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Dona Drake (1914–1989)


In a situation that closely recalls the Fannie Hurst story "Imitation of Life" in which a girl strives to pass for white, beautiful light-skinned African-American actress/singer/dancer/bandleader Dona (pronounced "dough-nuh") Drake, for the sake of her career, denied her heritage and passed for white (in her case Mexican) for the duration of it. ... See full bio »

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Kansas City Confidential
Mon, Dec 17 12:00 PM EST on TCM (276)

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Known For

Salute for Three Dona Drake
(1943)
Star Spangled Rhythm Dona Drake- Swing Shift Skit
(1942)
(1949)

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actress (35 credits)
 1956 Studio 57 (TV Series)
- Deadline (1956)
 1955 Soldiers of Fortune (TV Series)
Cheu
- The Runaway King (1955) ... Cheu
 1954 City Detective (TV Series)
Francesca
- The Gift Shop (1954) ... Francesca
 1954 The Lone Wolf (TV Series)
Lee
- The Las Vegas Story (1954) ... Lee
 1954 Princess of the Nile
Mirva
 1954 Big Town (TV Series)
Cindy Brooke
- The Auctioneer (1954) ... Cindy Brooke
 1953 Adventures of Superman (TV Series)
Joyce
- The Dog Who Knew Superman (1953) ... Joyce
 1953 Down Laredo Way
Narita
 1953 Son of Belle Starr
Dolores
 1953 Bandits of Corsica
Zelda
 1952 Kansas City Confidential
Teresa
 1951 Valentino
Maria Torres
 1950 Fortunes of Captain Blood
Pepita Maria Rosados
 1949 Beyond the Forest
Jenny
 1949 The Girl from Jones Beach
Connie Martin
 1949 The Doolins of Oklahoma
Cattle Annie
 1948 So This Is New York
Kate Goff / Maid in Play
 1948 Another Part of the Forest
Laurette Sincee
 1946 Dangerous Millions
Elena Valdez
 1946 Without Reservations
Dolores
 1945 Hollywood Victory Caravan (Short)
Dona Drake
 1944 Hot Rhythm
Mary Adams
 1943 Let's Face It
Muriel
 1943 Salute for Three
Dona Drake (as Dona Drake and Her Girl Band)
 1942 Star Spangled Rhythm
Dona Drake- Swing Shift Skit
 1942 Road to Morocco
Mihirmah
 1941 I Look at You (Short) (as Rita Rio)
 1941 Louisiana Purchase
Beatrice
 1941 Fresh as a Freshman (Short)
Chicquita (as Rita Rio)
 1939 Gals and Gallons (Short)
Rita Rio -Orchestra Leader (as Rita Rio)
 1938 Beautiful, But Dummies (Short)
Model (as Rita Ray)
 1938 Sweet Shoe (Short)
Rita Rio (as Rita Rio)
 1936 Strike Me Pink
Mademoiselle Fifi (as Rita Rio)
 1935 Moonlight and Melody (Short)
Rita (as Rita Rio)
Show Show Soundtrack (8 credits)
Show Show Self (6 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (1 credit)
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Personal Details

Publicity Listings:

1 Interview | 4 Pictorials | See more »

Alternate Names:

Dona Drake and Her Girl Band | Rita Ray | Rita Rio
Edit

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

It was wonderful at first [with Paramount]. I thought I was on my way to becoming a film actress. But you can't make a screen career out of combing [Dorothy Lamour's] hair or chasing Bob Hope in one picture after another.

Trivia:

Both parents were African-American. See more »

Nickname:

Una Villon See more »

Star Sign:

Scorpio

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