearing a sweater; the photo of Irish in the sixth grade is from Night and Day magazine, Aug 52; the glamour portrait of Irish wrapped in a yellow blanket; the photo of Irish as Sheena; the Five Bold Women lobby card; and the photo of Irish painting is from a McCalla Enterpises promotional flyer - all are from my private collection
• The photo of older Irish was kindly donated by Blair Whipple of Polar Blair's Den
• The vidcaps of Irish as Sheena and from her 1950s beach movie are from my own DVDs

SHEENA © is the property of Sony Pictures Corporation
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Sheena material is copyright © 2005-2007 Paul Wickham
These pages updated May 2007