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Archive for the ‘Radio horror’ Category

Happy Birthday, Wally Maher!

In the annals of movie animation, there was never a cartoon character quite like Screwball “Screwy” Squirrel.  Described by author-historian Leonard Maltin in Of Mice and Magic as possessing “all the brashness associated with such recent stars as Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker,” the manic creation of legendary director Tex Avery had a short life in motion […]

Happy Birthday, Alice Frost!

At the turn of the twentieth century, a career as an actor or actress was frowned upon in “proper” society.”  Aspirations to trod amongst the footlights were held in low regard, particularly among members of the clergy. So a Lutheran minister in Minneapolis, MN named John August Frost certainly would have raised objections if he thought his daughter—born Alice Dorothy Margaret […]

Happy Birthday, Stacy Harris!

Before embarking on his long career as a much-in-demand actor on radio, TV, and in the movies, Stacy Harris—born in Big Timber, Quebec, Canada on this date in 1918—was the dictionary definition of a “jack-of-all-trades.”  Among his previous occupations were pilot, sailor, boxer, champion archer, artist (he was a political cartoonist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune), and newspaper […]

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, 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 […]

Happy Birthday, Lou Merrill!

An item in the September 25, 1939 edition of The Van Nuys News trumpets the motion picture debut of actor Louis Merrill—born in Winnipeg, Canada on this date in 1912.  The blurb is a little hyperbolic; Lou had previously appeared (uncredited) in the 1938 cliffhanger serial Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars. In addition, his voice had been heard as the […]

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 […]

“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 […]