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Archive for the ‘Radio mystery’ Category

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, Vic Perrin!

Old-time radio fans remember actor Victor Herbert Perrin—born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin on this date in 1916—as a member-in-good-standing of the informal “stock company” of performers frequently used by director-producer Norm Macdonnell for the popular radio series Gunsmoke. What you may not know, however, is that Perrin was also a writer; he penned five scripts for the […]

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, Lawson Zerbe!

In her 1968 autobiography Tune in Tomorrow: Or, How I Found the Right to Happiness with Our Gal Sunday, Stella Dallas, John’s Other Wife, and Other Sudsy Radio Serials, daytime drama doyenne Mary Jane Higby relates an amusing anecdote about one of her fellow radio thesps—Lawson A. Zerbe, born on this date in 1914. It seems that […]

Happy Birthday, Leonore “Lee” Allman!

The dirty little secret about show business is that it is a virtual petri dish for nepotism. As Fred Allen jokes in It’s in the Bag! (1945), after seeing a list of names in the film’s opening credits: “In Hollywood, all a producer produces is relatives.” It was not uncommon in vaudeville, either, where performers often worked their […]

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 […]

“When man hunts man!”

The Golden Age of Radio featured many programs that, despite their excellence, failed to attract a large listening audience.   There are any number of reasons to explain their lukewarm receptions—the most common being scheduling. If a network had difficulty deciding on a suitable timeslot, and moved a series around to different days and times, listeners would quickly become discouraged with the “hide-and-seek.”  An issue related to […]

Happy Birthday, Berry Kroeger!

Berry Kroeger’s initial show business ambition was to become a concert pianist.  Kroeger didn’t lack for talent, you understand—but being painfully shy and terrified of performing threatened to sideline his promising career.  To improve his stage presence, Barry’s music teacher suggested he take a dramatic lesson or two and what started out as the means […]