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(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
Eddie Dew

Full name:
Edward MacMillan 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's surprised me over the past years are the dozen or so e-mails asking about this cowboy hero who had such a 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 played his sidekick in both. With Dew gone, Republic re-hired Bob Livingston to finish up the Revere entries. He had departed Republic a year or two earlier, and starred in the Lone Rider series at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC).

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 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 Dew's two films were veterans - Howard Bretherton was in charge of the first and gifted serial director John (Jack) English helmed the second.

The September 15, 1943 Variety and September 27, 1943 Motion Picture Daily had brief snippets on Bob Livingston taking over the John Paul Revere role from Dew. The September 8, 1943 issue of The Exhibitor had more details:

"By mutual consent, Eddie Dew has been released from his Republic contract. Signed originally to co-star in the John Paul Revere series, Dew felt that he should also be permitted to appear in feature productions. When the studio wished to abide by its agreement to feature him in westerns only, Dew asked for his release; and his request was granted, effective immediately."

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 Pictures to join the stable ... Don Barry was there ... and in 1943, they ended the long running Three Mesquiteers series. Republic 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. As mentioned, Bob Livingston was Dew's replacement and after he starred in a few, the 'John Paul Revere' series was history.

Dew's next stop was at Universal, playing helper to Rod Cameron and Fuzzy Knight in some pretty good cowboy films. He also starred in a solo oater, TRAIL TO GUNSIGHT (Universal, 1944).

He had a featured role in 1945 - 1947 productions of "The Red Mill" musical at New York City theaters and on tour with the road company. And he did many plays for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera company and other organizations (see newspaper links further down this webpage).

Eddie directed episodes of the early 1950s religious/inspirational TVer, THIS IS THE LIFE (not THIS IS YOUR LIFE with Ralph Edwards). THIS IS THE LIFE was a syndicated production from the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. Circa 1952, he and Nelson Leigh crafted "the Living Bible" series of religious features. And in the mid 1950s, Dew helmed several dozen episodes of TV's SERGEANT PRESTON OF THE YUKON.

California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have records: Edward M. Dew was born January 29, 1909 in Washington and passed away April 6, 1972.

There's more about Eddie and family on the next webpage. His son Ed Jr. said his father passed away from a brain tumor.

Les Adams adds some addtional info on the brief western film 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.

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.".

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.

(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.

(From Old Corral 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 (Republic, 1943).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Rod Cameron and Eddie Dew.

Cameron, Fuzzy Knight and Dew were in five oaters released by Universal in 1944 - 1945:


Sans Cameron, Eddie and Fuzzy Knight were the heroes in TRAIL TO GUNSIGHT (1944).

(From Old Corral collection)

TRIGGER TRAIL (Universal, 1944) was Dew's first with Rod Cameron.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Rod Cameron, Fuzzy Knight, Dan White, Ray Whitley and Eddie Dew in BEYOND THE PECOS (1945).


  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Eddie Dew:

There were many 1945 - 1951 newspaper articles on Eddie doing plays. Here's a few clippings and photos:

The Living Bible Collection is available from a variety of videotape and DVD sources, and info on the series lists 1952 as the production year. Appears that VCI is producing the videos, and their website notes that there are 36 episodes on five DVDs:

Apparently the Living Bible series is public domain. The website has some screen images from several of the half-hour episodes. Included are notes that the production dates were 1951 and 1952:

There are several websites referencing the play "The Red Mill" with Edward Dew among the cast. Both also mention that the plays were presented/produced by Paula Stone and Hunt Stromberg, Jr. (Refer back to Richard Simmons' comments on Paula Stone and Dew.):

The Internet Broadway Database has 1945-1947 productions of "The Red Mill", and Edward Dew portrayed "The Governor":

The Playbill website has info on the 1945 and 1946 versions of "The Red Mill" with Edward Dew listed among the cast:

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