Dona Drake

  1. Dorothy Lamour, Swing High, Swing Low, 1936.    Rita Rio had a much better story. Not far removed, as IMDb pointed out, from Imitation of Life: a light-skinned black passing for white, or in Rita’s case Mexican, except she never denied her parentage as Eunice Westmoreland became Rita Rio, actress, singer, dancer and bandleader. Her pal, Dorothy Lamour, got her into Paramount which re-named her Drake and kept up the pretence of her being of born and raised in Mexico City of Mexican, Irish and French descent. She made 35 films, including two with her Rita Rio’s All Girl Orchestra. “It was wonderful at first. I thought I was on my way to becoming a film actress. But you can’t make a screen career out of combing [Dorothy Lamour’s] hair or chasing Bob Hope in one picture after another.”

 Birth year: 1914Death year: 1989Other name: Rita RioUsual occupation: SingerCasting Calls:  1