Sheb Wooley

Sheb Wooley

Highest Rated: 95% High Noon (1952)

Lowest Rated: 77% Silverado (1985)

Birthday: Apr 10, 1921

Birthplace: Erick, Oklahoma, USA

A cowboy on and off the screen, Sheb Wooley embraced the Old West as an actor and singer and whose best known works included the song "The Purple People Eater" (1958) and a role as the gunslinger Ben Miller in the Academy Award-winning film "High Noon" (1953). He was born Shelby F. Wooley on April 10, 1921 in Erick, Oklahoma. Raised on a farm, he learned to ride horses at an early age and once worked as rodeo rider. The injuries he sustained during those hard riding days prevented him from serving during World War II. Instead, he moved to Hollywood where he pursued an acting and musical career, appearing in several western films at the height of the genre's commercial appeal. Wooley became an eternal piece of film trivia when he lent his voice to what would become one of Hollywood's most famous sound clips, the "Wilhelm Scream," first heard in the film "Distant Drums" (1951) and reused in literally hundreds of films thereafter. However, his most notable film role was in "High Noon" as the outlaw Ben Miller opposite Gary Cooper in his Oscar-winning role as Marshal Will Kane. In 1958, Wooley wrote and performed "The Purple People Eater," a novelty song that rose to become a number one hit in the United States. Wooley also played cowboys in the small screen, portraying Pete Nolan in the long-running western series "Rawhide" (CBS, 1959-1966) which starred Eric Fleming and a young Clint Eastwood as Rowdy Yates. During this era, Wooley continued to focus attention to his music. In 1962, his song "That's My Pa" reached number one in Billboard's Hot Country and Western Charts. The popular country music variety show "Hee Haw" (CBS, 1969-1992) owed its theme song to Wooley, who wrote the song and occasionally made appearances throughout its 25-season run. As he aged, Wooley appeared less and less in front of the cameras. One of his last roles was Principal Cletus in the classic sports movie "Hoosiers" (1986) with Gene Hackman. In 1996, Wooley was diagnosed with leukemia but it would take a few years before he would succumb to the cancer. Wooley died at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville on September 16, 2003; he was 82 years old.

Highest rated movies

High Noon
Johnny Guitar
The War Wagon




91% 88% Hoosiers Cletus (Character) $25.8M 1986
No Score Yet 11% Uphill All the Way Anson Sudro (Character) - 1985
77% 80% Silverado Cavalry Sergeant (Character) - 1985
90% 78% The War Wagon Snyder (Character) - 1967
No Score Yet No Score Yet Country Boy Self - 1966
No Score Yet 25% The Oklahoman Cowboy/Henchman (Character) - 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Black Whip Bill Lassater (Character) - 1956
94% 85% Johnny Guitar Posseman (uncredited) (Character) - 1954
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Boy From Oklahoma Pete Martin (Character) - 1954
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cattle Town Miller (Character) - 1952
95% 89% High Noon Ben Miller (Character) - 1952
No Score Yet 41% Distant Drums Pvt. Jessup (uncredited) (Character) - 1951
No Score Yet 61% Rocky Mountain Kay Rawlins (Character) - 1950


No Score Yet 66% Murder, She Wrote Unknown (Guest Star) 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mod Squad Wild Bill Hannachek (Guest Star) 1969
No Score Yet 100% Rawhide Pete Nolan (Character),
1959-1963 1965
No Score Yet No Score Yet Studio One Self 1958
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp Rex Jones (Guest Star) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tales of Wells Fargo Lenny (Guest Star) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Trackdown Sharpshooter (Guest Star) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Showcase 39 Unknown (Character) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet Cheyenne Unknown (Guest Star) 1957
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lone Ranger Unknown (Guest Star) 1953-1954