Elaine Shepard (April 2, 1913 - September 6, 1998) was a
Broadway and film actress in the 1930s and 1940s. She was also the author of
The Doom Pussy, a semi-fictional account of aviation in the Vietnam War.
Shepard's first film appearance was in the 1936 Republic
serial Darkest Africa, in which she played Valerie Tremaine, the heroine of the
film. This was followed with a series of leading roles in other minor films.
She then had several minor roles in major films, including playing a secretary
in Topper and uncredited roles in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and the 1946
Ziegfeld Follies. A more prominent role came in Seven Days Ashore, a musical in
which she plays the principal love interest for the band of sailors on shore
Shepard also had some minor appearances on Broadway,
including a part in the 1940 Cole Porter musical Panama Hattie.
Shepard abandoned acting and turned to freelance journalism.
She is best known in this role for her Vietnam War coverage, which became the
basis for her 1967 book The Doom Pussy, recounting her experiences with
aviators in the early part of the war. This book includes an early use of the phrase
"the whole nine yards".