Arthur Edmund Carewe

Arthur Edmund Carewe (December 30, 1884 – April 22, 1937), born Hovsep Hovsepian (Armenian: Հովսեփ Հովսեփյան), was an Armenian-American stage and film actor of the silent and early sound film era.

Arthur Edmund Carewe
Carewe publicity photo in Stars of the Photoplay (1922)
Hovsep Hovsepian

(1884-12-30)December 30, 1884
DiedApril 22, 1937(1937-04-22) (aged 52)
Other namesArthur Edmund Carew
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
Years active1919–1936
Irene Pavlowska
(m. 1915; div. 1921)

Early lifeEdit

Born on December 30, 1884[1] in Trabzon (Trebizond), Ottoman Empire, Carewe was from a prosperous Armenian family in his native country. His father, Garo, was engaged in the banking business and carried some influence from his positions in the national legislature and board of education.[2] His father died in 1892, and the Hamidian massacres forced the Hovsepian family to emigrate.[3] Carewe emigrated to the United States on August 7, 1896, arriving in New York Harbor on the Augusta Victoria, having departed from Cherbourg.[4][page needed] He was accompanied by his elder brother, Ardasches.[3] Another elder brother, Garo Armen, had preceded them, and their mother arrived the following year.

He attended Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, after which he studied painting and sculpture. At the turn of the century, he and his elder brother Garo ran a rug and furnishings business in New York City. He decided upon a stage career and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, graduating in March 1904 with the David Belasco Gold Medal for Dramatic Ability.[3]


Arthur Edmund Carewe & Mary Philbin in The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

By 1910, he had assumed the stage name of "Arthur Carew" and earned attention in national newspapers for a suspected fake suicide attempt over the actress/dancer Nance Gwynne.[5] He relocated to Chicago sometime before 1915 and operated another furnishing goods business until he moved to Hollywood in 1919. His debut role was in the Constance Talmadge comedy Romance and Arabella. He became a naturalized citizen June 28, 1918.

During his time in the motion picture industry, Carewe became a well-respected character actor and would perform in several classic literary screen adaptations, including The Phantom of the Opera (1925), The Cat and the Canary and Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927), specializing as shady, neurotic, wild-eyed characters, which he seemed to revel in playing. He also continued to perform sporadically in regional theaters, essaying in 1921 the role of Prinzivalle in Monna Vanna by Maurice Maeterlinck.[6] In 1926, he wrote two screenplays for First National that were never produced. In 1928, he traveled to Europe, but a proposal to perform a self-penned screenplay for Universum Film AG was never realized.[7]

He was for a time considered for, and later turned down, the role of Count Dracula in the 1931 film, which would eventually go to Bela Lugosi.[8][9] Carewe appeared in fifty films over the course of his career, mostly during the silent film era.

Personal lifeEdit

Carewe married the soprano Irene Pavlowska (née Irene Levi) on February 17, 1915, in Chicago.[10] They divorced in 1921.[11]

Later years and deathEdit

Shortly after the release of his final film, Charlie Chan's Secret, in 1936, Carewe suffered a stroke.[12] On April 22, 1937, he was found dead in his car in the parking lot of a Santa Monica beach motel, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.[13]


Year Title Role Notes
1919 Venus in the East Middy Knox
1919 Romance and Arabella Claude Estabrook
1919 Daughter of Mine Joseph Rayberg / Baron Landsandhome
1919 The Rescuing Angel Eliot Slade
1919 Girls Wilbur Searles Lost film
1919 The World and Its Woman Count Alix Voronassof
1919 Dangerous Waters Victor DeLara
1919 Bonnie Bonnie Lassie Archibald Loveday
1920 Rio Grande Don Jose Alvarado
1920 Children of Destiny Count Di Varesi
1920 The Breath of the Gods Prince Hagane Lost film
1920 The Palace of Darkened Windows The Rajah
1920 Burning Daylight Arthur Howison
1921 The Mad Marriage Christiansen
1921 The Easy Road Heminway
1921 Sham Bolton
1921 Bar Nothing Stinson
1921 Her Mad Bargain Grant Lewis
1922 The Prodigal Judge Col. Fentress
1922 My Old Kentucky Home 'Con' Arnold
1922 His Wife's Husband John Brainerd
1922 The Ghost Breaker Duke d'Alba Lost film
1923 Refuge Prince Ferdinand
1923 Daddy Paul Savelli Lost film
1923 Trilby Svengali
1923 The Ten Commandments Israelite Slave Uncredited
1923 The Song of Love Ramlika
1924 Sandra Henri La Flamme
1924 The Price of a Party Kenneth Bellwood
1925 The Boomerang Poulet
1925 The Phantom of the Opera Ledoux
1925 A Lover's Oath Prince Yussuf
1925 The Only Thing Gigberto Alternative title: Four Flaming Days
1926 Torrent Salvatti
1926 Volcano! Maurice Séquineau
1926 Diplomacy Count Orloff
1926 The Silent Lover Captain Herault
1927 The Claw Major Anthony Kinsella
1927 The Cat and the Canary Harry
1927 A Man's Past Lieutenant Destin
1927 Uncle Tom's Cabin George Harris
1930 The Matrimonial Bed Dr. Fried (credits) / Dr. Beaudine (in film)
1930 Sweet Kitty Bellairs Capt. Spicer
1931 Captain Applejack Ivan Borolsky, aka Jim
1931 God's Gift to Women Dr. Louis Dumont
1931 The Gay Diplomat Suave Man
1932 Doctor X Dr. Rowitz
1933 Mystery of the Wax Museum Sparrow - Professor Darcy
1935 Thunder in the Night Professor Omega
1936 Charlie Chan's Secret Professor Bowen (final film role)


  1. ^ Although this is the commonly accepted year, and some references cite 1894, his 1917 draft registration card and his 1915 marriage license give his birth year as 1881.
  2. ^ Stone, Wilbur Fisk. History of Colorado: Volume II. Chicago: S.J. Clark, 1918.
  3. ^ a b c Aghajanian, Liana (October 30, 2017). "The Armenian-American Dracula That Never Was: The Story of Arthur Edmund Carew". Ara the Rat. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Avakian, Linda L. Armenian Immigrants: Boston 1891-1901, New York 1880-1897. Picton Press, 1996. (ISBN 0897252756)
  5. ^ "Actress' Bid For Publicity Lands Actor In Jail", New York Times, February 7, 1910.; "Tries Again To See Miss Gwyn", Boston Daily Globe, February 7, 1910. pg. 7.
  6. ^ "Both Busy On Stage," Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1921. p. III4; "'Monna Vanna' To Be Given For Mary Garden Today," Los Angeles Times, April 6, 1921. p. III4.
  7. ^ "Arthur Carew With UFA", Los Angeles Times, March 23, 1928. p. A8
  8. ^ Neibaur, James L. (2017). The Monster Movies of Universal Studios. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 2. ISBN 9781442278165.
  9. ^ Harris, Karen (October 30, 2018). "Bela Lugosi's Dracula". History Daily. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  10. ^ Marriage License
  11. ^ "Irene Pavlowska, Bride, Guarantees Alimony," The Washington Post, December 30, 1928, p. M1, 10.
  12. ^ Hanke, Ken (1990). Charlie Chan at the Movies: History, Filmography, and Criticism. McFarland & Company. p. 64. ISBN 0-786-48661-9.
  13. ^ "Suicide Victim Former Actor," Los Angeles Times, April 23, 1937. p. A2

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