Joanne Dru

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Joanne Dru
Dru in 1953
Joan Letitia LaCock

(1922-01-31)January 31, 1922
DiedSeptember 10, 1996(1996-09-10) (aged 74)
Years active1946–1980
Political partyRepublican
(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, All the King's Men, and Wagon Master.


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), and the John Ford productions 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, played a college graduate turned gangster's unhappy moll opposite Edmund O'Brien in the crime noir 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 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 Hooten 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.[5] Dru married popular vocalist and actor Dick Haymes in 1941. The couple had three children.[6] 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.[citation needed]

She was a staunch Republican, supporting Barry Goldwater in the 1964 United States presidential election[7] and appeared at a 1968 GOP cocktail party fundraiser for Richard Nixon. [5]


Dru died in Los Angeles, California on September 10, 1996, aged 74, from a respiratory ailment that developed from lymphedema, a result of chemotherapy she had received over her lifetime, according to her brother.[5][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 March 17, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Joanne Dru dies". Sun Journal. September 12, 1996. p. 2A. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Joanne Dru". TV Guide. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Joanne Dru". Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  6. ^ "Joanne Dru at the TCM database". TCM. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  7. ^ Critchlow, Donald T. (October 21, 2013). When Hollywood Was Right: How Movie Stars, Studio Moguls, and Big Business Remade American Politics. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107650282.
  8. ^ Kirby, Walter (May 4, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. The Decatur Daily Review. p. 50. Retrieved May 8, 2015 – via Open access icon
  9. ^ Kirby, Walter (January 4, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. The Decatur Daily Review. p. 38. Retrieved June 19, 2015 – via Open access icon

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]