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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Happy Birthday, Van Heflin!

“Louis B. Mayer once looked at me and said, ‘You will never get the girl at the end,’” recalled actor Van Heflin once in an interview.  “So I worked on my acting.”  The man born Emmett Evan Heflin, Jr. in Walters, Oklahoma on this date in 1908 (some sources report 1910) always boasted, “I’ve never played […]

Happy Birthday, Agnes Moorehead!

In my days of higher education—where it was joked that I had spent so much time in college, ivy had started to grow up my leg—I was a member of Armstrong State College’s quiz bowl team.  I vividly remember my first tournament, in which we squared off against a most formidable squad from Georgia Tech; […]

Happy Birthday, Rex Stout!

He became famous for creating Nero Wolfe—a character memorably described by  an author at The Thrilling Detective Website as a “{m}assively overweight, a cranky, agoraphobic and sedentary gourmet who virtually never leaves his Manhattan brownstone.”  But Rex Todhunter Stout—born in Noblesville, Indiana on this date in 1886—wouldn’t introduce fans to the corpulent sleuth until he was in his […]

Happy Birthday, Elliott Lewis!

“Elliott Lewis was the greatest actor of them all,” declared veteran radio scribe E. Jack Neuman in an interview with Leonard Maltin. “He could break your heart with a word; his timing was impeccable.”  Now, we should point out here that Neuman’s praise for the acting talents of the man born in New York City on this […]

Happy Birthday, Bernard Lenrow!

When the popular radio crime anthology known as The Mollé Mystery Theatre premiered over NBC in the fall of 1943, the host of that series—”annotator” Geoffrey Barnes—was portrayed by an actor named Roc Rogers.  Barnes, who described himself as “the connoisseur of mysteries” (eat your heart out, Thomas Hyland!), served as the audience’s introduction to dramatized tales […]

Happy Birthday, Don Quinn!

The most fortuitous event that occurred in the life of writer-cartoonist Don Quinn—born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on this date in 1900—was meeting Jim Jordan at the studios of Chicago’s WENR.  Jordan, an employee at the station along with his wife Marian, had heard that Quinn wrote jokes for a living and asked him to […]

Happy Birthday, Frank Readick!

The actor born Frank Winfield Russell Marion Derwent Readick, Jr. (that’s what he called himself in a 1932 issue of Radio Guide) on this date in Seattle, Washington in 1896 was already a performing veteran at the age of two.  Readick traveled with his parents’ covered wagon show, and (in another edition of Radio Guide) he reminisced that the show once trekked through […]

Happy Birthday, Parker Fennelly!

It would become one of radio’s most beloved weekly rituals in the late 1940s: comedian Fred Allen would venture into “Allen’s Alley” to ask its inhabitants a topical question about a recent event in the news.  The first door he knocked on was the residence of a windy Southern politician (Senator Beauregard Claghorn) who demonstrated […]