Ellen Drew was an American film actress. Born Esther Loretta Ray in Kansas City, Missouri, Drew worked various jobs and won a number of beauty contests before becoming an actress. Moving to Hollywood in an attempt to become a star, she was discovered while working at an ice cream parlor where one of the customers William Demarest took notice of her and eventually helped her get into films.
She became a fixture at Paramount Pictures from 1938 to 1943, where she appeared in as many as six films per year, including Sing You Sinners with Bing Crosby and The Lady’s from Kentucky with George Raft. She moved to RKO in 1944. Among her leading men were Ronald Colman, William Holden, Basil Rathbone, Dick Powell, and Robert Preston. Her films include Christmas in July, Isle of the Dead, Johnny O’Clock, The Man from Colorado, and The Crooked Way. In the 1950s, with her movie career on the decline, she worked as a television actress.