Beyond The Dr. Pepper Girl: An Interview with Donna Loren

Donna Loren and Shannon Allen
The "It" girl of the 1960s, Donna Loren was the Dr. Pepper Girl, a Beach Party film regular, Shindig cast member, and one of the era's most talented singers.
Listen to my Classic Hollywood podcast, Vanguard of Hollywood, available everywhere you listen to podcasts. Episode 80 is my interview with Donna Loren.

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You can’t help but feel uplifted when you’re around Donna Loren.

There’s a beautiful light about Donna: simultaneously serene and bubbly, she exudes both wisdom and eternal youth.

When I met Donna last month, I felt this light immediately.  And when you listen to our interview, you’ll feel it too.

Donna Loren
The cover of Donna’s 1965 album, Beach Blanket Bingo. Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

Donna Loren: More Than The Dr. Pepper Girl

An “It” girl of the 1960’s, the always stylish, always beautiful Donna Loren caught America’s eye in 1963 as the one and only Dr. Pepper Girl.  But Donna held America’s interest with her impossibly beautiful singing voice. 

Donna Loren the Dr. Pepper Girl
Donna Loren is the Dr. Pepper Girl, 1966. Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

From The Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1969) to touring with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, to her roles in the beloved Beach Party films, and as a regular cast member on America’s first weekly live rock n’ roll television show, Shindig (1964-1966), Donna Loren proved herself to be one of the most talented singers of her generation.  

Donna Loren and Davy Jones The Monkees
Donna Loren plays Princess Colette opposite Davy Jones in The Monkees (1966-1968), season 2 episode 3. Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

Her appearances in television’s Batman (1966-1968), The Monkees (1966-1968), and Two for Penny (1968) demonstrated that Donna’s talents didn’t stop at singing: her captivating persona, flare for comedy, and dramatic abilities were also top-notch.  

Donna Loren and Burt
Donna Loren as cheerleader Susie behind the scenes of Batman (1966-1968) with Burt Ward (season 1 episodes 15-16). Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

Donna Does it All

In 1968, Donna walked away from her flourishing career to become a full-time wife and mother.  But she continued to create.

Donna Loren
The cover of Donna’s 2009 album, Magic: The 80’s Collection. Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

In the 1970s, Donna began writing her own music.  Her most recent album, Love it Away (2010), exclusively features songs written by Donna herself. 

Donna Loren
The cover of Donna’s 2010 album, Love it Away. Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

Respected for her impeccable sense of fashion throughout her career—Donna styled her own hair, makeup, wardrobe, and sewed many of her dresses herself—Donna started her own fashion line, ADSA, in the 1990s.  

Since 2020, Donna has powerfully shared her life with listeners of her acclaimed podcast, Love’s a Secret Weapon.  With her collaborator, Dr. Adam Gerace, Donna draws listeners in with fascinating details and her honest reflections.

Donna Loren Beach Blanket Bingo
Donna sings “It Only Hurts When I Cry” in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

My Interview with Donna Loren

Last month, Donna and her husband Jered graciously spent an afternoon with me on their trip to visit Donna’s son, renowned drummer Joey Waronker.  (Waronker can most recently be heard, and seen, drumming on John Squire and Liam Gallagher’s new hit single, “Just Another Rainbow.”)

The fact that Donna and Jered went out of their way to make my dream of interviewing Donna in person come true speaks volumes of the kind, generous nature that they share.

Donna Loren and Shannon Allen
Donna and me just after the interview. We stepped back inside the hotel, and Donna wowed Andrew, Jered, and I with an impromptu song, which she sang while simultaneously playing the piano! Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

Be sure to listen to episode 80 of Vanguard of Hollywood to hear Donna’s story, and to be uplifted by her beautiful light.

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And head on over to Donna’s website, Youtube channel, and podcast for more about Donna, stunning photos and memorabilia, and to watch performances from her career.

Donna Loren
The cover of Donna’s 2014 complication album: These Are the Good Times: The Complete Capitol Recordings. Photo courtesy of Donna Loren.

16 Responses

  1. Had the biggest crush on Donna as a kid. She set my heart ablaze on The Monkees and Batman. So great to hear about her career and what she’s up to now.

    1. Thanks for listening John! Great to hear you’re a long-time fan of Donna’s. I agree, Donna is gorgeous in The Monkees and Batman. No surprise that she still is. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Can’t wait to listen! Donna is my 1960s fashion inspiration. Thanks for linking to Shindig i just watched and can’t get over Donna’s voice and energy on stage

    1. Hope you enjoyed it Emma! I agree, Donna’s fashion sense is truly impeccable. From her 1960s look to today, she just nails it. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Shannon–are you and Donna related? Noticing perhaps some familial similarities in the photos of you two? Anyway, lovely interview! Loved hearing Donna’s story. Always great to hear a celebrity who has their priorities straight.

    1. Wow Julia thank you! That’s such a compliment. No, Donna and I are not related, but what a compliment! Thanks so much for listening Julia!

  4. Born in 1945 and grew up in Burbank , California I still believe Donna singing “I didn’t know the gun was. loaded” on the Mickey Mouse Club was the best guest ever! A good introduction to the wonderful years to come .

    1. Hi Bill, thanks for commenting! I completely agree, Donna’s talent, at such a young age no less, was perfectly showcased with “I didn’t know the gun was loaded.” There were a lot of talented guests on the Mickey Mouse Club, but Donna was leaps and bounds above the rest. Thanks again for commenting Bill, and for listening to the episode!

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