October 2, 1917
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||September 10, 1994
East Lyme, Connecticut, USA
|Resting place||Cremated; ashes scattered into the Atlantic Ocean|
Drake was born as Charles Ruppert in New York City. He graduated from Nichols College and became a salesman. In 1939, he turned to acting and signed a contract with Warner Brothers. He was not immediately successful. During World War II Drake served in the United States Army. Drake returned to Hollywood in 1945, his contract with Warner Brothers ended. In the 1940s, he did some freelance work, like A Night in Casablanca.
In 1949, he moved to Universal Studios. In 1950 Drake co-starred with James Stewart and Shelley Winters in Winchester '73 and again co-starred with Stewart in the film Harvey a screen adaptation of the Broadway play.
In 1955, Drake turned to television as one of the stock-company players on Robert Montgomery Presents and three years later he became the host of the British TV espionage weekly Rendezvous. Also that year, he co-starred in the Audie Murphy bio pic, To Hell and Back, as Murphy's close friend "Brandon".
On November 14, 1961, Drake played the role of state line boss Allen Winter in the episode "The Accusers" of NBC's Laramie western series. In the story line, housekeeper Daisy Cooper (Spring Byington) identifies Winter as having left a hotel room right after a saloon girl, Carla Morton, portrayed by Joanne Linville, is murdered there. At first, few believe Daisy because Winter is a respected man in Laramie and the boss of Cooper's boss, series character Slim Sherman (John Smith). Carla had pressured Winter to leave his wife and marry her. When Daisy searches for further proof of Winter's guilt, Winter resorts to sabotage of Daisy's carriage and stakes out the Sherman Ranch, posing as an Indian, while Slim is away on an overnight assignment authorized by Winter. Slim suddenly becomes convinced of Daisy's story and rides swiftly to her rescue.
In 1967, Drake played the part of Oliver Greer in The Fugitive episode "The One That Got Away". He guest starred in the fourth season (1968–1969) of NBC's Daniel Boone as Simon Jarvis. He played in eighty-three films between 1939 and 1975, including Scream, Pretty Peggy. More than fifty were dramas, but he also acted in comedies, science fiction, horror, and film noir.
- A Night in Casablanca (1946)
- The Tender Years (1948)
- Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949)
- Comanche Territory (1950)
- I Was a Shoplifter (1950)
- Winchester '73 (1950)
- Harvey (1950)
- Bonzo Goes to College (1952)
- Gunsmoke (1953)
- It Came from Outer Space (1953)
- The Glenn Miller Story (1954)
- Tobor the Great (1954)
- To Hell and Back (1955)
- All That Heaven Allows (1955)
- Walk the Proud Land (1956)
- Jeanne Eagels (1957)
- Step Down to Terror (1958)
- No Name on the Bullet (1959)
- Tammy Tell Me True (1961)
- Back Street (1961)
- Showdown (1963)
- The Lively Set (1964)
- Dear Heart (1964)
- The Third Day (1965)
- Valley of the Dolls (1967)
- The Swimmer (1968)
- Hail, Hero! (1969)
- The Arrangement (1969)
- The Seven Minutes (1971)
- The Screaming Woman (1972)
- Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973)
- The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975)
- "Laramie: "The Accusers", November 14, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 29, 2012.
- Charles Drake at Find a Grave
- Charles Drake at the Internet Movie Database
- Charles Drake at the Internet Broadway Database
- Charles Drake at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)