Ralph sharon - modern innovations on country & western themes


I also saw right and straight children created by God and born into this world by humans, who became nevertheless bent and lame men, who never got straight and healthy thighs. (…) In addition, I have for instance let a child lay again down and tied up, so that I see, in which way he was swaddled. There I then really saw, where it was gone wrong (…). By misunderstanding however they wanted to bind him straight, but in fact they bind him bent and tighten the bandages hard, so that the child cannot have peace (….). [11]

The end of filming in May 1958 didn't spell the end of Sharon's involvement with Disney. She continued to perform at Disneyland and other venues with Jimmie Dodd and a small number of other Mouseketeers from time to time. One of these was at the Hollywood Bowl in August 1958, her second but far from last performance there. Sharon was also among the handful of Mouseketeers whom Jimmie Dodd took to Australia in May 1959. The frenzy of the Aussie crowds surprised her; for the first time she realized how popular the Mouseketeers were. In some places, that is. Like Annette and Karen , Sharon experienced harrassment at the public high school she attended. She told a 'Teen magazine interviewer in 1959 that she was becoming used to it, but she eventually graduated after switching to studying with a private tutor.

Upon return to the states, she had a two-month engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, performing with Donald O'Connor and his long-time partner Sid Miller . Diminutive even by Mouseketeer standards (she topped out at 4'8"), Sharon came to maturity as the variety show format she excelled in was dying out. Though a good actress, her stature and tap-dancing image may have closed casting doors to her. Never one to complain, she taught dancing, and majored in math and secretarial science at Valley College from 1960-62, where she made the National Honor Society and served as Women's Student President. She joined the 'Teen Troupe for a few gigs, including another return to the Hollywood Bowl with Tommy Cole and Roberta Shore in June 1961.

Interviewed again for 'Teen magazine in 1963, she sounded a bit discouraged for the first time about show business. She was working full-time as a secretary, but had hopes of putting together a nightclub act. After marrying dark-haired singer Dalton Lee Thomas in September 1964, Sharon and her new husband teamed up with David Jourdan as "Two Cats and a Mouse". Critic Charles Champlain caught one of their performances at the Los Angeles Playboy Club in 1967. He wrote in his column for the Los Angeles Times that their "close-knit driving harmonies evoke something of the Mary Kaye Trio", but "in between songs they delivered a great deal of corn which didn't pop".

The marriage and the act ended amiably about two years later, though the divorce didn't become final until 1972. Her ex-husband became a hairstylist; Sharon told Jerry Bowles in 1975 that he still did her hair. Throughout the sixties Sharon's main source of income had been her daytime secretarial work, first for Litton Industries and then Blue Cross. It looked like this would become her adult career until producer Sid Krofft called in 1969. The Krofft brothers specialized in fantasy children's television programs that combined live actors with giant puppet costumes worn by small people. They cast Sharon in their first television show H. R. Pufnstuff , and every succeding series they produced.

Sharon thus found a show business niche for herself for a few years, donning character costumes and performing for a number of the Kroffts' shows, including Lidsville , The Bugaloos , Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (directed by Dick Darley )and their television special The World of Sid and Marty Krofft filmed (where else) at the Hollywood Bowl. She also worked at the same sort of job for independent shows like The New Zoo Revue , the cult favorite Land of the Lost , and elaborate stage productions for Las Vegas headliners. These costume character shows were popular but their mass appeal was a short-lived phenomena that didn't survive the mid-seventies.

Sharon appeared at Disneyland for events surrounding the Mickey Mouse Club's 20th Anniversary in 1975, and on a national morning talk-show three years later for Mickey Mouse's 50th Anniversary. Her next job was as a live-action actor for Ralph Bakshi's version of The Lord of the Rings (1978). She played the role of Frodo in the rotoscoping process that allowed the animators to create the films, and according to some sources voiced the character as well. Sharon was naturally one of the leads of the 1980 Mouseketeer 25th Anniversary show, and for several years afterwards performed in reunion shows on Disneyland stages and made the rounds of television talk-shows. With 1985's Dumbo's Circus , made for the Disney Channel, she once more had regular screen work again, albeit in another character costume as Lionel the Lion.

The following year Sharon took on the only controversial role of her long career. Playing in heavy makeup, she acted the part of an outcast teenage boy who through unknown means has the face and behavior characteristics of a rat. Directed by Sondra Locke, Ratboy skirts nervously along the edge of several genres without quite deciding what it wants to say. The makeup job by Rick Baker was appallingly lifelike, and Sharon's portrayal of the rodent-human hybrid so intense (at least until the character started talking) that many people simply couldn't stomach watching the film. Sharon was credited as S. L. Baird to disguise her gender. (This is the only public reference to her middle name 'Leigh'; no other credit, interview, book, or article mentions it).

Following this commercial and critical debacle Sharon returned to children's shows, acting in a made for video series called Mother Goose's Treasury . By 1990 her show business career had ended, though she has since done numerous documentary apperences for television shows and DVD special features, and of course, many Mouseketeer reunions. At the fiftieth anniversary ceremony in 2005 at Disneyland, she even did a swinging dance number with Bobby Burgess, showing good form for a woman in her sixties. A longtime neighbor of Annette in Los Angeles, she moved to Reno, Nevada in the early nineties, but still regularly calls and visits her ailing friend.

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Ralph Sharon - Modern Innovations On Country & Western ThemesRalph Sharon - Modern Innovations On Country & Western ThemesRalph Sharon - Modern Innovations On Country & Western ThemesRalph Sharon - Modern Innovations On Country & Western Themes

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