Canadian-born, Los Angeles-reared, Shirley Patterson was voted "Miss California of 1940," as good an entry into films as any at the time. She contracted with Columbia in 1942 and was assigned the female lead opposite Lewis Wilson in the 15-chapter serial Batman the following year. Like so many other starlets, Patterson lent her blonde beauty to all kinds of low-budget fare, from Three Stooges comedies to B-Westerns with Russell Hayden and Charles Starrett, all part of a grooming regimen that also included walk-ons in such major fare as Joan Crawford's They All Kissed the Bride (1942) and Jean Arthur's The More the Merrier (1943). When the studio dropped her option, she moved over to low-budget PRC for a series of Eddie Dean oaters. Retiring to raise a family in 1947, Patterson surprisingly resurfaced in the mid-'50s, co-starring in such sci-fi classics as World Without End (1956), The Land Unknown (1957), and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958), under the name Shawn Smith. She also did her fair share of television, including Bachelor Father, Wyatt Earp, and Passport to Danger, and later did volunteer work with the John Tracy Clinic for the hearing impaired, a hospital founded by her good friend Spencer Tracy.