Image of Ellen Drew

Ellen Drew

Talented Missourian Ellen Drew. born as Esther Loretta Ray, was the daughter of an Irish barber. She worked various jobs (accountant, salesgirl) to support her family until her fresh-faced good looks and high-wattage smile earned her a couple of beauty pageant trophies. Encouraged to try her luck in Hollywood, she was discovered in somewhat typical Lana Turner fashion. While working at an ice cream parlor, customer William Demarest took notice of her and was instrumental in having her put under contract at Paramount Studios in 1936. Initially billed as Terry Ray, she was groomed in starlet bits for two years until finally given a role she could sink her teeth into in the Bing Crosby musical Sing, You Sinners (1938). Her hair was changed from brunette to auburn (sometimes blonde) and her moniker changed from Terry Ray to Ellen Drew. Brighter roles came her way with If I Were King (1938), which clinched her celebrity, Women Without Names (1940) and Buck Benny Rides Again (1940). Ellen seemed destined for top-flight stardom, but somehow it didn't happen. She never managed to distinguish herself among the bevy of Hollywood beauties on display and so remained on the outer fringes for most her career. Despite fine roles in fine movies, notably the Preston Sturges classic Christmas in July (1940) and the Dick Powell starrer Johnny O'Clock (1947), Ellen's film career went on a steep decline. In the 1950s she transferred her talents to TV before retiring the following decade. Married four times, including writer/producer Sy Bartlett, she left one son and several grandchildren when she passed away in 2003 at age 88 in Palm Desert, California.



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Born:
Nov 23, 1915 In Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Movie/TV Credits:
54
First Appeared:
In the movie The Bohemian Girl 1922-07-27
Latest Project:
Series Perry Mason 1957-09-21
Known For
Poster of Outlaw's Son
Poster of That's My Baby!
Poster of Night Plane from Chungking
Poster of Geronimo
Filmography

Perry Mason (1957)

Mystery Drama Crime Family
Series
as Unknown
7.9 23 votes

Outlaw's Son (1957)

Western
Movie
as Ruth Sewall
5 1 votes

The Millionaire (1955)

Drama
Series
as Unknown
7.0 2 votes

Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1951)

Drama Comedy
Series
as Unknown

The Great Missouri Raid (1951)

Western
Movie
as Bee Moore
6 1 votes

Man in the Saddle (1951)

Western
Movie
as Nan Melotte
5.6 4 votes

Davy Crockett, Indian Scout (1950)

Action
Movie
as Frances Oatman
1 1 votes

The Baron of Arizona (1950)

History Western Drama Romance
Movie
as Sofia de Peralta-Reavis
7.4 14 votes

Stars in My Crown (1950)

Drama Family Western
Movie
as Harriet Gray
4.8 5 votes

Lux Video Theatre (1950)

Drama
Series
as Unknown

Cargo to Capetown (1950)

Movie
as Kitty Mellar
6.3 2 votes

The Crooked Way (1949)

Crime Drama
Movie
as Nina Martin
5.3 5 votes

The Swordsman (1948)

Movie

The Man from Colorado (1948)

Action Drama Western
Movie
as Caroline Emmet
6 8 votes

Johnny O'Clock (1947)

Crime Drama
Movie
as Nelle Marchettis
5.2 6 votes

Crime Doctor's Man Hunt (1946)

Crime Thriller Drama
Movie
as Irene Cotter / Natalie Cotter

China Sky (1945)

Action Adventure Drama War
Movie
as Louise Thompson
3 2 votes

Isle of the Dead (1945)

Horror Thriller
Movie
as Thea
5.6 18 votes

Man Alive (1945)

Comedy
Movie
as Connie McBride
5.5 1 votes

Strange Confession (1944)

War Drama
Movie
as Yvonne

Dark Mountain (1944)

Drama
Movie
as Kay Downey
5.5 1 votes

That's My Baby! (1944)

Comedy Drama Music
Movie
as Betty Moody

Night Plane from Chungking (1943)

Action Drama Romance
Movie
as Ann Richards

My Favorite Spy (1942)

Comedy
Movie
as Teresa 'Terry' Kyser
10 1 votes

The Remarkable Andrew (1942)

Fantasy Comedy
Movie
as Peggy Tobin
8.3 2 votes

Star Spangled Rhythm (1942)

Comedy Music
Movie
as Ellen Drew (uncredited)
6.3 3 votes

Ice-Capades Revue (1942)

Music Comedy
Movie
as Ann Porter

Reaching for the Sun (1941)

Movie
as Rita

The Parson of Panamint (1941)

Western
Movie
as Mary Mallory

The Monster and The Girl (1941)

Drama Horror Thriller Crime
Movie
as Susan Webster
5.8 2 votes

Our Wife (1941)

Movie
as Babe Marvin

The Night of January 16th (1941)

Mystery Crime Drama
Movie
as Katherine "Kit" Lane

Women Without Names (1940)

Crime Drama Romance
Movie
as Joyce King
6.5 1 votes

French Without Tears (1940)

Comedy
Movie
as Diana Lake
7 1 votes

Buck Benny Rides Again (1940)

Comedy Western
Movie
as Joan Cameron

Christmas in July (1940)

Comedy Romance
Movie
as Betsy Casey
6.7 17 votes

The Mad Doctor (1940)

Thriller
Movie
as Linda Booth
7 1 votes

The Texas Rangers Ride Again (1940)

Western
Movie
as Ellen 'Slats' Dangerfield

The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939)

Comedy Mystery
Movie
as Ann Wilson
7 1 votes

The Escape (1939)

Crime Drama
Movie
as Reporter
5.5 1 votes

Geronimo (1939)

Western
Movie
as Alice Hamilton

Dangerous to Know (1938)

Crime Drama
Movie
as Secretary

Cocoanut Grove (1938)

Comedy Romance
Movie
as Radio Station Receptionist

You and Me (1938)

Drama Crime
Movie
as Cashier
8.4 5 votes

If I Were King (1938)

Adventure History
Movie
as Huguette
7 1 votes

Sing, You Sinners (1938)

Romance Comedy Drama Music
Movie
as Martha Randall

Murder Goes to College (1937)

Movie
as Lil

Night of Mystery (1937)

Mystery
Movie
as Secretary

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Drama Romance
Movie
as Usherette (uncredited)
7.5 30 votes

Rhythm on the Range (1936)

Western
Movie
as Party Guest

Hollywood Boulevard (1936)

Drama
Movie
as Terry Ray - Casting Office Secretary

The Big Broadcast of 1937 (1936)

Comedy
Movie
as Telephone Girl (as Terry Ray)
7 1 votes

College Holiday (1936)

Comedy
Movie
as Dancer on Train
5.5 1 votes

The Bohemian Girl (1922)

Romance
Movie
as Buda, the Nurse
7 1 votes