Eddie Dew

Active - 1938 - 1961  |   Born - Jan 29, 1909   |   Died - Apr 6, 1972   |   Genres - Western, Action, Comedy, Adventure, Drama

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A would-be B-Western star who never made the grade, Eddie Dew had been in musical comedy prior to drifting into films in 1937. After appearing in countless bit parts at (mostly) Republic Pictures, Dew was awarded a one-year contract in 1943 and a promotion to stardom with a proposed John Paul Revere series of Westerns that also featured the popular Smiley Burnette as the comedic sidekick, a job the tubby Burnette had done so admirably in the Gene Autry music Westerns. Alas, in spite of Burnette's popularity, the series in general and Dew in particular fell far short of expectations and after only two films had been produced, Republic bought back his contract for a reported 1,000 dollars. The studio tried to salvage the series by re-hiring Robert Livingston, formerly of The Three Mesqueteers, but there were few takers and the project was shelved after only two additional Westerns. Dew meanwhile, landed a berth at Universal as a second banana to Rod Cameron and even took over the lead in Trail to Gunfight (1944) when Cameron was upgraded to Grade A projects. In the end, however, singer Kirby Grant was brought in to take over the spot vacated by Cameron and Dew, who sidelined once again, went into television instead, appearing on the Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill programs and directing episodes of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. He would later add such low-budget feature films as Naked Gun (1956) and the Canada-lensed Wings of Chance (1961) to his directorial credits.

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