Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ewell Remember This Guy

Happy birthday to the late Tom Ewell (1909-1994), a highly respected character actor whose career encompassed Broadway, film, and television. Born April 29, 1909 in Owensboro, Kentucky as Samuel Yewell Tompkins, Ewell perfectly embodied a suburban Everyman. He may be best-known as the husband who finds that a new neighbor threatens to bring on The Seven Year Itch. Since the neighbor in question, at least in the movie, was Marilyn Monroe, most male viewers could understand his dilemma.

Ewell's film and stage success resulted in an offer to star in The Tom Ewell Show, a sitcom that premiered on CBS in 1960. Though the show was created by former I Love Lucy writers Bob Carroll, Jr. and Madelyn Pugh Martin (later Davis), it wasn't the outright hit many expected, and lasted for only one season. Baby boomer TV fans may remember him better for his co-starring role in the 1970s cop show Baretta.

You can read more about The Tom Ewell Show, both on-camera and behind the scenes, in my book Lost Laughs of 50s and 60s Television, now available in both paperback and eBook format.

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