Actress. She is best remembered for her role of Anne Stanton in "All the King's Men" (1949) and as Miss Olivia Dandridge in "She wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949). She was the sister of Peter Marshall, an actor and singer better known as the original host of the television game show, "Hollywood Squares." Born Joanne Letitia LaCock in Logan, West Virginia, she was the daughter of a local druggist. In 1940, at age 17, she moved to New York City where she worked as a model and as a showgirl in Al Jolson's Broadway play, "Hold Onto Your Hats." There she met singer Richard "Dick" Haymes, and when the play closed in 1941, she married Haymes and went with him to Hollywood while he sought to further his career. They would have three children: Richard, Helen and Barbara. She was discovered by a talent scout while working in a theater, and made her screen debut in "Abie's Irish Rose" (1946), a film considered so poor it almost ended her film career at the onset. Her role of Tess in the 1948 John Ford classic western, "Red River" (1948), revealed good chemistry between her and her co-star, John Wayne, and she was immediately picked up again to star opposite Wayne in John Ford's next western, "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (1949). The following year, she played the role of Denver in "Wagon Master" (1950), a Ward Bond film that would become television's "Wagon Train" in 1957. Following that role, she was offered numerous roles in westerns, to the extent that she would complain of being typecast, and would look for roles other than western ones. She would continue to work westerns when she felt compelled to work, yet would appear in such classic films as "All the King's Men" (1949), and "Pride of St. Louis" (1952). In 1953, she started appearing in western television shows as well as western movies, including one episode of "Wagon Train," but her film career eventually faded by the end of the 1950s and early 1960s, as did the popularity of western movies. After appearing as the owner of a dude ranch for one season in "Guestward, Ho!" of eighteen episodes, she would appear only periodically during the 1960s and the early 1970s. Her television roles continued, mostly in guest role appearances in popular television shows of the time, including "Marcus Welby, MD," "The Governor and J.J.," "The Green Hornet," and "Burke's Law." Dru was married four times, but would have only the three children from her first marriage to Richard Haymes. Her last movie role was Jane Phillips in "Sylvia" (1965). She died in Hollywood, California, in 1996, from lymph edema, at the age of 74.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson