Joanne Dru

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Joanne Dru
Joanne Dru.JPG
Dru in 1953
Joan Letitia LaCock

(1922-01-31)January 31, 1922
DiedSeptember 10, 1996(1996-09-10) (aged 74)
Years active1946–1980
(m. 1941; div. 1949)

(m. 1949; div. 1957)

George Pierose
(m. 1963; died 1972)

(m. 1972; died 1992)
RelativesPeter Marshall (brother)
Pete LaCock (nephew)

Joanne Dru (born Joan Letitia LaCock, [1] January 31, 1922 – September 10, 1996)[2] was an American film and television actress, known for such films as Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and All the King's Men.


Born in Logan, West Virginia, Dru moved to New York City in 1940 at the age of eighteen. After finding employment as a model, she was chosen by Al Jolson to appear in the cast of his Broadway show Hold On to Your Hats. When she moved to Hollywood, she found work in the theater. Dru was spotted by a talent scout and made her first film appearance in Abie's Irish Rose (1946).[3][4] Over the next decade, Dru appeared frequently in films and on television. She was often cast in western films such as Howard Hawks's Red River (1948), John Ford's She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and Wagon Master (1950).[4]

She gave a well-received performance in the dramatic film All the King's Men (1949), which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and co-starred with Dan Dailey in The Pride of St. Louis (1952), about major-league baseball pitcher Jerome "Dizzy" Dean.[4] She appeared in the James Stewart drama Thunder Bay in 1953 and then the Martin and Lewis comedy 3 Ring Circus (1954). Her film career petered out by the end of the 1950s, but she continued working frequently in television, most notably as "Babs Wooten" on the 1960–61 ABC sitcom, Guestward, Ho!.[4]

After Guestward, Ho!, she appeared sporadically for the rest of the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, with one feature film appearance, in Sylvia (1965),[4] and eight television appearances.

For her contribution to the television industry, Dru was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal life[edit]

She was the elder sister of Peter Marshall, an actor and singer best known as the original host of the American game show Hollywood Squares.

Before moving to Hollywood, Dru met and married popular singer Dick Haymes in 1941. She was 19 years old. The couple had three children: Richard Ralph Haymes (born July 24, 1942), Helen Joanna Haymes (born May 13, 1944) and Barbara Nugent Haymes (born September 19, 1947).[5] Divorced from Haymes in 1949, Dru married Red River and All the King's Men co-star John Ireland less than a month later. The pair divorced in 1957. She had no children from her marriage to Ireland, or subsequent two marriages.

She was a staunch Republican, supporting Barry Goldwater in the 1964 United States presidential election[6] and appeared at a 1968 GOP cocktail party fundraiser for Richard Nixon.[7]


Dru died in Los Angeles, California, September 10, 1996, aged 74, from a respiratory ailment that developed from lymphedema, a swelling of the extremities.[3] Her ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

Selected filmography[edit]

Radio appearances[edit]

Program Episode Date Notes
Stars over Hollywood Pattern in the Rug May 10, 1952 [8]
Hollywood Star Playhouse Match Point January 4, 1953 [9]


  1. ^ Known as Joan Lacock in the 1930 United States census
  2. ^ "Joanne L. Wood". Social Security Death Index. New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Joanne Dru dies". Sun Journal. September 12, 1996. p. 2A. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Joanne Dru". TV Guide. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Joanne Dru at the TCM database". TCM. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  6. ^ Critchlow, Donald T. (2013-10-21). When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. ISBN 9781107650282.
  7. ^ "Joanne Dru". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  8. ^ Kirby, Walter (May 4, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 50. Retrieved May 8, 2015 – via open access
  9. ^ Kirby, Walter (January 4, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 38. Retrieved June 19, 2015 – via open access

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]