November 23, 1915
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||December 3, 2003
Palm Desert, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Fred Wallace (1935-1940) (divorced) 1 child
Sy Bartlett (1941-1949) (divorced) 1 child
William T. Walker (1951-1967) (divorced)
James Edward Herbert (1971-?)
Born Terry Ray in Kansas City, Missouri, Drew worked various jobs and won a number of beauty contests before becoming an actress. Moving to Hollywood in an attempt to become a star, she was discovered while working at an ice cream parlor where one of the customers, actor William Demarest, took notice of her and eventually helped her get into films.
Ray's venture into the movies brought about a conflict in names with another Terry Ray, this one a male. A 1937 newspaper photo showed the resolution of the conflict as "They conferred, drew lots from the hat and masculine Terry Ray became Terry Rains, while feminine Terry Ray remained as before."
After a couple of years of playing bit roles in a number of movies using her birth name, she became a fixture at Paramount Pictures as Ellen Drew from 1938 to 1943, where she appeared in as many as six films per year, including Sing You Sinners (1938) with Bing Crosby and The Lady's from Kentucky (1939) with George Raft. She moved to RKO in 1944. Among her leading men were Ronald Colman, William Holden, Basil Rathbone, Dick Powell, and Robert Preston (in The Night of January 16th and Night Plane from Chungking).
Her films include Christmas in July (1940), Isle of the Dead (1945), Johnny O'Clock (1947), The Man from Colorado (1948), The Crooked Way (1949) and The Baron of Arizona with Vincent Price (1950). In the 1950s, with her movie career on the decline, she worked as a television actress. Among her final roles was the part of Julia Webberly in the 1960 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Larcenous Lady."
Drew married screenwriter Sy Hartlett August 16, 1941, at Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
She died in Palm Desert, California on December 3, 2003.
- Night of Mystery (1937)
- Christmas in July (1940)
- The Night of January 16th (1941)
- The Monster and the Girl (1941)
- Isle of the Dead (1945)
- Crime Doctor's Manhunt (1946)
- Johnny O'Clock (1947)
- The Swordsman (1948)
- The Man from Colorado (1948)
- The Crooked Way (1949)
- The Baron of Arizona (1950)
- Stars in My Crown (1950)
- "Drew, Ellen (1914–2003)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Gale. 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2013 from HighBeam Research
- Katz, Ephraim (1979). The Film Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive Encyclopedia of World Cinema in a Single Volume. Perigee Books. ISBN 0-399-50601-2. P. 359.
- Sullivan, Ed (June 1, 1938). "Hollywood". Harrisburg Telegraph. p. 19. Retrieved April 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Ex-Raying a Name From a Hat". The Piqua Daily Call. August 14, 1937. p. 16. Retrieved April 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Ellen Drew, Preston Foster to Star on Silver Theater". Chicago Tribune. July 25, 1943. p. 4W. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "Ex Soda Fountain Girl, Writer Are Married At Lake". The Fresno Bee The Republican. August 17, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved April 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
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