S. Rankin Drew - Rotten Tomatoes

S. Rankin Drew

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One of several motion picture workers to be killed in action in World War I, S. Rankin Drew was the son of Vitagraph comedian Sidney Drew and a second cousin to Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore. Following in his famous father's footsteps, the younger Drew made his stage debut as a teenager and gained a modicum of fame in Billie, a farce written by his mother, actress/writer Gladys Rankin. Encouraged by his cousin Lionel Barrymore, Drew entered films with the Vitagraph in 1913, thus joining his namesake father, who at that time was making polite situation comedies with his wife. By 1915, junior was appearing opposite the company's great female stars, Norma Talmadge, Edith Storey, and Virginia Pearson, and in the following year became the company's youngest director. In 1916, he starred opposite and directed Anita Stewart in The Girl Philippa, from Robert W. Chamber's novel, with the company's great villain, Anders Randolf, in support. Released in January 1917, the drama became one of Vitagraph biggest moneymakers and a bright future was predicted for its director. Alas, it was not to be. Enlisting with the American Ambulance Corps as a driver, Drew later joined the famous Lafayette Esquadrille and was shot down over France, on May 19, 1918. The tragedy, it was rumored, hastened the death of his father in 1919. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi


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