×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Margaret Ruth Draper dies

Was actress on radio soaps, DJ

Margaret Ruth Draper, an actress onstage and on radio and later a DJ, died of natural causes on Oct. 14. She was 94.

After performing as a child in Utah, she graduated from the U. of Utah, where she majored in dramatics, in 1934 and headed to New York, determined to break into theater. She landed her first job with the Provincetown Theater and subsequently became part of the Chekhov Theater Players under the direction of Michael Chekhov.

During WWII, Draper worked for two years for the Red Cross in Europe and the Middle East as a recreational director, then returned to New York to find work in radio and on Broadway. She appeared onstage in “Peer Gynt” and in supporting roles in two Broadway shows. Her first radio role, in 1947, was in the CBS program “Joe Powers of Oakville.” She played Liz Dennis in radio soap “Brighter Day” from 1949 until 1954, when she won the role of Linda Pepper in another radio drama, “Pepper Young’s Family,” starring Burgess Meredith.

During the early ’60s, she made her living doing TV and radio commercials in New York.

In 1966 Draper became a disc jockey for all-woman radio station WNEW-FM New York, and in 1969, she joined the United Seamen’s Service. Her first assignment was as the assistant director of the club in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. In 1970, the Vietnam club was closed because of the war, and she was transferred to the club in Naples, Italy as director, where she served until 1972.

Draper was married four times, the first to actor Joe DeSantis from 1949-57.

She is survived by a son and two sisters.

More Scene

  • Andy CohenThe Shops and Restaurants at

    Andy Cohen to Receive Vito Russo Award at GLAAD Media Awards

    Mazel, Andy Cohen! Bravo’s late-night talk show host is set to receive the Vito Russo Award at the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 4 in New York City. Sarah Jessica Parker will present him with the award, which is named in honor of GLAAD founder Vito Russo. The annual award goes to openly [...]

  • Variety TV Summit Europe

    Variety TV Summit Europe Coming to London on June 13

    Variety’s TV Summit Europe will coincide with London Tech Week this year, returning to the city on June 13. The international conference will be held at the Royal Lancaster and is co-produced by global events company Informa’s KNect365 division, the world’s largest business-to-business organizer. The one-day summit will focus on the intersection of content and [...]

  • David Furnish, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron

    'Rocketman': Paramount Previews Footage of Elton John Biopic

    “Rocketman” is ready for lift off. Paramount Pictures threw a cocktail party Monday night to preview 15 minutes of the upcoming Elton John biopic, set for release on May 31, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the legendary rock club where John made his U.S. debut nearly 50 years ago. The footage featured pieces of [...]

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content