Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies
Melissa Errico to Colleen Fitzpatrick
Tom Ewell Biography (1909-)
Born Yewell Tompkins, April 29, 1909, in Queensboro, KY; son of Samuel William and Martine (Yewell) Tompkins; married Judith Ann Abbott (a director, producer, and actress), March 18, 1946 (divorced, 1946); married Marjorie Gynne Sanborn (an advertising copywriter), April 29, 1948; children: one son. Addresses: OFFICE--267 Palos Verde Drive W., Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274.
Born Yewell Tompkins, April 29, 1909, in Queensboro, KY; died following a protracted illness, September 12, 1994, in Woodland Hills, CA. Actor. Ewell wasbest known for his portrayal of frustrated husband Richard Sherman opposite Marilyn Monroe in the film version of The Seven Year Itch, this role a repriseof his successful rendition of the character in the Broadway play. His Broadway debut was in 1934, when he played Red in They Shall Not Die, and by the time he appeared in the play The Seven Year Itch in 1952 he was well established as a comedic actor, appearing in such productions as Tobacco Road, Apple of His Eye, John Loves Mary, The Merchant of Yonkers, and Liberty Jones. In 1949 Ewell played the role of Judy Holliday's husband in the popular film Adam's Rib, and was introduced to a much wider audience, establishing himself as agifted film actor. Ewell's other film credits include A Life of Her Own, Finder's Keepers, The Girl Can't Help It, The Great Gatsby, and Easy Money. From1960 to 1961 Ewell starred in The Tom Ewell Show, a comedy series in which he portrayed a real estate agent who is controlled by the women in his life, and in the 1970s he played the regular role of Billy Truman, friend of RobertBlake's character on the series Baretta. During the early 1980s Ewell playedDoc Kullens on Best of the West.
- Birth Details
- April 29, 1909
- Queensboro, Kentucky, United States
- STAGE DEBUT--Mike, The Spider, Park Theatre, Madison, WI, February 18, 1928.
- BROADWAY DEBUT--Red, They Shall Not Die, Royale Theatre, February 21, 1934.
- LONDON DEBUT--Thurber Carnival, Savoy Theatre, February, 1964.
Credits; PRINCIPAL STAGE APPEARANCES
- Novice and member of the choir, The First Legion, 46th Street Theatre, New York City, 1934.
- Denver, Geraniums in My Window, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1934.
- stage manager and waiter, DeLuxe, Booth Theatre, New York City, 1934.
- young Frank Martin and small Hardy, Let Freedom Ring, Broadhurst Theatre,New York City, 1935.
- Dennis Eady, Ethan Frome, National Theatre, New York City, 1936.
- Captain Tim, Tobacco Road, Forrest Theatre, New York City, 1936.
- Larry Westcott, Stage Door, Music Box Theatre, New York City, 1936.
- Cornelius Hackl, The Merchant of Yonkers, Guild Theatre, New York City, 1938.
- Simon, Family Portrait, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1939.
- Brother Galusha, Suzanna and the Elders, Morosco Theatre, New York City,1940. Dick Brown, Liberty Jones, for the Theatre Guild at the Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1941.
- Daniel Marshall, Sunny River, St. James Theatre, New York City, 1941.
- Elkins, Of All People, Town Hall, Toledo, OH, then Ford's Theatre, Baltimore, 1945.
- Huckleberry Haines, Roberta, Philharmonic Auditorium, Los Angeles, then Curran Theatre, San Francisco, 1946.
- Glen Stover, Apple of His Eye, Biltmore Theatre, New York City, 1946.
- Fred Taylor, John Loves Mary, Booth Theatre, New York City, 1947.
- appeared in revue, Small Wonder, Coronet Theatre, New York City, 1948.
- Tommy Turner, The Male Animal, summer stock theatres, 1949.
- Title role, Kin Hunter, Westport Country Playhouse, CT, 1951.
- Fred Taylor, John Loves Mary and Elwood P. Dowd, Harvey, both at Bahama Playhouse, Nassau, Bahamas, 1951.
- Kenneth Bixby, Goodbye Again, Bahama Playhouse, 1952.
- Richard Sherman, The Seven Year Itch, Fulton Theatre, New York City, 1952.
- Vladimir, Waiting for Godot, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, 1956.
- Augie Poole, The Tunnel of Love, Royale Theatre, New York City, 1957.
- Leon Rollo, Patate, Henry Miller's Theatre, New York City, 1958.
- Elliott Nash, The Gazebo, Central City, CO, 1959.
- appeared in A Thurber Carnival, American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA) Theatre, New York City, 1960.
- Edward T. Wellspot, Christmas in Las Vegas, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, NewYork City, 1965.
- John O'Rourke, The Armored Dove, Palm Beach Playhouse, FL, 1967.
- Richard Pawling, George, Chuck, and Herbert, You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running, New Theatre, London, 1968.
- Vladimir, Waiting for Godot, Actors Playhouse, 1971.
- Captain Jack Boyle, Juno and the Paycock, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1973.
Credits; MAJOR TOURS
- Dan, Brother Rat, U.S. cities, 1936-37.
- Frank Michaelson, Take Her, She's Mine, U.S. cities, 1962-63.
- Thursday Is a Good Night, U.S. cities, 1964.
- Harry Lambert, Never Too Late, U.S. cities, 1965.
- We've Had Some Fun, U.S. cities, 1965-66.
- Mr. Day, Life with Father, U.S. cities, 1966.
- John O'Rourke, The Armored Dove, U.S. cities, 1967.
- Dr. Jack Kingsley, The Impossible Years, U.S. cities, 1967-68.
- The Apple Tree, U.S. cities, 1969.
- What Did We Do Wrong?, U.S. cities, 1974.
- FILM DEBUT--Kansas Kid, Republic, 1939.
Credits; PRINCIPAL FILM APPEARANCES
- They Knew What They Wanted, RKO, 1940.
- Adamb's Rib, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1949.
- Mr. Music, Paramount, 1950.
- A Life of Her Own, MGM, 1950.
- American Guerilla in the Phillipines, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950.
- Finders Keepers and Up Front, both Universal, 1951.
- Lost in Alaska, Universal, 1952.
- Willie and Joe Back at the Front, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1955.
- Seven Year Itch, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1955.
- The Lieutenant Wore Skirts, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1956.
- The Girl Can't Help It, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1956.
- Tender Is the Night, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1962.
- State Fair, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1962.
- Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came, Cinerama, 1970.
- To Find a Man, Columbia, 1972.
- They Only Kill Their Masters, 1972.
- The Great Gasby, Paramount, 1974.
Credits; PRINCIPAL TELEVISION APPEARANCES; SERIES
- Tom Potter, The Tom Ewell Show, CBS, 1960-61.
- Billy Truman, Baretta, ABC, 1975-78.
- Doctor Jerome Kullens, Best of the West, ABC, 1981-82.
- "Daisy, Daisy," Playwrights '56, NBC, 1955.
- The Alfred Hitchcock Show, CBS, 1955.
- The Perry Como Show, NBC, 1956.
- "The Square Egghead," U.S. Steel Hour, CBS, 1959.
- narrator, "The Fourposter," Golden Showcase, CBS, 1962.
Credits; PRINCIPAL RADIO WORK; EPISODIC
- The March of Time, NBC, 1935.
- Ellery Queen, NBC, 1936.
- The Ewells, 1966-68.
- Chicago Tribune, September 13 1994, sec. 2, p. 10.
- Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1994, p. A8.
- New York Times, September 13, 1994.
- Times (London), September 14, 1994, p. 17.
- Washington Post, September 14, 1994, p. D9.
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