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Archive for the ‘Classic television’ Category

“Get this and get it straight…”

In 1932, having been dismissed from his position as a vice-president with the Dabney Oil Syndicate, Raymond Chandler decided to take up writing detective fiction to make a living.  Chandler had previous experience in journalism, writing poetry and reviews for such publications as The Westminster Gazette and The Academy, but his dissatisfaction with journalism led him to other […]

Happy Birthday, Judy Garland!

For generations both old and new, Judy Garland—born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on this date in 1922—will be forever known as Dorothy Gale, the young Kansas girl who gets an opportunity to travel “Over the Rainbow” from her little farm in the Sunflower State to the “Emerald City” in the 1939 movie […]

Happy Birthday, William Boyd!

The man responsible for the motion picture career of actor William Lawrence Boyd—born in Hendrysburg, Ohio on this date in 1895—was without question Cecil B. DeMille. The famed director-producer cast the young hopeful in bit roles in many of his silent features: Why Change Your Wife? (1920), Forbidden Fruit (1921), The Affairs of Anatol (1921), etc.  Boyd’s “breakout” role was in DeMille’s The Road […]

Happy Birthday, Jeanne Bates!

Character great Jeanne Bates—born in Berkley, California on this date in 1918—started her show business career as a billboard and magazine model (while attending San Mateo Junior College)…but it wasn’t long before she discovered a flair for performing in front of a radio microphone.  Jeanne got her start in the aural medium by acting in daytime […]

Happy Birthday, Artie Auerbach!

It was a cold January day in 1946 when Jack Benny, attending the Rose Bowl game, made the acquaintance of a hot dog salesman who enthusiastically peddled his wares with a cry of “Pickle in the middle and the mustard on top!”  The salesman tells the notoriously tight Benny that the dogs are three cents […]

Happy Birthday, Orson Welles!

Author Gore Vidal once remarked of Orson Welles: “For the television generation he is remembered as an enormously fat and garrulous man with a booming voice, seen most often on talk shows and in commercials where he somberly assured us that a certain wine would not be sold ‘before its time,’ whatever that meant.”  But […]

Happy Birthday, Eve Arden!

At the height of her fame as the tart-tongued schoolmarm of radio and TV’s Our Miss Brooks, Eve Arden—born in Mill Valley, CA on this date in 1908—got more than a few offers from school boards across the nation to teach in real-life.  Despite their sincerity, these organizations were in for a big letdown.  First, by […]

Happy Birthday, Paul McGrath!

On May 29, 1945, radio’s popular Inner Sanctum Mysteries welcomed inside “the creaking door” a new host to replace the departing Raymond Edward Johnson.  The new master of ceremonies who welcomed audiences to the weekly broadcasts of murder and mayhem would be referred to as “The Host” or “Your Host” …and not “Raymond,” the beloved narrator that […]