Stage & Screen Artist
Born April 29, 1909, Owensboro, Kentucky
Died September 12, 1994, Woodland Hills, California
Tom Ewell (born S. Yewell Tompkins) enjoyed a stage career that spanned nearly fifty years. He made his Broadway debut in 1934. He was an established character comedian in the theater, when he was selected for George Axelrod's play, The Seven Year Itch for the role of Richard Sherman, a summer bachelor who falls in love with his upstairs neighbor. In 1956, the film version of the comedy became a major hit, starring Marilyn Monroe and Ewell. Because of his homely face and cracked voice, Mr. Ewell admitted he could not last in leading roles. He appeared in so many flops before gaining success, he called himself "King of the Flops." Among many roles, he appeared in the comedy "Adams Rib," with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn In 1950, Tom Ewell and his second wife, Marjorie Sanborn Ewell, bought a 13 acre farm near Buckmanville in Bucks County, Former Bucks County Playhouse producer, Mike Ellis, said in an interview that "Tom Ewell was the most important actor who stayed in Bucks County for a long time." He appeared at the Bucks County playhouse in 1962 in "Harvey", and in 1967 in Clifford Odets "The Country Girl." Ewell died in California in 1994 at the age of 85.
Image: Tom Ewell, Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Stars,
Hippocvene Books, Inc., NY 1986