|Born||September 26, 1901|
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Died||October 1, 1961 60) (aged|
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
|Resting place|| River View Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Oregon|
Princess Gioia Tasca di Cuto
|Relatives||Ransom M. Cook (brother)|
Donald Cook (September 26, 1901 – October 1, 1961) was an American stage and film actor who had a prolific career in pre-Code Hollywood films and on Broadway. Cook is perhaps best known for his film roles in The Public Enemy (1931), Safe in Hell (1931), Baby Face (1933), and Viva Villa! (1934), as well as for his stage role as David Naughton in Claudia , which ran for a total of 722 performances on Broadway between 1941 and 1943.He was the first actor to play Ellery Queen.
Cook was born and raised in Portland, Oregon,and originally studied farming but later worked for a lumber company. Cook attended the University of Oregon. One of his elder brothers was Ransom M. Cook, president of Wells Fargo Bank. He joined the Kansas Community Players and through this received an offer of stage work. He started screen work in "shorts" before going on to feature films.
Cook was known for his portrayal of Mike Powers in the film The Public Enemy . In 1935, Cook's starring role in the film "The Spanish Cape Mystery" made him the first actor in any medium to play fictional sleuth Ellery Queen. He played the role of Steve opposite Helen Morgan's Julie in the 1936 film adaptation of Show Boat , was one of the suspects in the Philo Vance mystery The Casino Murder Case, and starred as an heroic U.S. Immigrant Inspector of the Deporting Squad in the 1936 movie Ellis Island.
Cook made his Broadway debut in 1926 as Donn Cook in Seed of the Brute, and his New York theatrical career continued over the following three decades. His credits included a 1948 revival of Private Lives and the original 1951 Broadway run of The Moon Is Blue .
During his 1930 summer stock engagement at Elitch Theatre, Cook met and fell in love with Frances Beranger, another member of the company. “We were in love, and she urged me to go to Hollywood,” Cook said. “I did, and we were married when she returned to the coast from Denver.” The marriage lasted six months. However, “the prestige of my Elitch engagement helped me get my first Hollywood contract – with Warner Brothers.”
Cook was married to Princess Gioia Tasca di Cuto,from 1937 until his death (although they were legally separated at the time) from a heart attack in New Haven aged 60, in the midst of rehearsals for Cook's new play, A Shot in the Dark, an adaptation of L'Idiote . Walter Matthau took over Cook's leading role in the play following his death.
Cook is buried at River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
For his contributions to the motion picture industry, Cook was honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star located at 1718 Vine Street.
|1931||The Public Enemy||Mike Powers|
|1931||Party Husband||Horace Purcell|
|1931||Smart Money||Nick's Second Accomplice||Uncredited|
|1931||Side Show||Joe Palmer|
|1931||The Mad Genius||Fedor Ivanoff|
|1931||Safe in Hell||Carl Bergen|
|1932||The Man Who Played God||Harold Van Adam|
|1932||The Heart of New York||Milton|
|1932||The Trial of Vivienne Ware||John Sutherland|
|1932||The Conquerors||Warren Lennox|
|1932||Penguin Pool Murder||Philip Seymour|
|1932||Frisco Jenny||Dan Reynolds|
|1933||Private Jones||Lt. John Gregg|
|1933||The Circus Queen Murder||The Great Sebastian|
|1933||The Kiss Before the Mirror||Maria's Lover|
|1933||Jennie Gerhardt||Lester Kane|
|1933||The Woman I Stole||Corew|
|1933||Brief Moment||Franklin Deane|
|1933||Fury of the Jungle||"Lucky" Allen|
|1933||The World Changes||Richard Nordholm|
|1934||Long Lost Father||Bill Strong|
|1934||The Ninth Guest||Jim Daley|
|1934||Viva Villa!||Don Felipe de Castillo|
|1934||The Most Precious Thing in Life||Bob Kelsey|
|1934||Fugitive Lady||Jack Howard|
|1935||Behind the Evidence||Ward Cameron|
|1935||The Night Is Young||Toni Berngruber|
|1935||The Casino Murder Case||Lynn Llewellyn|
|1935||Motive for Revenge||Barry Webster|
|1935||Murder in the Fleet||Lt. Cmdr. David Tucker|
|1935||Here Comes the Band||Don Trevor|
|1935||Ladies Love Danger||Tom Lennox|
|1935||The Spanish Cape Mystery||Ellery Queen|
|1935||Confidential||FBI Agent Dave Elliott|
|1935||The Calling of Dan Matthews||Frank Blair|
|1936||The Leavenworth Case||Dr. Truman Harwell|
|1936||Ring Around the Moon||Ross Graham|
|1936||The Girl from Mandalay||Kenneth Grainger|
|1936||Show Boat||Steve Baker|
|1936||Ellis Island||Gary Curtis|
|1936||Can This Be Dixie?||Longstreet Butler|
|1936||Beware of Ladies||George Martin|
|1937||Two Wise Maids||Bruce Arnold|
|1937||Circus Girl||Charles Jerome|
|1944||Freedom Comes High||The Captain||Short film|
|1944||Murder in the Blue Room||Steve|
|1944||Bowery to Broadway||Dennis Dugan|
|1945||Here Come the Co-Eds||Dean Larry Benson|
|1945||Patrick the Great||Pat Donahue, Sr.|
|1945||Blonde Ransom||Duke Randall|
|1950||Our Very Own||Fred Macaulay|
|1951||Prudential Family Playhouse||Tony Kenyon||1 episode|
|1952||Lux Video Theatre||Tad Bryson / Bruce Wallace / Roger||1 episode|
|1959||Too Young to Go Steady||Tom Blake||7 episodes, (final appearance)|
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