Sheila Guyse- Our Sweetheart of Stage and Screen
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Sheila Guyse- Our Sweetheart of Stage and Screen

Sheila Guyse took the Entertainment Industry by storm when she appeared on the scene in the mid-1940s. In the beginning Sheila was called another Lena Horne. But that title didn't stick long for the audience saw Sheila had a new style, image, and audiences and critics saw there was no comparison, after Sheila showed what she was made of no one called her anything but Sheila Guyse.

Sheila was young, stylish, glamorous, vibrant and was bursting with talent to sprinkle on audiences.

Sheila Guyse was a beautiful woman. She had a babyface beauty with a warm persona that you couldn't help but fall in love with. She was a talented songtress. What she did with your eyes she did with your ears also. She was a lovely lady to behold in eyes and ears.

Sheila had a voice like none other of her time. She was a songbird if you ever heard one, she's it. Sheila voice was spectacular, like honey, her voice was sweet, full of clarity and diction. Every word she sung she sung heart-felt like they were the last words she would sing. Sheila's voice had soul, gospel, jazz, blues all together in one. Whether she was singing a standard or a popular tune she would sing it in the Guyse way, which was stylish, easy-listening, soulful, jazzy and mellow. If you closed your eyes her voice could take you into a world of fantasy. Sheila Guyse was a songbird if ever there was one. If you ever heard Frances Langford. Sheila and Frances had a similar voice.

Legendary Miles Davis said he never understood why Sheila Guyse isn't a Legend or more known. He considered her a great of a singer as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Miles Davis heard and knew them all but Sheila Guyse was at the top of his list.

Sheila Guyse projected sex appeal along with a sweetheart approach in her performance. She could be the girl next door or a sex symbol or both- either way she could do no wrong with audiences.

Through the 1940s and 1950s, she was the most talked about songtress. One of the top vocalist in her class. She was very well loved by audiences.

Her talent didn't stop at singing. She was a fine actress became a movie star in independent black films like "Sepia Cinderella" "Boy! What a Girl" and "Miracle in Harlem." Her acting was superb. She gave Academy Award performances. She really could have an audience in the palm of her hand in the roles she played. The Black films she appeared in are considered the best of the independent black films. Sheila's acting was natural, pleasant, could be emotional and dramatic but in any role she played, Sheila always had that likable magnetic personality that kept your eyes on her in the movies. Sheila could carry a movie on her own. The camera loved her.

Since Sheila Guyse was in the same generation of Dorothy Dandridge. Critics compared the two saying things such as "all Dorothy has on Sheila is just had a head start." It would have been nice to have had Sheila Guyse as a Hollywood movie star, she certainly fit the beauty standards and talent of Hollywood. But Hollywood wouldn't let to many black beauties be a movie star. One every decade was enough for them. Even if she would of became a Hollywood movie star. She probably wouldn't have gotten the roles she got in the Black films which gave Sheila and others a chance to push their talent to the max. The Black films were just as much an achievement as Hollywood films. The Black films were a hit with Black audiences and Sheila was the new hit of the late 1940s.

Another reason Blacks loved Sheila so much was because she represented Black beauty, when they saw her they saw themselves. Beauty with the Black race was usually associated with Blacks who possessed something from the white race. Even whites were taken away with her beauty.

Sheila was born around 1925 hailed from Detroit, Michigan. Detroit gave many gifts of talent to the world. It gave Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Motown and Sheila Guyse. Sheila appeared on the stage and screen around 1945, she became a overnight success after the first night of displaying her talents. She may not have had many years of experience in Show Business but she made up for in her talent which skyrocketed her to becoming a singing sweetheart and movie star. The Black and White press and critics couldn't get enough of Sheila and was just as sweet as her in their reviews.

Sheila had plenty personality, glamour, beauty, talent, and extremely stylish in her clothes, hair, and performance, those attributes gained her popularity performing in the best white and black theaters, clubs, and shows in America. Sheila's talent couldn't help but get her mainstream notice. Whites took notice of her and bided for her to perform in their high society clubs and stage.

Sheila was the new Black star of post WW2. She was very different from a lot of stars before her. Some appeared aloof, over the top or with no personality or deliverance at all. Sheila was the kind of performer that'll make you feel she was singing especially to you, Sheila made audiences feel as though they knew her all their life. She was a fine performer.

She became a hot ticket in the world of Entertainment. People believed in Sheila Guyse. Not before long she was the star of many stage productions Finian's Rainbow and her most famous where she became prominent was "Lost in the Stars" which ran from October 1949 to July 1950.

Sheila accomplished and achieved just about every medium in Entertainment- stage, screen, records. Sheila was a proud asset of the Black community. Sheila appeared on covers of Jet, Ebony, Tan, Hue and other magazines. Chicago Defender, New York Amsterdam News, Afro American Baltimore ran articles of her success and the proudness the Black community had of her.

Through it all she still maintained a happy home life. At home she was just plain mom and a wife to her children and husband. Sheila didn't let fame spoil her, she still was a sweetheart and a down to earth lady.

Sheila Guyse is still alive and still is gaining fans through her honey glazed voice, acting talent, beauty, and "sweetheart" persona.

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