Why Do I Want To Write About A Hollywood Footnote?
Edward Woods ( aka Eddie Woods ) is best known for his co-starring role as Matt Doyle in James Cagney's 1931 break through gangster movie " The Public Enemy." His boyishly handsome looks caught my eye, and I being relatively a novice to classic movies, expected he'd be in more movies I just hadn't seen yet. Then I was watching Dinner at Eight (1933, Jean Harlow )and he had a bit part as a bellboy. Co-star to bellboy in 2 years? That piqued my interest.So, I have been trying to find out more about him, and most of the infomation I have found has been gleaned from www.imdb.com or www.turnerclassivmovies.com message boards. I have found some information through google searches, international film sites and so forth and basically I have decided to compile it all together for anyone interested in this very handsome but mostly forgotten actor. Please, if you have any additional info contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with it- I have barely started. I do have some promising leads for more info and I will update this site accordingly.: )
Sadly Brief Bio on Edward Alexander Woods
Edward Alexander Woods was born July 5, 1903 in Los Angeles, California. He was 5'10". His first real film role I can find is in Mother's Cry (1930, with David Manners) as the psychotic son Daniel "Danny" Williams. I wont get into all his films here, I will list a filmography. He seems to have peaked with The Public Enemy ( 1931, James Cagney ), which he was suppose to star in as Tom Powers. However after 3 days of shooting, Director Wellman looked at the dailies, met with one of the Warner Bros., and had the lead switched to James Cagney. He claims he told Edward they were making the switch and too bad, and that Woods had resented it, but relented. This switch made after some shooting caused some movie snafoos. Woods was billed first in ending credits, and if you notice in the childhood years portion of The Public Enemy, Matt and Tom's sizes are messed up because those scenes were filmed first, assuming the taller,darker Woods was playing Tom Powers, and the shorter, lighter Cagney was Matt Doyle! During the time of the filming of The Public Enemy, it was rumored Woods was engaged to Louella Parsons' daughter Harriet, but in any event they never married. He played in a few less than stellar roles, then bit parts, until 1944. He then became involved in Broadway productions and also worked in the promotion department of 20th Century-Fox, New York. He retired to Salt Lake City, Utah and died there October 8, 1989. He is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery, West-Section-7-132-1-East. His tombstone is described as a large ornate granite stone with the following names engraved: "Edward Alexander July 5 1903- Oct 8 1989, Gabrielle Margery Morris ( no date), Robin Morris Quayle 2-6-1959. The bottom of the stone reads: "Thank you Lord for the privilege of seeing your world. It's beauty and grandeur, for love, music, and art- the great adventure and challenge of living." On the other side of the stone is engraved:" Paradise is open to all kind hearts" with a forest of fir trees pictured below. ***PLEASE SEE NEWLY DISCOVERED OBITUARY INFO BELOW!***
Edward "Eddie" Woods, A Filmography
- Mother's Cry 1930..... Daniel " Danny " Williams ( caked with make-up in this one I hear!)
- The Public Enemy 1931.... Matt Doyle
- Local Boy Makes Good 1931.....Spike Hoyt
- They Never Come Back 1932.....Ralph Landon
- Hot Saturday 1932....Conny Billop
- The Secret Code 1932....Kurt
- Reckless Decision 1933 aka Protect Your Daughters, aka Suspicious Mothers....Billy McGee
- Bondage 1933.......Earl Crawford(uncredited)
- Tarzan The Fearless 1933.....Bob Hall
- Dinner at Eight 1933....Eddie the bellhop
- Marriage on Approval 1933.....Billy McGee
- The Fighting Lady 1935.....unknown
- Navy Blues 1937........Everett
- Shadows Over Shanghai 1938.....Peter Roma
- The Iron Major 1943....friend
- Marine Raiders 1944.... officer on ship
*Newly Discovered Obit-The Salt Lake Tribune, Tuesday October 10, 1989*
Edward Alexander Woods, age 86, died Ocober 8, 1989, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was born July 5, 1903, in Los Angeles, California, to Mary Clark and William B Woods. After graduating from the University of Southern California, he entered upon a theatrical career which took him all over the United States. He appeared at the old Salt Lake Theatre in " The Copperhead," as Lionel Barrymore's teenage son. In New York City, he appeared in many successful Broadway productions. He was called to Hollywood for screen tests which resulted in a very successful movie career. He worked with Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore and Clark Gable among others, and co-starred with Jimmy Cagney in the epic-making picture "Public Enemy."
In later years, he went into producing, directing and theatrical managemant, working with the Schubert Organization and 20th Century Fox. During WWII he worked with Ronald Reagan making training films for the U.S Army. He retired in 1975, and moved to Salt Lake City. He was a member of the Salt Lake Country Club and the Current Events Club. He loved to travel extensively all over the world and did so with this family. He had a great zest for life. He loved Utah and supported the Symphony, the Theatre, the Opera, and the Ballet.
He is survived by his wife, Gabrielle Margery Morris Woods, his daughter Robin Morris-Quayle Woods, both of Salt Lake City; a brother, Roy C. Woods, of Phoenix, Arizona; two sisters-in-law, Melba Woods, of Phoenix; and Marion Morris Woods, Salt Lake City; one nephew; William B. Woods III, Glendale, Arizona; nieces, Carol Goldstein, Scottsdale, Arizona; and Donna Korb, Cleveland ,Ohio. He was predeceased by a brother William B. Woods.
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 13th, 12 Noon, in Larkin Mortuary Chapel, 260 East South Temple, with a viewing one hour prior to services. Interment Salt lake City Cemetery. The family wishes to thank doctors and nurses at Creekside Care Center for their devotion and loving care.
Arizona State University " Woods Family Collection, 1914-1953"
Arizona State University has in it's Department of Archives and Manuscripts, a box of "correspondance, ephemera, newsclippings, and memorabilia which range in date from 1914-1953". It is mostly to do with Edward Woods and his brother William B. Woods. I wish I could see it for myself it sounds very interesting. Here is the link to the Arizona Archives Online finding aid that contains a description of the collection, the arrangement and a folder level description of the contents of the collection. http://aao.lib.asu.edu/ViewRecordFrame.jsp?record=0000000222
It is physically located at The Department of Archives and Manuscripts, 4th Floor of the Hayden Library, ASU.
***Small Note Of Interest ( to me anyway!)****
After reading the info contained in the link to ASU, it states that Edward Woods brother, William B Woods, was in the ROTC at Los Angeles Manual Arts High School during WWI. My Great-Grandmother Lois Schoaf attended Manual Arts at the same time and although ROTC cadets are not listed in her many yearbooks from the time, group photos exist of the cadets. Lois Schoaf was also involved in dramatics and was in plays at the school and very popular- it makes me wonder if they ever ran across one another!