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Archive for the ‘Radio variety’ Category

Happy Birthday, Van Heflin!

“Louis B. Mayer once looked at me and said, ‘You will never get the girl at the end,’” recalled actor Van Heflin once in an interview.  “So I worked on my acting.”  The man born Emmett Evan Heflin, Jr. in Walters, Oklahoma on this date in 1908 (some sources report 1910) always boasted, “I’ve never played […]

Happy Birthday, Agnes Moorehead!

In my days of higher education—where it was joked that I had spent so much time in college, ivy had started to grow up my leg—I was a member of Armstrong State College’s quiz bowl team.  I vividly remember my first tournament, in which we squared off against a most formidable squad from Georgia Tech; […]

Happy Birthday, Rex Stout!

He became famous for creating Nero Wolfe—a character memorably described by  an author at The Thrilling Detective Website as a “{m}assively overweight, a cranky, agoraphobic and sedentary gourmet who virtually never leaves his Manhattan brownstone.”  But Rex Todhunter Stout—born in Noblesville, Indiana on this date in 1886—wouldn’t introduce fans to the corpulent sleuth until he was in his […]

Happy Birthday, Elliott Lewis!

“Elliott Lewis was the greatest actor of them all,” declared veteran radio scribe E. Jack Neuman in an interview with Leonard Maltin. “He could break your heart with a word; his timing was impeccable.”  Now, we should point out here that Neuman’s praise for the acting talents of the man born in New York City on this […]

Happy Birthday, Parker Fennelly!

It would become one of radio’s most beloved weekly rituals in the late 1940s: comedian Fred Allen would venture into “Allen’s Alley” to ask its inhabitants a topical question about a recent event in the news.  The first door he knocked on was the residence of a windy Southern politician (Senator Beauregard Claghorn) who demonstrated […]

Happy Birthday, June Foray!

In 2009, Bear Manor Media published Did You Grow Up with Me, Too?: The Autobiography of June Foray.  The titular performer—born June Lucille Forer in Springfield, Massachusetts on this date in 1917—collaborated on the book with cartoon historians Jerry Beck and Earl Kress. (At the risk of being facetious, we’re surprised that the tome – it’s 164 pages – isn’t the size of ten […]

Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall!

The woman born Betty Joan Perske in New York City on this date in 1924 had a burning ambition to become an actress.  After all, she took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (before the age of 18), where one of her classmates was a fellow thespian who would also achieve silver screen […]

Happy Birthday, Lurene Tuttle!

“The First Lady of Radio.”  That’s the fitting appellation given to actress Lurene Tuttle, born Lurene Susie Tuttle in Pleasant Lake, Indiana on this date in 1907.  Lurene was, without question, a consummate character performer, achieving fame in the aural medium, in films and on TV. She even used her acting gifts to coach others so that they perfected their craft.  […]