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Archive for the ‘Radio comedy’ Category

Happy Birthday, Herb Vigran!

The man born Herbert (some sources spell it “Herburt”) Vigran in Cincinnati, Ohio on this date in 1910 would become one of show business’ most distinctive character actors. His easily recognized voice and facial features (particularly his bushy eyebrows) granted him the versatility to play individuals on both sides of the law (cops and gangsters) and […]

Happy Birthday, Henry Fonda!

For actor Henry Fonda, the old “third time’s the charm” idiom certainly rang true in 1982. He was recognized by his peers at the Academy Awards ceremony that year and awarded the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for his performance as an elderly curmudgeon who reconnects with his daughter (played by real-life daughter Jane) in On […]

Happy Birthday, Ben Wright!

“Ben was one of the last of the true English gentlemen in the Edwardian sense of the word, with an accent on the gentle,” remarked Joe Bandille in 1989 on the passing of his good friend, actor Ben Wright. “He was also a scholar in the best tradition of the self-educated man.” Old-time radio devotees know […]

Happy Birthday, Wilms Herbert!

The actor born Victor Herbert Erpelding on this date in Chicago, Illinois in 1908 put his hobby of collecting rare, tropical birds to good use in his brief but prolific radio career. Wilms Herbert soon learned to mimic the sounds emanating from the occupants of his blossoming aviary, and in studying his fine-feathered friends while […]

Happy Birthday, Shirley Temple!

There’s a classic Jack Benny Show telecast from the 1960s (but really…aren’t they all classics?) where Jack, having ordered a “Shirley Temple” (a non-alcoholic drink made with ginger ale and grenadine, with a maraschino cherry for garnish), takes a swig of his cocktail and discovers it’s been spiked with Scotch. Benny expresses his displeasure to the waiter (who else […]

“…the courage, the devotion, the adventure of love…all strung on the bright thread of…Romance!”

On the subject of the Golden Age of Radio, one word frequently comes to mind: versatility. Its dramatic shows often presented tales well-calculated to keep you in…Suspense! (If you listened to Bob and Ray, however, you heard “tales well-calculated to keep you in…Anxiety!”) If you were tired of the everyday grind and wanted to get […]

Happy Birthday, Joan Alexander!

In 1938, aspiring actress Joan Alexander found herself in Vienna after a lengthy tour of major cities in North America, Latin America, and Europe while studying her craft. The former model was under the tutelage of renowned director-acting coach Benno Schneider, which necessitated her frequent flier miles, yet her decision to return to America was heavily influenced […]

Happy Birthday, Olan Soule!

In 1947, when the dramatic anthology The First Nighter Program moved from its long-time Chicago home to Hollywood, leading man Olan Soule—born in La Harpe, Illinois on this date in 1909—relocated to Tinsel Town as well.  Olan went shopping for patio furniture to furnish his new digs and in paying for his purchase handed the salesclerk a […]