Frances Drake

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For those of a similar name, see Francis Drake (disambiguation).
Frances Drake
Frances Drake actor.jpg
Born Frances Dean
(1912-10-22)October 22, 1912
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 18, 2000(2000-01-18) (aged 87)
Irvine, California, U.S.
Occupation actress
Years active 1933–1942
Spouse(s) Lt. Cecil John Arthur Howard
(m. 1939–1985; his death)
David Brown
(m. 1992–2000; her death)

Frances Drake (October 22, 1912 – January 18, 2000)[1] was an American actress, best known for playing Eponine in Les Misérables (1935).[2]

Life and career[edit]

Drake was born in New York City as Frances Morgan Dean to a wealthy family. She was educated at Havergal College in Canada and was in London visiting relatives when the stock market crashed in 1929; needing to make money for the first time in her life, she became a dancer and stage actress and found that film paid even better.[3] Offered a contract by Paramount, which changed her name to Frances Drake to avoid confusion with the then-popular star Frances Dee, she returned to America in 1934, where she was coached by opera singer and actress Marguerite Namara while continuing in film. She was often typecast in "damsel in distress" roles and appeared in proto-horror and proto-sci-fi films opposite stars like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre.[2]

On February 12, 1939, she married Hon. Cecil Howard (1908–1985), second son of Henry Howard, 19th Earl of Suffolk, who disapproved of her career, and retired from the screen when he received his inheritance. After Howard's death in 1985, she married David Brown in 1992; he died in 2009. She is interred in Section 8 Garden of Legends in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywood, CA. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6821 Hollywood Boulevard.

Partial Filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index. Although some sources say 1908, the Social Security Death Index indicates Frances D. Howard was born on October 22, 1912 and died on January 17, 2000
  2. ^ a b ""Frances Drake - Biography"". IMDB. 
  3. ^ Yockel, Michael. "Actress Frances Drake, 91, Checks Out". 

External links[edit]