Philip Yale Drew (1880-1940) American Actor. Philip Yale Drew's career as an actor was overshadowed by his part in a famous murder case. While on tour with his company in Reading, England, a local tobacconist was murdered in his shop: witnesses claimed a man seen near the shop at the time of death was Drew. The coroner's enquiry ended up being a virtual trial of the actor, even though no formal charge of murder had been made against him. The jury eventually issued a verdict of "Murder by person or persons unknown", which effectively meant that Drew was a free man. By this time, the people of Reading were very much on his side, and gave him a rapturous reception on hearing the news. The events of the inquest came under a great deal of criticism, and the Coroner's Act was amended as a result, the feeling being that it was not the aim of the coroner to ascertain the guilt or otherwise of a suspect, but simply to find the cause of death. Drew himself started a downhill slide into obscurity after the above events, unable to cash in on the fame that the murder had brought him. Sadly, he died on Jul 2, 1940 while living in London, England, had died from throat cancer.
Western film series, starring Philip Yale Drew.