Edward Sedgwick

Active - 1918 - 1951  |   Born - Nov 7, 1892   |   Died - May 7, 1953   |   Genres - Comedy, Western, Drama

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Biography by AllMovie

The son of actors Edward Sedgwick Sr. and Josephine Walker, Edward Sedgwick made his own show business entree as one of the Five Sedgwicks, a circus and vaudeville acrobatic act. Two of the "other" Sedgwicks were Edward's twin sisters Eileen and Josie, who later pursued successful silent-movie acting careers. In 1915, Sedgwick broke into films as a comedian, frequently cast as a zany baseball player. He became a serial director in 1921, then moved on to the Tom Mix western unit. Sedgwick's lifelong love of baseball came in handy as he helmed the ballpark sequences of Mix's Stepping Out (1923), Buck Jones' Hit and Run (1924), William Haines Slide, Kelly, Slide (1927), Buster Keatons The Cameraman (1928) and the 1934 mystery Death on the Diamond. While at MGM in the late 1920s, Sedgwick found a kindred spirit in fellow baseball buff Buster Keaton. At Keaton's insistence, Sedgwick directed all of Keaton's silent and sound MGM features, including the aforementioned The Cameraman. Spite Marriage (1929), Free and Easy (1930), Dough Boys (1930), Parlor, Bedroom and Bath (1931), Speak Easily (1932), Sidewalks of New York (1933) and What, No Beer? (1933). This proved a mixed blessing: though the MGMs were, as a group, Keatons most profitable features, they also contained some of his worst moments on screen. In the mid-1930s, Sedgwick was briefly a producer/director at Hal Roach Studios, responsible for the Jack Haley vehicles Mister Cinderella (1936) and Pick a Star (1937). The latter film featured a guest appearance by Laurel & Hardy. who in 1943 reteamed with Sedgwick for the MGM feature Air Raid Wardens. Considered a relic of a bygone era by the 1940s, Sedgwick sat out the waning years of his MGM contract, chumming around with such old cronies as Buster Keaton. In 1948, Keaton, employed as a gag man for Red Skelton, suggested that Sedgwick would be an ideal director for the upcoming Skelton vehicle A Southern Yankee. Alas, Sedgwick was not up to the challenge: though he receives solo directorial credit on Southern Yankee, the film was directed in its entirety by S. Sylvan Simon. Edward Sedgwick's final film was Universal's Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm (1951).

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