Dewey Robinson

Dewey Robinson (August 17, 1898 December 11, 1950) was an American film character actor who appeared in more than 250 films between 1931 and 1952.[1]

Dewey Robinson
Dewey Robinson
Born(1898-08-17)August 17, 1898
DiedDecember 11, 1950(1950-12-11) (aged 52)
Years active1931–1952
Spouse(s)Lois Wood


Dewey Robinson was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1898, and made his Broadway debut in 1922[2] in a melodrama called The Last Warning, which ran for seven months and 238 performances.[3] Several years later, in 1925, he appeared in a comedy, Solid Ivory, which was not a success,[4] and was also his final Broadway production.

In 1931, Robinson, a big, barrel-chested man at 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) who easily conveyed physical menace, made his first film when he played a waiter in George Cukor's Tarnished Lady, starring Tallulah Bankhead.[5] That performance did not receive screen credit, and this was often the case over Robinson's career, although he was in the billed main cast in Murder on the Campus (1934), Navy Secrets (1939) and There Goes Kelly (1945). Because of his size and physical presence, Robinson worked often during periods when gangster movies were the rage.[6]

Notable early roles for Robinson include a polo-playing hood in Little Giant (1933) starring Edward G. Robinson, a supervisor of slaves in Eddie Cantor's Roman Scandals that same year, and the Ben Turpin short Keystone Hotel in 1935.[6] In the 1940s, Robinson was part of Preston Sturges' unofficial "stock company" of character actors, appearing in eight films written and directed by Sturges.[7] In 1950, near the end of his career, Robinson played a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in The Jackie Robinson Story who progressed from bigotry to exuberant support of Jackie Robinson.[6]

Robinson died in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 11, 1950 from a heart attack, but because he worked so prolifically, films in which he appeared continued to be seen until 1952, when At Sword's Point, a Musketeer adventure, was released.[1][8] His remains are interred at Chapel of the Pines Crematory at 1605 S. Catalina St., Los Angeles, California.[9]

Selected filmography

  • Tarnished Lady (1931) - Tony the Waiter (uncredited)
  • Enemies of the Law (1931) - Tony Catello


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