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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

(From Old Corral collection)
Edward 'Ed' Cassidy

Full name:
Edward Bottomley Cassidy

1893 - 1968

Photo left of Ed Cassidy in one of his many roles as a lawman.

Ed Cassidy was born and bred in Chicago, Illinois. Sometime between the 1910 census (when he was a 17 year old "Express man - Wagon") and his 1917 World War I draft registration, Ed got the acting bug. He served a brief hitch in the military during World War I, and after discharge, he continued performing in Chicago / Midwest area stock theater and vaudeville.

In 1919, Ed and Pearl E. Wiard tied the knot in Chicago. By the mid 1920s, they were in Los Angeles and Ed had connected with Henry 'Terry' Duffy (1890 - 1961), a prolific stage actor and producer who owned several West Coast theaters and had touring companies doing plays.

In late 1928, Cassidy is performing at Duffy's El Capitan Theater in Hollywood with Harrison Ford in "The Baby Cyclone" and later, with Lucille Gleason in "The Shannons of Broadway". Jump ahead to early 1930 and Ed's in Seattle with the Duffy Players in "Broken Dishes". In early 1932, he's still with Duffy, appearing in the Joe E. Brown comedy "Elmer the Great" at the El Capitan in Hollywood.

His film work runs from the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s. Les Adams has him in about 275 sound era films, and that number includes 205 westerns and 21 serials. Cassidy did labor at most of the major and minor film production outfits including a significant amount of work for Republic Pictures. During the period from 1936 - 1953, he appeared in about 85 Republic films, mostly serials and westerns.

While he did villain and henchman roles, he is best remembered as one of the "good guy" supporting players who portrayed a lawman as well as the heroine's father, the ranch owner in need of help, etc. Cassidy and Jack Rockwell share the top two spots playing sheriffs and marshals in the ol' B western - each wore a badge in about 75 films, and that number is growing.

Here's a few examples of the villainous side of Ed Cassidy:

And the answer is Yes! Ed did portray Teddy Roosevelt in a few films including the Bill Elliott SUN VALLEY CYCLONE (Republic, 1946) which is about Red Ryder acquiring his horse Thunder. You can also spot him in some non-western serials. Example - in SUPERMAN (Columbia, 1948), Cassidy and Virginia Carroll portray Eben and Martha Kent and find a lost baby in a crashed rocketship. They become Superman's parents.

Cassidy did appear in a few early TV shows such as THE LONE RANGER, WILD BILL HICKOK and CIRCUS BOY.

Some biographies on Cassidy note that he received a degree in optometry from McGill University in Montreal. That seems doubtful based on the timeline shown in the census, World War I draft registration and military service. And in the 1940 census, Ed reported that he completed only one year of high school.

As to family and personal life, there were two marriages and no children. As mentioned, Ed married Pearl Wiard in 1919 in Chicago, and she passed away in 1961. His second wife was named Dorothy.

Ed Cassidy passed away January 19, 1968 at Hollywood Community Hospital in Los Angeles.

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

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), ProQuest obituaries, California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), newspapers, and trade publications have information on Ed Cassidy. No children are listed on any of the census records for Ed and first wife Pearl:

(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Above - Ed Cassidy wearing a suit and carrying a badge in one of his many non-western roles.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Fred Kohler, Jr., Ed Cassidy (minus his usual moustache) and Earl Dwire in THE PECOS KID (Commodore, 1935). Kohler, Jr. was the real life son of movie villain Fred Kohler, Sr. and played the hero in a couple of cheap oaters in the mid 1930s. He then drifted into playing baddies, just like his father, and was seen in many of the later Roy Rogers films.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Ed Cassidy, Frank Ball and Johnny Mack Brown in a scene from COURAGEOUS AVENGER (A. W. Hackel/Supreme, 1935).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Budd Buster, Jack Perrin, Phil Dunham and Ed Cassidy (without his customary moustache) in a lobby card and crop/blowup from Perrin's HAIR-TRIGGER CASEY (Atlantic, 1936).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a lobby card from SANTA FE BOUND (Reliable, 1936), the last of Tom Tyler's eighteen films for B. B. Ray and Harry Webb at Reliable Pictures. From left to right are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Jack Hendricks, Tyler, Ed Cassidy (mustache) and Dick Cramer. In the photo inset on the right are leading lady Jeanne Martel, Tom Tyler, and Earl Dwire. Tyler and Jeanne Martel were husband and wife ... for a brief time.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above lobby card shows Ed Cassidy trying to restrain melodious hero Fred Scott who is pummeling perpetual baddie Dick Curtis in MOONLIGHT ON THE RANGE (Spectrum, 1937).

(Courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

L-to-R are Sherry Tansey, Jim Corey, Claire Rochelle, Johnny Mack Brown, Frank LaRue, and Ed Cassidy in a lobby card from BOOTHILL BRIGADE (A. W. Hackel/Republic, 1937).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Ed Cassidy, Brown and pretty Frances Robinson in a scene from DESPERATE TRAILS (Universal, 1939), Brown's first series western at Universal.

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, from L-to-R are Arthur Loft, James Guilfoyle, Johnny Mack Brown with his grips on Edward Cassidy, and Bob Baker behind JMB ... in this scene from RIDERS OF PASCO BASIN (Universal, 1940).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Charlie Stevens, Richard Arlen, Jennifer Holt, Ed Cassidy and Lee Shumway in a crop from a lobby card from BUFFALO BILL RIDES AGAIN (Jack Schwarz/Screen Guild, 1947).

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