The comedy duo of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew became a household name in the first decades of the 20th century. The duo portrayed the problems of everyday married life on the stage and in silent films.
After Sidney Drew's death in 1919, Los Angeles Times columnist Grace Kingsley wrote that Drew "could open the heaven of laughter to a burdened soul."
Drew "caused the rippling stream of laughter to run round the world," Kingsley wrote.
He was born in 1863 in Philadelphia. Drew was perhaps destined to work as an entertainer; his parents were both stage actors, and the family managed a theater. Drew was also a relative of the legendary family of Barrymore actors.
As a young man, Drew performed in various stage comedies and then worked in vaudeville. During those years he married Gladys Rankin. Rankin became the original Mrs. Sidney Drew. The couple acted in their first scenario in 1911. It was entitled "The Red Devils."
Rankin died in 1913.
Drew eventually remarried Lucile McVey, who became the second Mrs. Sidney Drew. They appeared in more than 150 silent films together.
"Too much credit cannot be given to [McVey], who thought out the ideas, wrote the scenarios, and did nearly all of the directing," Kingsley wrote.
Drew had acted for both the Kalem Company and Vitagraph studios before switching to the Metro Company (later Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) in 1916. He stopped performing after his son's death in World War I.
He died in 1919. McVey died of cancer in 1925.