Edwin Carewe

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Edwin Carewe
Born (1883-03-22)March 22, 1883
Gainesville, Texas
Died January 22, 1940(1940-01-22) (aged 56)
Education University of Texas
Occupation Film director, actor
Years active 1912–1934
Home town Gainesville, Texas
Spouse(s) Mary Jane Mason, Mary Akin (actor)[1]
Children Mary Jane Carewe, Sally Ann Carewe, William Carewe, Violette Carewe (Rita Carewe, actor)[2]
Parent(s) Franklin Marion Fox and Sally J. Priddy Fox[3][2]
Family F. Finish Carewe (brother)
Wallace Carewe (brother)

Edwin Carewe (March 3, 1883–January 22, 1940) was a Native American motion picture director, actor, producer, and screenwriter. His birth name was Jay John Fox, and born in Gainesville, Texas. His father, Frank Fox, was an intermarried white man in the Chickasaw Nation, and his mother Sallie (Priddy) Fox was Chickasaw. Edwin and his two brothers, F. Finis and Wallace Carewe were enrolled members of the Chickasaw Nation.[4] He was likely the most prolific of Native American directors of feature films in Hollywood history.


After brief studies at the Universities of Texas and Missouri and a period of work with regional theatrical groups, Carewe moved to New York in 1910, where he became a member of the Dearborn Stock Company. He then changed his name to Edwin Carewe; Edwin after the actor "Edwin Booth," and "Carewe" after a character he was portraying. He was on stage as an actor before he worked for Lubin studios.

Later, Carewe directed films for MGM, First National, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and United Artists. During his career, he provided early screen exposure to many actors such as Dolores del Río, Warner Baxter, Francis X. Bushman and Gary Cooper. He directed 58 films including the acclaimed 1928 version of Ramona starring Dolores del Río and Warner Baxter, which was rediscovered and restored by the Library of Congress and had its world premiere at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2014.

Although Jay Fox was his real name, Carewe chose Edwin from stage actor Edwin Booth and Carewe from a character he was playing.[5] Carewe and his two brothers, Wallace Fox (a director/producer) and Finis Fox (a scenario writer), were all 1/16 Chickasaw according to the 1907 Chickasaw Rolls.[6]

Another of Carewe's notable films was Evangeline in 1929 also with Dolores del Río and written by his brother Finis Fox. Evangeline was based upon the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem and earned praise for its exceptional lighting and camera work.[7]

Although Carewe directed and produced a number of critically and financially successful pictures during the silent era, he was not fully able to make the transition to sound. After resorting to sound remakes of his earlier successes, and later to low-budget and religious films, he made his last feature Are We Civilized? in 1934. He was married three times, twice to actress Mary Akin.


Carewe died from a heart ailment in his Hollywood apartment, and is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.




  • The Water Rats (1912)
  • Gentleman Joe (1912)
  • The Moonshiner's Daughter (1912)
  • A Girl's Bravery (1912)
  • The Call of the Heart (1913)
  • His Conscience (1913)
  • Into the Light (1913)
  • On Her Wedding Day (1913)
  • Her Husband's Picture (1913)
  • From Ignorance to Light (1913)
  • The Wine of Madness (1913)
  • The Great Pearl (1913)
  • Kidnapping Father (1913)
  • Retribution (1913)
  • A Mock Marriage (1913)
  • In the Harem of Haschem (1913)
  • A Florida Romance (1913)
  • Women of the Desert (1913)
  • The Moonshiner's Wife (1913)
  • Dolores' Decision (1913)
  • The Soul of a Rose (1913)
  • The First Prize (1913)
  • The Supreme Sacrifice (1913)
  • The Regeneration of Nancy (1913)
  • Down on the Rio Grande (1913)
  • It Might Have Been (1913)
  • Love's Justice (1913)
  • The Mexican Spy (1913)
  • The Miser (1913)
  • On the Threshold (1913)
  • Private Smith (1913)
  • The Three of Us (1914)
  • Cora (1915)
  • Snowbird (1916)


  • Isobel or The Trail's End (1920)
  • The Web of Deceit (1920)
  • I Am the Law (1922)
  • The Bad Man (1923)
  • The Girl of the Golden West (1923)
  • Mighty Lak' a Rose (1923)
  • Madonna of the Streets (1924)
  • A Son of the Sahara (1924)
  • Joanna (1925)
  • Why Women Love (1925)
  • The Lady Who Lied (1925)
  • My Son (1925)
  • Pals First (1926)
  • High Steppers (1926)
  • Resurrection (1927)
  • Revenge (1928)
  • Evangeline (1929)
  • Resurrection (1931)
  • Are We Civilized? (1934)


  • Across the Pacific (1914)
  • The Dancer and the King (1914)
  • Rio Grande (1920)
  • Resurrection (1927)


  1. ^ Slate, John H. (June 12, 2010). "Carewe, Edwin". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Edwin Carewe's Biography". Edwin Carewe. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Fox Brothers: Finis, Jay (Edwin Carewe), and Wallace". University of Arkansas, Little Rock. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Native American Data for Jay J Fox". RootsWeb. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  5. ^ The New York Times, January 23, 1940, p. 21; Variety January 24, 1940.
  6. ^ Aleiss, Angela (March 27, 2014). "Recovered and Restored: Ramona, Silent Movie by Chickasaw Filmmaker". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ The New York Times, August 20, 1929.

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