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Dona Drake


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Dona Drake (November 15, 1914 – June 20, 1989) was an American singer, dancer and film actress in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born Eunice Westmoreland in Miami, Florida, in 1914. Entering show business in the 1930s, she used the names Una Velon, Rita Rio and Rita Shaw. She settled on the stage name Dona Drake in the early 1940s. Studio publicity during her heyday incorrectly stated that Drake was of Mexican origin and was born Rita Novella. (Novella was actually her mother's first name.)

Because of her dark hair and Latin-looking features, Drake generally played Latin or other "ethnic" types. She is probably best known for playing the American Indian maid of Bette Davis in Beyond the Forest. She also appeared as an Arab girl opposite Bob Hope in Road to Morocco in 1942. Her biggest "non-ethnic" role was the second female lead in the 1949 comedy The Girl from Jones Beach, playing opposite Eddie Bracken. She died in 1989.


Film and television

1935 Moonlight and Melody Rita credited as Rita Rio

1936 Strike Me Pink Mademoiselle Fifi credited as Rita Rio

1938 Sweet Shoe Rita Rio credited as Rita Rio

1938 Beautiful, But Dummies Model credited as Rita Ray

1939 Gals and Gallons Orchestra Leader credited as Rita Rio

1939 Rita Rio and Her Orchestra Rita Rio played self in this 10 minute short[3]

1941 I Look at You Rita Rio

1941 Fresh as a Freshman Rita Rio

1941 Aloma of the South Seas Nea first film credit as Dona Drake[2]

1941 Louisiana Purchase Beatrice

1942 Road to Morocco Mihirmah credited as Dona Drake

1943 Star Spangled Rhythm herself performs song "On the Swing Shift" with Marjorie Reynolds and Betty Jane Rhodes

1943 Salute for Three Dona Drake and Her Girl Band credited as Dona Drake

1943 Let's Face It! Muriel

1944 Hot Rhythm Mary Adams

1946 Without Reservations Dolores Ortega

1946 Dangerous Millions Elena Valdez

1948 Another Part of the Forest Laurette Sincee

1948 So This Is New York Kate Goff

1949 The Doolins of Oklahoma Cattle Annie

1949 The Girl from Jones Beach Connie Martin

1949 Beyond the Forest Jenny

1950 Fortunes of Captain Blood Pepita Maria Rosados

1951 Valentino Maria Torres

1952 Kansas City Confidential Teresa

1953 The Bandits of Corsica Zelda

1953 Son of Belle Starr Dolores

1953 Down Laredo Way Narita

1953 Adventures of Superman Joyce episode 35 "The Dog Who Knew Superman" 9th episode of 1953; aired 14 November

1954 Superman Flies Again Joyce theatrical re-release of 3 episodes of the television series included episode 35[4][5]

1954 Princess of the Nile Mirva

1954 City Detective Francesca 1 episode

1955 Soldiers of Fortune Cheu 1 episode

1955 The Lone Wolf Lee 1 episode





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