Donald Cook was an American stage and film actor who had a prolific career in Pre-Code Hollywood films and on Broadway.
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.
(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 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.
He also was one of the first film actors to portray Ellery Queen, in The Spanish Cape Mystery. 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. Cook was married to Princess Gioia Tasca di Cuto from 1937 until his death 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 replaced Cook's leading role in the play following his death.
Cook is buried at River View Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at the 1700 block of Vine Street.