Edward Woods

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For other people named Edward Woods, see Edward Woods (disambiguation).
Edward Woods
Born (1903-07-05)July 5, 1903
Menominee, Michigan, U.S.
Died August 10, 1989(1989-08-10) (aged 86)
Van Nuys, California, U.S.
Resting place Salt Lake City Cemetery
Location: West Section-7-132-1-East
Alma mater University of Southern California
Years active 1923-1942
Spouse(s) Gabrielle Margery Morris (?-1989) (his death) (1 child)
Children Robin Woods

Edward Woods (July 5, 1903, Los Angeles—October 8, 1989, Salt Lake City) was an American actor. He is probably best known for his extensive role as Matt Doyle in The Public Enemy opposite James Cagney.

Life and career[edit]

An obituary from the Salt Lake City Tribune, dated October 10, 1989, names Woods' parents as Mary Clark and William B. Woods, and mentions two brothers, Roy C. and William B. Woods. After graduating from the University of Southern California, Woods became an actor. He appeared at the old Salt Lake Theatre in "The Copperhead," as Lionel Barrymore's teenage son. In New York City, he appeared in many successful Broadway productions then began a movie career. He worked with Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore, and Clark Gable.[1]

His most famous role was playing "Matt Doyle" opposite James Cagney's "Tom Powers" in The Public Enemy (1931), a seminal and arguably the most widely acclaimed gangster movie. Although initially cast in the lead role as Powers, director William Wellman switched Woods' role with Cagney's after viewing Cagney's electrifying performance in the dailies. In the sequences at the beginning of the film, the children's appearances are reversed because those scenes were filmed before the switch and the studio opted not to pay to refilm them, which has confused viewers ever since. The studio had promised to make the role switch up to him with later parts but reneged and dropped him when his contract expired. Woods soon wound up working at the worst B-picture studios, terminally damaging his movie career.

After his film acting career ended, Woods went into producing, directing, and theatrical management, working with the Schubert Organization and 20th Century Fox.[2] During WWII he worked with Ronald Reagan making training films for the U.S Army. He retired in 1975, and moved to Salt Lake City. Woods married Gabrielle Margery Morris, and the couple had a daughter, Robin.


Broadway Appearances[edit]

  • Tortilla Flat, Jan 12, 1938 - Jan 1938
  • One Good Year, Nov 27, 1935 - Jun 1936
  • Houseparty, Sep 9, 1929 - Feb 1930
  • Zeppelin, Jan 14, 1929 - Mar 1929
  • Trapped, Sep 11, 1928 - Sep 1928
  • Speak Easy, Sep 26, 1927 - Nov 1927

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary in The Salt Lake Tribune, dated Tuesday October 10, 1989
  2. ^ Edward Woods