Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew

Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew were an American comedy team on stage and screen. The team initially consisted of Sidney Drew (August 28, 1863 – April 9, 1919) and his first wife Gladys Rankin (October 8, 1870 – January 9, 1914).[1] After Gladys died in 1914, Sidney Drew married Lucile McVey (1890–1925), and the two performed as Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew.


Sidney Drew or Mr. Sidney Drew as he was usually billed, was an uncle of actors Lionel, Ethel and John Barrymore. Drew's origins have been the subject of speculation. His mother Mrs. Louisa Drew said she adopted him not long after the death of her husband John Drew Sr. in 1862. Researchers have speculated that Sidney was Mrs. Drew's biological child either from her late husband or from a love affair. It was noticed that she disappeared for some time to the country before returning to Philadelphia with baby Sidney. John Barrymore always said Sidney looked too much like Grandmother Louisa to be anyone else's child.

In his stage career, Drew was a light-hearted leading man along with his wife, Gladys Rankin, the first Mrs. Sidney Drew.[2] In 1896, the pair introduced legitimate drama to the vaudeville stage.[3] They entered films as a team with the old Kalem Company in 1911, but achieved greater success after their switch to Vitagraph in 1913. Gladys Rankin Drew died later that year from undisclosed causes. Drew was briefly paired with Clara Kimball Young, with whom Drew starred in the two-reel melodrama satire Goodness Gracious; or, Movies as they Shouldn't Be (1914) directed by Clara's husband James Young.

He remarried to Lucille McVey, born in Sedalia, Missouri, a Vitagraph scriptwriter who briefly went under the name Jane Morrow. Drew added his new wife to his one-reel comedies, acknowledging McVey as both a writer and co-director. As a comedy team, known as Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew, the team perfected the situation comedy style that the team of John Bunny and Flora Finch started. Their style of comedy was usually gentle satire on married life, but also poked fun at the world of show business. Drew took sole credit as director for two five-reel features at Vitagraph, the groundbreaking cross-gender comedy A Florida Enchantment (1914), in which Edith Storey played the leading female role, and the drama Playing Dead (1915), the Drews' only attempt at a "serious" film.

In 1916, the popular team was lured to Richard A. Rowland's and Louis B. Mayer's newly founded Metro company, where they continued to dominate in the field of marital comedy. During World War I, Drew's son, actor-director S. Rankin Drew, was killed in action. Drew never recovered from the loss. The team left Metro for personal appearances but was signed to V.B.K. Drew died suddenly on April 9, 1919 and was interred in Mount Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia.[4] Lucile McVey Drew died in 1925 from cancer at the age of 35.


Selected filmography


  1. Sidney Drew: North American Theatre Online
  2. Beasley, David (2002). McKeee Rankin and the Heyday of the American Theater pp. 101-102.
  3. Slide, Anthony (2006). New York City Vaudeville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia. p. 80. ISBN 0738545627.
  4. "Sidney White Drew". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  5. Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame presumably refers to the second Mrs. Drew, Lucile Drew.
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