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(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
Eddie Dew

Full name:
Edward M. Dew

1909 - 1972



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a bio on Eddie Dew from the pressbook for the Tim Holt oater RIDING THE WIND (RKO, 1942).


Eddie Dew remains an enigma in the B western world, and he definitely was a quick failure at Republic.  What has surprised me over the past years with the Old Corral website, is that I've received a dozen or so e-mails asking about this cowboy hero who had such a very, very brief starring career at Republic in 1943.  Dew had been around in films since the late 1930s, and you can spot him in some Republic westerns and serials as well as Tim Holt oaters at RKO.

Republic opted to hire him for their new 'John Paul Revere' series.  He made two starring films, BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER (Republic, 1943) and RAIDERS OF SUNSET PASS (Republic, 1943), and then he was out at Republic.  Smiley Burnette was his sidekick in both.  Bob Livingston, who had departed Republic a year or two earlier, and gone over to little Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) for the Lone Rider series (as a replacement for George Houston), was re-hired to finish up the Revere entries.

According to Jack Mathis' book Republic Confidential: The Players, Dew signed a one-year Term Players contract at Republic for $100/week. After the initial two films in the series, Republic opted to terminate Dew's contract and paid a $1000.00 fee, so his shortened contract period ran from 6-25-43 through 8-21-43. Mathis' book also lists about 20 film appearances for Dew at Republic from 1938-1951.  Roughly two-thirds were westerns and action yarns, and the remainder were cliffhangers.

The wonderful Shoot-Em-Ups book by Les Adams and Buck Rainey notes that BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER was released on September 18, 1943, and RAIDERS OF SUNSET PASS on December 30, 1943.  But based on the Term Player Contract dates noted above, Dew was done at Republic in the late Summer of '43, prior to any audience even viewing his films.  Was there a problem with Dew ... with what the production people saw during the filming or the daily rushes ... who knows.

The directors on the two films were veterans --- Howard Bretherton was in charge of the first and gifted serial director John (Jack) English helmed the second film.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Herman Nowlin, Eddie Dew and Bud Osborne in a scene from RIDING THE WIND (RKO, 1942), which starred Tim Holt.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Smiley Burnette and Eddie Dew in a crop from a lobby card from BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER (Republic, 1943), Dew's first starrer for Republic Pictures.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In the above lobby card from BEYOND THE LAST FRONTIER (Republic, 1943) are Eddie Dew and on the right side, Richard Clarke tends to the prone Robert Mitchum.




Above - Rod Cameron and Eddie Dew
 


Now some additional 2 cents --- remember that during the World War II years, Autry was in the service.  Republic had Roy Rogers working on the lot ... Bill Elliott had come over from Columbia to join the stable ... Don Barry was there ... and by 1943 they had cancelled the Three Mesquiteers series.  Republic had led a relatively charmed life, and their western productions were popular and very saleable.  My guess is that Republic assumed that they could churn out any western with practically anyone playing the hero ... and it would be acceptable and profitable.  That wasn't the case with Eddie Dew and the 'John Paul Revere' series.

Dew wound up at Universal, playing second banana to Rod Cameron in some pretty good cowboy films. And he later did bit parts, mostly uncredited, in some A and B films and serials and then disappeared.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, Eddie Dew with the sixgun and behind him is Smiley Burnette and Charles Miller in this lobby card from Dew's second (and last) starring film for Republic, RAIDERS OF SUNSET PASS (1943).


Les Adams adds some further info on the brief career of Eddie Dew:

... RAIDERS OF SUNSET PASS was Dew's second and last starring film for Republic.  But he did one solo starrer for Universal called TRAIL TO GUNSIGHT (Universal, 1944) with Fuzzy Knight, Ray Whitley and everybody else that was supposed to be in this Rod Cameron film --- except Rod Cameron.  I suspect Cameron was busy with SALOME, WHERE SHE DANCED or FRONTIER GAL, and Universal went ahead and made a Rod Cameron film starring Eddie Dew to fulfill their B western quota.

Now some further mystery with Eddie Dew.  As I was preparing this webpage, I naturally looked at the Internet Movie DataBase.  And among the credits listed for Dew are several in the BUFFALO BILL JR. and ANNIE OAKLEY TV shows of the 1950s ... and three directing jobs on feature films.

Boyd Magers was able to provide further details on the later life of Eddie Dew:

According to Richard Simmons, Eddie Dew directed around half of the 78 SERGEANT PRESTON OF THE YUKON color episodes in which Dick starred (Sept. '55-Feb. '58). Dick told me, "Eddie was a prince of a guy, one of the nicest men that ever lived. He directed all of the earlier Summer episodes with the horse, and many of the Winter shows. He'd been on Broadway as a singer, had a beautiful voice. (He sings in TRAIL TO GUNSIGHT.) Dew was in a play produced in New York by actress Paula Stone", daughter of actor Fred Stone. Paula was a leading lady in HOPALONG CASSIDY and two of the Dick Foran WB westerns. Dick told me Eddie was hired as a director by the producer of Sgt. Preston, the late Chuck Skinner, but was not as 'imaginative as Earl Bellamy', another director on the series. "I always felt Eddie was afraid to take the step, a bit timid. You know, it takes a guy with a little force (to direct an action series). His greatest goal in life was to amass $100,000 so he wouldn't have to work anymore. (Laughs.) Eddie did do a series beyond PRESTON. For some time he directed a semi-religious show for the Lutheran Church.".

Dew resided in California, and passed away on April 6, 1972, at age 63.  You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and check the California Death Records database.  There you will find a record for: Edward M. Dew, born 1/29/1909 in Washington, and he passed away 4/6/1972.  You'll find a corresponding record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

The Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice polls were conducted from about the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s.  With a few exceptions, the annual results would list the 'Top Ten' (or 'Top Five') cowboy film stars.  In most cases, the winners were what you would expect --- Autry, Rogers, Holt, Starrett, Hoppy, etc.  Eddie Dew never achieved a ranking in these polls.




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