Edwin Carewe

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; he was born in Gainesville, Texas. His father, Frank Fox, was white; 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.

Edwin Carewe
Born(1883-03-22)March 22, 1883
DiedJanuary 22, 1940(1940-01-22) (aged 56)
EducationUniversity of Texas
OccupationFilm director, actor
Years active1912–1934
Home townGainesville, Texas
Spouse(s)Mary Jane Croft, Mary Akin (actor)[1]
ChildrenViolette Carewe, Mary Jane Carewe, Sally Ann Carewe, William Carewe, Carol Lee Carewe[2]
Parent(s)Franklin Marion Fox and Sally J. Priddy Fox[3][2]
FamilyF. Finish Carewe (brother)
Wallace Carewe (brother)


After brief studies at the Universities of Texas and Missouri and a period of work with regional theatrical groups, Carewe moved to New York City in 1910, where he became a member of the Dearborn Stock Company. Although Jay Fox was his given name, Carewe chose Edwin (from stage actor Edwin Booth) and Carewe from a character he was playing.[5]

Carewe was on stage as an actor before he worked for Lubin studios. Later, he 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.

Carewe and his two brothers, Wallace Fox (a director/producer) and Finis Fox (a scenario writer), were all registered 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 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 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.

Carewe was married three times, twice to actress Mary Akin. By his first wife, Mary Jane Croft (married 9 January 1909 in Toronto, Ontario)[8], he had two daughters, Violette and Mary Jane. During his first marriage to his second wife, Mary Akin, he had two children, Sally Ann and William (born Edwin Gilbert). During his second marriage to Mary Akin, they had one more child, Carol Lee.


Carewe died from a heart ailment in his Hollywood apartment, and is buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[9]




  • 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)
  • The Spoilers (1930)
  • 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 June 10, 2015.
  2. "Edwin Carewe's Biography". Edwin Carewe. Retrieved June 10, 2015.
  3. "Fox Brothers: Finis, Jay (Edwin Carewe), and Wallace". University of Arkansas, Little Rock. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  4. "Native American Data for Jay J Fox". RootsWeb. Retrieved June 10, 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.
  8. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9Q97-Y399-9PM4?i=33&cc=1784216. Retrieved August 3, 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. See Edwin Carewe, State of California Standard Certificate of Death, 22 Jan 1940 (filed 24 Jan 1940), Local Registered No. 1904. Although a few writers have said that Carewe had committed suicide, his death certificate actually states arteriosclerosis general and coronary sclerosis as the cause of death. He had a previous condition of coronary thrombosis. Even if suicide had been suspected, the LA County Coroner's Office would have been required by law to perform an autopsy and none was ever performed.
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