Print | Back to e-WV The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Joanne Dru


Joanne_dru1p_medium

Movie and television actress Joanne Dru (January 31, 1922-September 10, 1996) was born Joan Letitia Lacock in Logan. Her father was a pharmacist. When she was a child, her family moved to Wheeling. She attended Wheeling High School, but at 16 she moved with the family to New York.

In New York, she had jobs as a magazine cover girl and was a John Powers model. While she was dancing in a show at the Paramount Theater, she met singer and actor Dick Haymes. They were married in 1941, and she began her movie career after they moved to Hollywood. After her first film, Abie’s Irish Rose (1946), Dru appeared in the classic Westerns Red River (1948) and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), both starring John Wayne, and in Wagon Master (1950). Her movie career included more than 40 films. In 1961, she was featured in the television series Guestward Ho! and appeared on Playhouse 90 and other television shows.

Dru was married to Haymes, 1941–49; to film actor and director, John Ireland, 1949–56; and to C. V. Wood from 1972 until his death in 1993. Joanne Dru died in Los Angeles.

Written by Jill Thompson Decker

Sources

  1. Charleston Gazette, 2/2/1947.

  2. Charleston Gazette, 9/12/1996.

  3. Wheeling News-Register, 9/12/1996.