Tom Drake

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Tom Drake
Tom Drake in Meet Me in St Louis trailer.jpg
from the trailer for the film Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
Born Alfred Sinclair Alderdice
August 5, 1918
Brooklyn, New York, US
Died August 11, 1982 (age 64)
Torrance, California, US
Other names Richard Alden
Occupation Actor
Years active 1938–1978
Spouse(s) Isabelle Dunn (1945–1946) (divorced)

Tom Drake (born Alfred Sinclair Alderdice,[1] August 5, 1918 – August 11, 1982) was an American actor. Drake made films starting in 1940 and continuing until the mid-1970s, and also made TV acting appearances.[2]


Drake was born in Brooklyn, New York,[3] and attended Iona Preparatory School and graduated from Mercersburg Academy.[4]

He was excused from serving in World War II due to heart problems.[2] Despite this limitation, he did act in British training films.

Billed as Alfred Alderdice, Drake appeared on Broadway in Run Sheep Run (1938) and Clean Beds (1939).[5] After appearing in the film The Howards of Virginia (billed as Richard Alden),[3] he got his break after starring in the 1942 Broadway smash Janie,[6] after which he was signed to a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He began his film career using the name Richard Alden.[7]

After a number of films, Drake co-starred with Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)[3] as John Truett, the boy next door. He appeared in more than forty films in all, including Mrs. Parkington (1944), The Green Years (1946), Cass Timberlane (1947), as composer Richard Rodgers in the loosely-based biography Words and Music (1948) and, in a role at the opposite end of the character spectrum from John Truett, as the leader of a gang of criminals in Warlock (1959). He also had a minor role in the movie The Singing Nun (1966), playing Ed Sullivan's producer Mr. Fitzpatrick.

From 1950 thereafter, Drake had roles in numerous television series, such as NBC's Cimarron City and Banacek, ABC's 77 Sunset Strip, Land of the Giants and The Streets of San Francisco, CBS's Perry Mason and Lassie.

Personal life[edit]

Tom Drake was married to Isabelle Dunn during the 1940s.


Drake died of lung cancer on August 11, 1982. He is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.[1]



  1. ^ a b Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 162. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Classic Images bio. Archived 2009-07-26 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 11th December 2008
  3. ^ a b c Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 203. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Movie actor Tom Drake, known as 'boy-next-door,' dies at 64". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. Associated Press. August 12, 1982. p. Section 4 - 14. Retrieved June 12, 2018 – via open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ "Alfred Alderdice". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  6. ^ Replacement Cast information for Janie Archived 2012-10-21 at the Wayback Machine. at Internet Broadway Database
  7. ^ Room, Adrian (2010). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 153. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved 11 June 2017.

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