Monday, October 17, 2011

Edna Sedgewick & Red Barry (1938)

A ballerina, Edna Sedgewick (1915-2002) had a featured role in Ken Murray's 1938 Swing, Sister, Swing and enjoyed a few specialty turns around the same time. Then she was Natacha, a Russian dancer in Universal's 13-chapter serial Red Barry and that was another matter altogether, what with attempting to take possession of Chinese war bonds that she claimed rightfully belonging to her never mind what Mr. Barry (the redoubtable serial hero Buster Crabbe, Flash Gordon himself here sporting his natural, darker hair color) or anybody else said. Miss Sedgewick runs about Red Barry as if to the manor born, so to speak, but the hectic serial may actually have soured her on Hollywood altogether and was her final screen appearance. Her chief claim to fame was probably a turn in the long-running Broadway hit "Boys and Girls Together" (1940), starring Ed Wynn and during which she dated B-Movie lead Dick Purcell (Captain America in 1944 shortly before he suffered a fatal heart attack playing golf). The latter, who was still wed to Broadway star Ethelind Terry at the time, was so smitten with Miss Sedgewick that he “scheduled to fly his own plane here to see her premiere.”

Alas, Purcell proved a minor dalliance and two years later Sedgewick married Texas night club impresario Sam Maceo, a lasting union. Although according to Dr. Robert Wilkins, who wrote a musical about Salvatore "Sam" Maceo and his brother Rosario ("Rose"), "Galveston the Musical," Edna “liked glamour and being noticed [and] she eventually went back to Hollywood where she raised the couple's children.” ”She was never really accepted into Galveston society,” Wilkins added. "Galveston the Musical" was performed locally in 2003.

Edna & Red: Don't touch that phone!

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