The daughter of an engineer, Ella Raines completed her education at the University of Washington. After stage experience, Raines was signed for films by a production company headed by Charles Boyer and Howard Hawks. When this enterprise failed to yield fruit, Raines went with Universal Studios in 1943, where she received her best screen role: the inquisitive, extremely adaptable heroine in the 1943 film noir Phantom Lady. Impressed by this performance, Paramount producer/director Preston Sturges borrowed Raines from Universal to co-star with Eddie Bracken in Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). Her film career flagging in the late '40s, Raines married a military officer and retired to England. After divorcing her husband in the early '50s, she starred in the popular syndicated TV series Janet Dean, Registered Nurse, which she co-produced with Joan Harrison, who'd previously produced Phantom Lady. Ella Raines' final film appearance was in the 1956 British effort Man in the Road.