Holdridge was born Cheryl Lynn Phelps in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her mother, Julie A. Phelps was a dancer who performed on Broadway with her partner, Dick Mason; her biological father has not been identified. Shortly after she was born, Holdridge moved with her mother to Burbank, California. In 1950, her mother married Herbert Charles Holdridge, a retired Brigadier General active in fringe political movements. He adopted her in 1953 and gave her his surname. Holdridge grew up in Sherman Oaks. She started dance lessons from an early age with Joyce Cole in North Hollywood, from whom she learned ballet and tap.
Holdridge first performed professionally at the age of nine, when she landed a role in the New York City Ballet's version of The Nutcracker in Los Angeles. Her first screen appearance was as an uncredited extra in the 1956 film production of Carousel.
She auditioned for Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club in the spring of 1956, was hired, and joined the club's "Red Team"—the most visible and popular of the Mouseketeers. Though a good dancer, her weak singing voice kept her in the background of most musical numbers performed by the Mouseketeers. A competent actress with a pleasant speaking voice, she was employed for two of the show's episodic serials: Boys of the Western Sea and Annette.
After the show's run ended, Cheryl returned to Van Nuys High School and graduated from Grant High School with the winter 1961 class.
From 1960, Holdridge made guest appearances on over twenty different shows, including The Rifleman, My Three Sons, Bewitched, Bringing Up Buddy, and The Dick Van Dyke Show.
Holdridge left acting abruptly in 1964 to marry race car driver Lance Reventlow, to whom she was wed until his death in 1972. After the death of her third husband, Holdridge made a cameo appearance in the 2000 feature film, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. In 2005, she appeared at Disneyland for 50th anniversary celebrations of both the opening of the park and The Mickey Mouse Club. She was cast in televised documentary specials about Cary Grant (2005) and Barbara Hutton (2006), and has also appeared in a special feature interview for a Disney DVD.
Relationships and marriages
In May 1960, Holdridge went on a live tour to Australia with other former Mouseketeers. While there, she became involved with Lucky Starr, an Australian singer. She was later linked in fan magazines and gossip columns with many other celebrities, including Elvis Presley.
Holdridge's first marriage was to sportsman and athlete Lance Reventlow, the only child of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton; his father was a Danish count. Reventlow, a pilot, died in the crash of a small plane in 1972 in which he was a passenger. Her second husband was Albert James "Jim" Skarda. They married in 1974. He ran a car rental service in Aspen, Colorado. Her third husband, Manning J. Post (January 3, 1918 - March 13, 2000), was active in Democratic politics in California. He died at the age of eighty-two. All of her marriages were childless.
Holdridge was a long-time supporter of environmental causes and charities including the Children's Burn Foundation for which she served as a Council Member, and with her third marriage became more active in fund-raising events.
Holdridge died on January 6, 2009 from lung cancer.