Betsy Drake

Actor, Model, Therapist
Born in Paris, Betsy Drake was the granddaughter of Tracy Drake, founder of the famous Drake Hotel in Chicago. Although born abroad to expatriate parents, Drake's family lost their fortune in the 1929 stock market crash ... Read more »
Born: 09/11/1923 in Paris, FR

Filmography

Actor (4)

Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion 1965 (Movie)

Julie Harper (Actor)

Intent to Kill 1957 (Movie)

Nancy Ferguson (Actor)

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? 1957 (Movie)

Jenny (Actor)

Room For One More 1952 (Movie)

Anna Rose (Actor)

Biography

Born in Paris, Betsy Drake was the granddaughter of Tracy Drake, founder of the famous Drake Hotel in Chicago.  Although born abroad to expatriate parents, Drake's family lost their fortune in the 1929 stock market crash and were forced to return to the United States. Drake's upbringing was a transient one, and she spent time in Chicago, Westport, Connecticut, New York, North Carolina and Washington DC. Drake's first role as an actress came when she was introduced to the playwright Horton Foote, who cast her as an understudy in a play, which allowed her to join the Actor's Equity Association and become a professional thespian.  Drake was given a Hollywood contract but despised the movie world and managed to get herself released from the contract by claiming that she was insane. Drake returned to New York where she read for the director Elia Kazan, who later chose her as one of the founding members of The Actors Studio. In 1947 Drake was performing at a play when she was spotted by Cary Grant. The two hit it off instantly, and Grant insisted Drake sign a contract with RKO pictures, which allowed her to appear with Grant in her very first film "Every Girl Should Be Married" (1948).  Drake and Grant married in 1949.  The two appeared together in the radio series "Mr. and Mrs. Blanding" (1951), and the next year in the comedy "Room for One More"(1952).  In 1956 after visiting Grant in Spain, Drake survived the sinking of the Italian ocean liner the SS Andrea Doria. The couple divorced in 1962.  In 1971 Drake published a book "Childre, You Are Very Little", and later earned a Master's degree in Education at Harvard University. Betsy Drake died October 27, 2015 in London. She was 92.

Relationships

Cary Grant Actor

Husband
Married in 1949 divorced in 1959

Milestones

1948

Made film debut in romantic comedy "Every Girl Should Be Married"; married co-star Cary Grant the following year.

Bonus Trivia

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Drake was born in Paris to a prominent Chicago family; her grandfather Tracy Drake and great-uncle John Drake had built the sumptuous Drake Hotel and Blackstone Hotel.

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Drake was among the survivors of the sinking of the Andrea Doria in 1956.

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