Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dona Drake and My No Longer Dreary Fridge

My big project for today was my refrigerator. Now, I don't have as cool a fridge as the 1944 one above, but mine was just as full (Mostly expired stuff). Took me most of the day but I got everything washed, labeled, and compartmentalized. Drives my hubby nuts that I go nuts and have to do a massive clean every once in a while, but sometimes the fridge just needs it. I even found some expired soup from 2007 :)

As we see, even the lovely Dona Drake (November 15, 1914 - June 20, 1989) had to clean her own fridge thanks to the help of her cocker spaniel and two Siamese cats in this 1942 photo.

I haven't seen any of Dona Drake's films, but it is easy to see why she was so captivating. I saw this stunning photo of her on Stirred, Straight Up With a Twist a while ago and it's easy to see why she was captivating.

Dona was a singer, dancer, and actress active from about 1935 to 1955. She was born Eunice Westmoreland, which I think would have made a great stage name. Dona ended up having at least 5 stage names: Dona Drake, Rita Rio, Rita Novella, Rita Shaw, and Una Velon. Dona played mostly ethnic roles and Hollywood billed her as being born in Mexico (even though she was born in Miami, Florida).

Dona toured the country as Rita Rio and Her All Girl Band. From what I've seen, they were quite fabulous.

Best Wishes,


Lidian said...

I never knew about Dona Drake, thanks for posting this! And I love the picture of her cleaning the fridge! (Wish I looked as glam when I do that)

BaronessVonVintage said...

Wowee, I had never heard of Dona Drake. Thanks for introducing me to her. You've just reminded me of the massive chore I have ahead of me of cleaning out my fridge before some of the items start becoming my new roommates.

Camille said...

I found your blog by chance, and I just love it!

Sadako said...

Ooh, this is so awesome. Love the overall look and feel of your blog. Very awesomely retro!

Anonymous said...

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jeffm12012 said...

I have to confess to being infatuated with Dona Drake/Rita Rio for years. She was gorgeous, vivacious, just plain sexy and a real entertainer too. Just found some great footage of her to share with you, though I wish the quality was better. It's missing about the first minute; but this is a 1938 RKO short subject called Sweet Shoe. The blonde acrobatic dancer is Anita Jacobi. The male quartet are the Norsemen, who sang the Wheaties jingle in "Jack Armstrong," and also sang in dozens of Terrytoons cartoons. I haven't been able to identify the 4 black tap dancers who for some reason appear to be wearing one-size-fits-all trousers. Rita's numbers in this reel were later re-edited into two "Soundies," three-minute films that ran on movie juke boxes in the 40's. Here's the hook-up:

Amanda said...

I finally had a chance to watch the film and it's quite good. I wish there wasn't a watermark on the film, since it would be easier to view the film, but otherwise it is quite an enjoyable little short.


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