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Archive for the ‘Classic television’ Category

“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of…”

The man officially known as The Reverend Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. was chaplain of the Holy Cross Brothers of the Vincentian Institute in Albany, New York during World War II. Father Peyton established himself as a leader who promoted the importance of family strength during those tumultuous times.  One of his methods involved the ritual of praying the Family […]

Happy Birthday, William Johnstone!

Old-time radio fans know that when Orson Welles made the decision to abandon his role as Lamont Cranston (aka The Shadow) and go on to better things (scaring the daylights out of listeners on Halloween, for example), actor William Llewellyn Johnstone was there to take his place as the “wealthy young man-about-town.” Johnstone, born in New […]

Happy Birthday, Dan Duryea!

“He was Dark City’s most enchanting villain,” writes author/Turner Classic Movies personality Eddie Muller in his essential reference Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, “the man audiences loved to hate.”  Muller is talking about actor Dan Duryea, once described by movie critic Paul Gaita as “the go-to for malevolent supporting roles in Westerns and […]

Happy Birthday, J. Carrol Naish!

At the beginning of each weekly broadcast of the radio sitcom Life with Luigi, the program’s announcer would introduce Luigi star J. Carrol Naish as “that celebrated actor.”  Truer words were never spoken; Naish’s lengthy show business career found him employed on stage, in movies, and on radio and TV.  J. Carrol was a master of dialects, and […]

Happy Birthday, William Bendix!

In movies, television—and especially on radio—actor William Bendix frequently played a typical blue-collar working stiff.  Take his most famous role, Chester A. Riley, of the successful radio/TV sitcom The Life of Riley; the titular hero was a Brooklyn, NY expatriate who moved with his family (wife, daughter, and son) to the milder climes of California where he worked as […]

“Welcome to the mysterious circle of the Inner Sanctum…”

Established in 1924 by Richard L. Simon (father of singer-songwriter Carly Simon) and M. Lincoln “Max” Schuster as a vehicle to sell crossword puzzle books, the company known as Simon & Schuster (still in existence today, by the way) quickly established itself as a leader in the publishing field with innovations in mass-marketing and distribution.  Additionally, they […]

Happy Birthday, Richard Kollmar!

From 1941 to 1949, Columbia Pictures entertained devoted moviegoers with a series of films based on a character created by author Jack Boyle in 1914.  The Boston Blackie franchise was comprised of fourteen B-movies that brilliantly mixed comedy and mystery.  They starred Academy Award nominee Chester Morris as Horatio “Boston Blackie” Black as a reformed safecracker/jewel thief who frequently […]

Happy Birthday, Irene Dunne!

Irene Dunne is acknowledged by many classic movie fans to be the greatest actress who never won an Academy Award.  It wasn’t for a lack of trying: she was nominated five times—for Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937—a peerless comic performance), Love Affair (1939), and I Remember Mama (1948)—but putting an Oscar on her fireplace mantle remained an elusive goal.  […]