- Category : Art-Fine-art-artist
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (9,27,42,57,60)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Service 4
American actress and artist who, as a 5' 9" bosomy model, was cast at the last minute in the TV series "Sheena, Queen of the Jungle," which ran for 26 episodes in 1955-'56. The job was hers when Anita Ekberg failed to show up to film the pilot, and Irish was glad to make the $365 a week. She only did a couple showbiz jobs after the series ended, appearing with Elvis on the Milton Berle Show and in the movie "She Demons," 1958, which became a cult favorite. She also appeared in "The Beat Generation," 1959, "Five Branded Women," 1960 and "Hands of a Stranger," 1962.
One of a family of eight kids, she left home for California when she was 17 to escape the cold weather of Nebraska. After a succession of waitress jobs she went to work at Douglas aircraft. When someone on the job mauled her, she belted him and was fired. A friend suggested modeling and from the start, she was a pinup babe. With her income from "Sheena," she divorced her first husband and her two little boys announced to the neighbors that "Mommy is going to work in the jungle." The series was actually filmed in Mexico over a seven-month period in 1955 and 1956, with Sheena in a leopard skin climbing trees and speaking pidgin English.
As a talented artist, her seascapes and Native American scenes sell for thousands of dollars; painting was always her first love. A successful artist, she has had several one-woman shows, and several of her oils were hung in the San Clemente home of the Nixon's.
McCalla divorced her second husband, an actor, in 1966.
A non-malignant brain tumor was discovered in 1984. In December 1999, she had her fourth and fifth brain surgeries just days apart with months of grueling therapy ahead to reach recovery of her speech and motor activities. By late 2001, she no longer had cognizant faculties and left clear instructions to take no heroic measures. She died of a stroke on 2/01/2002, Tucson. AZ. about 10:00 AM. Her ashes were scattered off the coast of Malibu, where she had spent happy days.