Joanne Dru

Active - 1946 - 2016  |   Born - Jan 31, 1923   |   Died - Sep 10, 1996   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Crime, Comedy, Adventure

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The daughter of a druggist, Joanne Dru worked as a New York model before landing a major role in the 1941 Al Jolson Broadway musical Hold on to Your Hats. She made her first film appearance in the execrable screen version of the stage hit Abie's Irish Rose (1946) then disappeared from view for nearly a year, during which time she concentrated on her marriage to singer Dick Haymes (the first of three husbands). In 1948, she was "discovered" by director Howard Hawks and cast as leading lady in Hawks' Red River, the film that forever typecast her as a Western actress even though she claimed to dislike the genre. While working on Red River, she met her second husband, actor John Ireland, with whom she later co-starred in the Oscar-winning All the King's Men (1949). Her film career on the wane by the late '50s, Dru agreed to star in the 1960 TV sitcom Guestward Ho, which lasted 39 weeks. Thereafter she made only two big screen appearances, the last of which was the negligible Super Fuzz (1980). Joanne Dru was the sister of comedian/TV host Peter Marshall, the aunt of baseball player Pete LaCock, and the sister-in-law of actor/producer/director Tommy Noonan.

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