Dona Drake played a gangster's wife on THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN in 1953. But she was also in a lot of other things. And being called "Chicken" on the Superman show even seems to be related to another comic book.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(1914-11-15)November 15, 1914
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Died||June 20, 1989(1989-06-20) (aged 74)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||Rita Rio, Una Velon, Rita Shaw|
|Occupation||Actress, singer, dancer|
|Spouse(s)||William Travilla (1944-1989) (her death)|
Because of her dark hair and Latin-looking features, Drake generally played Latin or other "ethnic" types. She is perhaps 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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
- Dona Drake at the Internet Movie Database
- "Dona Drake - The Private Life and Times of Dona Drake. Dona Drake Pictures.". Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- Rita Rio and Her Orchestra at the Internet Movie Database
- "Superman Flies Again > Cast - AllMovie". Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- Superman Flies Again (1954) at the Internet Movie Database
- Dona Drake at Find a Grave
- Dona Drake at the Internet Movie Database
- Dona Drake at AllRovi
- Dona Drake at the TCM Movie Database
* * *
Dona Drake played a Jean Harlow - type blonde on an episode of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, "The Dog Who Knew Superman". And she had even been a contemporary of Jean Harlow's in the thirties, although she didn't used to play the same type.
They did put a lot of emphasis on Jean Harlow's breasts in the thirties, despite Gary Grossman's claims about this not being something that was done prior to the 1950's.
What about Dona Drake?
Here is a 1943 picture of Dona Drake.
Reblogged from http://cbi-theater-1.home.comcast.net/~cbi-theater-1/roundup/roundup121043.html
NICE TO GET LOST WITH
Delectable Dona Drake doesn't know a thing about sailing a yacht. But let's not quibble, men. Anything that enables the young lady to show here - ah - charms to such an advantage is sufficient excuse for us. At the moment, she's the Roundup's Girl With Whom We'd Like to Get Lost on a Yacht.
So much for Gary Grossman.
Some of the people you see on early television shows were really outstanding ( are ya listenin', Grossman? ) and could do so much more then they did on those shows. Dona Drake used to be a bandleader with an all-girl orchestra as "Rita Rio".
Sometimes the girls in this group were called "The Girl Friends".
A tobacco card from the thirties.
SALUTE FOR THREE ( 1943 )
New Year's day.
I don't have a date on this one.
THE GIRL FROM JONES BEACH - Ronald Reagan, Virginia Mayo, Eddie Bracken, and Dona Drake.
The "Rio Rita" of the comics bears some resemblance to "Rita Rio", as Dona Drake used to call herself,
but this character was originally called "Senorita Rio",
and the name "Rio Rita" came from a musical to begin with.
The Abbott and Costello version.
So I'm not sure if there's any connection there.
But I think being called "Chicken" may well have been because of MY FRIEND IRMA,
which was a television show at the time as well as a comic book and a radio program ( which was what it was to begin with ).
Dona Drake was also associated with Marie Wilson, according to a trivia item from the Internet movie database:
"In early 1940 she toured - as Rita Rio - with her "All Girl Orchestra" with actresses Marie Wilson and Toby Wing (who was essentially retired) and Faith Bacon (from the Earl Carroll Vanities) across the United States. The actresses made numerous appearances for the Infantile Paralysis Fund and Tuberculosis campaign during the tour."
Infantile Paralysis ( Polio ) was a big problem at the time. But thanks to the efforts made to fight against this disease, it isn't as big of a problem today. And Dona Drake and her friends had a part in the triumph.
"The Dog That Hated Superman":
MY FRIEND IRMA: