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Original The Cinnamon Bear header art

The Cinnamon Bear Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> The Cinnamon Bear

The Cinnamon Bear MP3 Cover Art
The Cinnamon Bear MP3 Cover Art

One of it's most enduring early efforts, Transco produced The Cinnamon Bear
One of it's most enduring early efforts, Transco produced The Cinnamon Bear

Mutual Key Station W-G-N Chicago was one of the first large market stations to air The Cinnamon Bear as it was intended

Wieboldt's Toy Fair ad promoting The Cinnamon Bear radio program over WGN
Wieboldt's Toy Fair ad promoting The Cinnamon Bear radio program over WGN

Soon a worldwide phenomenon The Cinnamon Bear became a seasonal favorite as far away as Australia
Soon a worldwide phenomenon The Cinnamon Bear became a seasonal favorite as far away as Australia


Transcribed programming for syndication was all the rage over Radio beginning in the mid to late 1920s and quickly established itself as a viable, cost-effective and relatively risk-free programming alternative for early broadcast networks. The independents also thrived on canned programming. For many of the independents it was their primary means of obtaining new programming.

The better syndications aired over both the early networks and independent stations equally. Those that were produced specifically for a network often found themselves in wider syndication after the network had exhausted the run. The more popular syndications from the mid to late 1920s to the mid 1950s continue to be as popular with contemporary 21st Century audiences as they were 50 to 70 years ago.

The more successful syndicators invested in the finest talent, writing, and direction to ensure the highest sales potential for their programming. Some of the most interesting syndicated programming arrived in the wake of the Great Depression. The relatively young networks were understandably still recovering from the Stock Market crash and its wake. Thousands of 'mom and pop,' family-owned independents were equally struggling to hold their broadcast audience without risking deeper debt investing in original programming.

So it was that literally thousands of syndicated programs--both popular and not so much--flooded the radio airwaves of the late 1920s and early 1930s. The most successful syndicated programming of the era was of the music or variety genre. The most popular dramatic programming of the era took the form of comedies and adventures.

The Transcription Company of America, Ltd. (Transco) was one of the more prolific early developers of transcribed Radio programming for syndication. Some of the more commonly available programs from its extensive canon are as follows:

1930 The Story Behind the Song
1930 World Adventurer's Club
1931 Cocoanut Grove Ambassadors
1931 Slim Martin and His Transco All Americans
1932 Plantation Echoes
1933 Pinto Pete
1934 Nonsense and Melody
1935 That Was The Year
1935 Ports of Call
1937 Cinnamon Bear
1937 Komedy Kingdom
1938 Frontier Fighters
1949 The Adventures of Frank Race

Generally 15-minute features, many of its syndicated programs became perennial favorites in their own right. Transco's history features were almost always very entertaining, as well as historically accurate for the era.

Transco introduces the world to The Cinnamon Bear

The series' concept was truly inspired. The creation of Glan and Elizabeth Heisch, the Christmas adventure serial traces twins Judy and Jimmy Barton as they seek the Silver Star that once hung over their Christmas tree annually. Their adventure begins innocuously enough as they're asked to go to the attic to bring down the Christmas ornaments to check them for damage. While rooting around in the musty attic, they encounter, among a crazy quilt and a telescope, a little 4-inch tall cinnamon bear with buttons for eyes. Much to their surprise, the little toy bear regales the twins with a song. He introduces himself to the twins as Paddy O'Cinnamon.

Judy and Jimmy asked the little cinnamon bear if he's seen the silver star that's sat atop their Christmas tree every year. To their surprise, the Cinnamon Bear informs them that their treasured Christmas heirloom has been stolen by the Crazy-Quilt Dragon, and their adventurous quest for the silver star begins. Their first order of business: to shrink themselves down to the size of Paddy O'Cinnamon . . . but you'll have to tune in tomorrow to find out how they managed that. And so the adventures begins . . .

The Cinnamon Bear's popularity with children of all ages has endured for over 70 years, but it's Juvenile Adventure genre belies a cast of Radio talent that virtually dwarfs that of any other 26-episode series during the entire span of The Golden Age of Radio. The actors' radiographies of this short series alone, represent over 8,400 references in the radio logs of The radioGOLDINdex. Most of the actors in this series have well over 600 references each in The radioGOLDINdex.

We challenge anyone to think of one other radio series to showcase an ensemble group of radio voice talent as famous as this cast--taken either individually or as an ensemble. Taken together, this cast represents over 15,000 radio performances, over 300 movies, and well over 500 television appearances--not to mention over 500 years of combined Radio talent! This is a Golden Age Radio Classic, not to be overlooked by any serious radio collector. This series, above and beyond the superlative sound engineering and scripts, represents some of the earliest recorded work of 12 of Radio's most famous, enduring voice talent during The Golden Age of Radio.

Within even the greatly abbreviated radiographies below, seasoned Radio fans will find virtually every significant radio program of the The Golden Age of Radio represented by the cast of this one unforgettable program. The inter-connections between the various artists in this cast span the entire era of The Golden Age of Radio, each young actor pairing up with one or more of this cast over and over again throughout their careers.

Both the premise of the adventure and many of its underlying themes are somewhat reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz: objects familiar to Judy and Jimmy appear and reappear throughout the twenty-six episode arc of the serial. In Episode No. 1 Judy remarks at the crazy-quilt they discover in the attic and within moments they're told by Paddy O'Cinnamon that the Crazy-Quilt Dragon is the culprit who absconded with their treasured silver star. There are several other fascinating connections made throughout the adventure to objects and personalities familiar to them in the real world.

It's the fascinating little details interwoven throughout this adventure serial that keep it as interesting for parents and 'older children' as much as children themselves. That's the genius of the production and it's clear that the performers enjoyed all the little 'inside references' themselves. The Cinnamon Bear serial is a truly delightful, timeless and fully engaging adventure for the Holidays and justifiably continues in that role for generation after generation throughout the world.

Series Derivatives:

Genre: Golden Age Radio Juvenile Christmas Adventure Serial
Network(s): TRANSCO/Bruce Eells syndication
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 37-08-xx Promotional Record
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 37-11-26 01 Paddy O'Cinnamon
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 37-11-26 through 37-12-25 with one episode broadcast daily, six days a week, except Sundays, 5:30 pm (6:15 pm on some West Coast affiliate stations). However, by 1938 The Cinnamon Bear was airing fives days a week, Monday through Friday, up until Christmas Day.
Syndication: TRANSCO/Bruce Eells syndication
Sponsors: None
Director(s): Lindsay MacHarrie
Principal Actors: Buddy Duncan as Paddy O'Cinnamon
Barbara Jean Wong as Judy Barton
Joseph Kearns as The Crazy Quilt Dragon
Verna Felton as Mother
Martha Wentworth as Wintergreen the Witch
Rosa Barcelo as Queen Melissa
Gale Gordon as Weary Willie, the Stork
Elvia Allman as Penelope, the Pelican
Joe DuVal as Fe Fo, the Giant
Lou Merrill as Santa Claus
Frank Nelson as Captain Tin Top
Hanley Stafford as Snapper Snick, the Crocodile
Howard McNear as Samuel, the Seal
Cy Kendall as Indian Chief and Captain Taffy the Pirate
Ted Osborne as King Blotto and Professor Whiz, the Owl
Dorothy Scott as Fraidy Cat
Elliott Lewis as Roly Poly Policeman and Mr. Presto, the Magician
Bill Thompson as Snowman
Ed Max as Blotto, the Executioner
Lindsay MacHarrie in several other roles

Recurring Character(s): Paddy O'Cinnamon; twins Judy and Jimmy Barton; The Crazy Quilt Dragon: Mother; Wintergreen the Witch; Queen Melissa; Pirate Captain Taffy; Weary Willie the Stork; Penelope, the Pelican; Fe Fo the Giant; Santa Claus; Captain Tin Top; Snapper Snick the Crocodile; Samuel the Seal; Indian Chief; Fraidy Cat; Mr. Presto the Magician; Blotto the Executioner
Protagonist(s): Twins Judy and Jimmy Barton in league with Paddy O'Cinnamon in their quest for the missing Christmas Star.
Author(s): Glanville 'Glan' Heisch and Elizabeth Heisch
Writer(s) Glanville 'Glan' Heisch and Elizabeth Heisch
Music Direction: Felix Mills, with the Paul Taylor Quartet
Musical Theme(s): Composer: Don Honrath
Announcer(s): John 'Bud' Hiestand [Narrator]
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation: 26
Total Episodes in Collection: 26 and two Audition/Promotions

Paddy O'Cinnamon
Paddy O'Cinnamon

Weinstock-Lubin's Toyland ad for The Cinnamon Bear
RadioGOLDINdex (David Goldin), Jay Hickerson Guide, the Radio Archives website.

Notes on Provenances:

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


1. The actual provenances for this series vary widely from the reported--or intended--run dates for the serial. While indeed, many markets aired the series six days a week, Monday through Saturday, it's clear from contemporaneous provenances that as many markets aired the series five days a week, Monday through Friday. One can possibly conclude from these conflicting accounts that some markets honored both Saturday and Sunday as Sabbath days, depending on the predominant religions of the various markets. The Cinnamon Bear, while focused on the kidnap of Santa Claus, was more a secular adventure than a religious adventure.

2. The radioGOLDINdex cites transcriptions containing airchecks from Decatur, Illinois as early as the holiday season of 1937. While we don't doubt that assertion, the broadcasts must have been the best kept holiday secret in Illinois. There's not one single newspaper listing in all of Illinois citing that series of broadcasts. By 1938, at least, radio station WGN, Chicago, was airing The Cinnamon Bear five days per week, Monday through Friday (right before Howie Wing.)

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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]

The Cinnamon Bear Series Log

Date Trans.No. Title Avail. Notes
Paddy O'Cinnamon
[ Premiere Episode ]
Weary Willie

Crazy Quilt Dragon
The Inkaboos
Wesley, the Wailing Whale
Samuel Seal
Presto, the Magician
Candy Pirates
Roly-Poly Policeman
Professor Whiz
Fee Foo, the Gentle Giant
Rhyming Rabbit
The Wintergreen Witch
Queen Melissa
Snapper Stick, the Crocodile
Oliver Ostrich
Cocklebur Cowboys
Wooden Indian
Flying Hat
Santa Claus
The Bad Dolls
The Parade
Captain Tin Top
The North Pole
[ Last Episode ]

The Cinnamon Bear Biographies

Joseph Kearns
Crazy Quilt Dragon)
Pipe Organist, Actor
Salt Lake City, Utah
Education: University of Utah

1937 White Fires of Inspiration
1937 Lux Radio Theatre
1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1938 The Silver Theater
1938 Dr Christian
1940 The American Challenge
1940 Woodbury's Hollywood Playhouse
1940 Forecast
1942 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 The Whistler
1942 Lux Radio Theatre
1942 Suspense
1942 Lights Out!
1942 Mayor of the Town
1942 Cavalcade of America
1943 Ceiling Unlimited
1943 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1943 Mail Call
1944 The Jack Benny Program
1944 The Great Gildersleeve
1944 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1944 The Pacific Story
1944 The Lucky Strike Program
1944 This Is My Best
1944 Results, Incorporated
1945 Theatre of Famous Radio Players
1945 The Judy Canova Show
1946 For Conscience Sake
1946 Fibber McGee and Molly
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1946 The Theatre Guild On the Air
1946 Let George Do It
1946 The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
1946 Favorite Story
1946 A Day In the Life of Dennis Day
1946 The Mel Blanc Show
1947 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
1947 The Life of Riley
1947 Menace In White
1947 Escape!
1947 Mystery In the Air
1947 Ellery Queen
1948 The Roy Rogers Show
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 My Favorite Husband
1948 The Prudential Family Hour of Stars
1948 The Railroad Hour
1948 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1949 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1949 The Ford Theater
1949 My Home Town

Joseph Kearns circa 1941
Joseph Kearns circa 1941

Joseph Kearns circa 1954
Joseph Kearns circa 1954

Radiography (cont'd):
1947 The Cases of Mr Ace

1949 Box 13
1949 Our Miss Brooks
1949 Philip Morris Playhouse
1949 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1950 Leave It To Joan
1950 The Story of Doctor Kildare
1950 Pursuit
1950 The Halls of Ivy
1950 Presenting Charles Boyer
1950 The Dave Willock and Cilff Arquette Show
1950 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show
1950 The Screen Guild Theatre
1950 The Harold Peary Show
1950 The Amos 'n Andy Show

and hundreds more . . .
Bespectacled Joseph Kearns is probably best remembered for his role as Mr. Wilson in the popular 1960's television series Dennis the Menace. But to Golden Age Radio fans the world over, Joseph Kearns is one of the icons of Radio.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, his family moved to California when he was very young. He returned to Utah to study at the University of Utah, earning his tuition by teaching a course in theatrical makeup. Kearns began his career in radio and theatre as a pipe organist, and eventually even built his Hollywood home around a such a pipe organ.

He began his acting career in radio in the 1930s in Lux Radio Theatre and The Cinnamon Bear, but his radiography is one of the longest of all character actors of the era. One of his most fondly remembered recurring roles was that of Ed, the security guard for Jack Benny's underground vault, on
The Jack Benny Program. The running gag was that Benny had kept Ed sequestered guarding the vault's door so long that he was never aware of current events. Example: When Benny told him The War [World War II] had ended, Ed asked Benny whether the "North" or the "South" had won.

One of the premier programs of the Golden Age of Radio, Suspense billed itself as Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills and was heard in one form or another from 1942 through 1962. Joseph Kearns acted as The Man In Black for over half of Suspense's 945 episodes. He's also fondly remembered for his portrayal of Professor Moriarty to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes in The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Joseph Kearns' uncredited Film debut was as the voice of on of the angels in It's a Wonderful Life (1946). His onscreen debut was in Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951). He voiced the Doorknob in Disney's Alice in Wonderland (1951). Kearns appeared in over twenty other movies; his final film was Anatomy of a Murder (1959).

His Television debut came in Our Miss Brooks (1953-55) as Superintendent Stone. But he is most famously remembered as the long-suffering neighbor Mr. George Wilson in Dennis the Menace (1959-62), which was based on the popular comic strip by Hank Ketchum. Joseph Kearns appeared in over 240 television productions over the years.

But Kearns' fondest love was his Radio career. Remember . . . he even built his home around a pipe organ--literally. Prior to his career as a radio actor, he had a career as a Theater and Radio pipe organist. Upon his untimely death, still playing Mr. Wilson, Kearns was replaced by fellow Radio veteran and long-time friend, Gale Gordon (below), who portrayed a relative of Mr. Wilson who moved next door to Dennis, and was similarly tortured by him.

Gale Gordon
[ Charles T. Aldrich, Jr.]

(Weary Willie, the Stork; The Ostrich)
Radio, Television, Film and Stage Actor
New York City, New York, USA

1932 Strange Adventures In Strange Lands
1932 Tarzan of the Apes
1932 The Linit Bath Club Revue
1933 Seal of the Don
1933 Calling All Cars
1934 Tarzan and the Diamond of Asher
1934 Mama Bloom's Brood
1934 Mary Pickford and Company
1935 That Was the Year
1935 Front Page Drama
1935 The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon
1935 The March of Time
1936 Tarzan
1937 Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police
1937 Dr Christian
1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1938 Captains of Industry
1938 The Fullness of Times
1938 Log Cabin Jamboree
1938 Good News
1938 Warner Brothers Academy  Theatre
1938 Big Town
1938 Lux Radio Theatre
1938 The Wonder Show
1939 The Joe E Brown Show
1939 The Shadow of Fu Manchu
1939 The Adventures of Jungle Jim
1939 Fibber McGee and Molly
1940 In His Steps
1940 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1941 Miss Pinkerton, Inc.
1941 Cavalcade of America
1941 Orson Welles Theater
1941 Your Red Cross Roll Call
1942 The Pepsodent Show
1942 The Whistler
1942 Mail Call
1945 Suspense
1945 Cavalcade of America
1946 The Fabulous Doctor Tweedy
1946 H0llywood Star Time
1946 The Casebook of Gregory Hood
1946 Theatre Guild on the Air
1946 Birds Eye Oopen House
1946 The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
1946 The Drene Show
1947 The Freedom Train
1947 Here's To Veterans
1947 The Baby Snooks Show
1947 The Life of Riley
1947 The Greatest Story Ever Told
1947 Johnny Madero, Pier 23
1947 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1947 The Great Gildersleeve
1948 A Day In the Life of Dennis Day
1948 The Shadow
1948 Old Gold Time
1948 The Judy Canova Show
1948 The Little Immigrant (Life With Luigi)
1948 Our Miss Brooks
1948 NBC University Theater
1948 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show
1948 The Charlie McCarthy Show
1949 From the Bookshelf of the World
1949 My Favorite Husband
1949 The Magic Detective
1949 Sweet Adeline
1949 The Halls of Ivy
1949 Guest Star
1950 Granby's Green Acres
1950 The Halls of Ivy
1950 The Cass Daley Show
1950 The Lucky Strike Program
1950 Mr and Mrs Blandings
1951 All About Time
1952 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
1952 Junior Miss
1953 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1955 My Little Margie

Gale Gordon c. 1949

Gale Gordon, c. 1926

Gale Gordon, ca. 1934

Gale Gordon at the mike with Jean Hersholt and Rosemary De Camp for Dr. Christian, ca. 1937

Gale Gordon's posthumous Radio Hall of Fame Award, 1999

Say the name 'Osgoode T. Conklin' outloud and what does anybody within earshot--and over the age of 50--immediately imagine? Gale Gordon, naturally. Next test: say the name Gregory Hood outloud within earshot of the same audience? . . . . . wait for the sound of a pin dropping two rooms away.

Such was Charles T. Aldrich's blessing--and curse--for the first half of his acting career. Who's Charles T. Aldrich?--the self-same Gale Gordon. It's a truly great character actor's curse--or blessing--to not be recognized. Indeed, the most ideal character actor imaginable, might never be recognized at all--by anybody but his acting peers.

So how does an actor as strikingly debonair and attractive as Gale Gordon manage to escape being typecast for the first half of his acting career? He was darn good at what he did. That's how.

Any dyed-in-the-wool Film, Radio, or Television buff can probably rattle off a stream of 20 - 40 great character actors they've heard or seen during their lives. But it's a rare few character actors that can immediately evoke the kind of visceral connection to a character that Gale Gordon can.

And if you're blessed enough to be an aficionado of all three of the audiovisual Arts of The Golden Age then the name Gale Gordon will come to mind over and over and over again whether in Film, on Radio, or on Television. Just take a brief tour of Gordon's Radiography at the left. Action, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Thriller, or Melodrama. They're all there--and in embarassing abundance. That's the mark of a truly versatile character actor at the height of his powers.

Gale Gordon almost immediately established that he could star as a lead radio character in virtually any radio genre. But Gordon was an actor's actor. He appears to have continually sought the delicious character roles that he could really sink his teeth into. He had the chops, the looks, and the swagger to lead in any of the various action or detective genre programs of the era. And he tried a few for size. But it was the more quixotic, challenging character roles that he enjoyed the most.

Some maintain that Gordon got his break on radio as Mayor Latrivia on the ever popular Fibber McGee and Molly Show which aired on radio from 1935-1959. But that ignores over fifteen years of a highly productive, successful radio resume before that role.

The other false assertion about Gale Gordon's amazing career is that he "found his niche as stuffy, blustery characters" on Our Miss Brooks (1952) and the various Lucille Ball sitcoms. That's simply nonsense. This great character actor's 'niche' was virtually any script placed before his eyes--period. That he'd mastered the casual, icy 'slow burn' to gifted comedic actresses the likes of Eve Arden or Lucille Ball, belies their equal genius for comedic timing and irony. Gordon simply responded to that exquisite timing with his own well honed timing and character development--both skills he finely crafted over a 30-year acting career spanning over 500 appearances by then.

But there's no denying what a wonderful curmudgeon he could be. Indeed, Gale Gordon recognized all too well that characters as well-spoken and erudite as Mayor LaTrivia, Osgoode T. Conklin, or Theodore J. Mooney (the names alone evoke a certain image) could certainly take ever more ironic turns by poking fun at them. That was his genius and that was the genius of the producers that cut him loose on such classic characters.

Charles Aldrich, Jr. was the son of a vaudeville quick-change artist, Charles T. Aldrich Sr., and Gloria Gordon, a former British actress who played Mrs. O’Reilly the Landlady on television's My Friend Irma. He clearly had greasepaint in his blood and his path to become a great character actor was etched in stone from the outset. He studied as a student and dresser in a local theater and made his stage debut at the ripe age of 17.

His Film work included:
  • Here We Go Again (1942) as Cadwalader (his film debut)
  • A Woman of Distinction (1950) as Station Clerk
  • Here Come the Nelsons (1952) with Ozzie & Harriet Nelson, as H.J. Bellows
  • Francis Covers the Big Town (1953) with Donald O’Connor and Francis the talking mule, as District Attorney Evans
  • Our Miss Brooks (1956) with Eve Arden, as Osgoode T. Conklin, a spinoff of the TV and radio series
  • Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys! (1958) as Col. Thorwald
  • The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock (1959) as Raven
  • Don’t Give Up the Ship (1959) with Jerry Lewis, as Congressman Mandeville
  • Visit to a Small Planet (1960) again with Jerry Lewis, as Bob Mayberry
  • All in a Night’s Work (1961) as Oliver Dunning
  • All Hands on Deck (1961) as Commander Bintle
  • Dondi (1961) as Colonel
  • Sergeant Deadhead (1968) as Capt. Weiskopf
  • Speedway (1968) as R.W. Hepworth
  • The ‘burbs (1989) as Walter (his final film role.)

Simply scan the above list for the names of his characters. Without even watching any of them, one can 'see' him in any of those roles.

When the great character actor Joseph Kearns passed away unexpectedly during filming of the third season of Dennis The Menace, it was Gale Gordon they immediately tapped to fill in for his long-time friend, as Mr. Wilson's relative John Wilson. And who better to immediately--and seamlessly--to tackle the role on short notice to save the franchise for another two years.

Gale Gordon was married to actress Virginia Curley for his entire adult life, from 1937-1995. She passed away just a week before Gale Gordon's own demise. You can't invent a more perfect Life than that with all the resources of The Fates combined. He's not only missed, he's cherished--by generation after generation that will be able to hear and watch this wonderful character actor--and gentleman--for hundreds of years to come.

Verna Felton
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor

Salinas, California

1936 Lux Radio Theatre 
1937 The Jello Program 
1937 John Barrymore Theater 
1937 The Cinnamon Bear 
1938 Dr Christian 
1938 Good News 
1939 Fibber McGee and Company 
1940 Little Old Hollywood 
1940 Arch Oboler's Plays 
1940 Fibber McGee and Molly 
1940 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre 
1941 Forecast 
1941 The Sealtest Show 
1941 The Great Gildersleeve 
1941 Hap Hazard 
1941 The Pepsodent Show 
1941 Barrel of Fun 
1941 The Chase and Sanborn Program 
1942 The Jack Benny Program 
1942 The New Swan Show 
1943 This Is My Story 
1943 The Sealtest Village Store 
1943 The Al Jolson Program 
1944 The Sweeeney and March Show 
1944 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show 
1944 The Charlie McCarthy Show 
1944 Radio Almanac 
1944 Radio Hall of Fame 
1944 Suspense 
1944 Four For the Fifth 
1944 G. I. Journal 
1944 Let's Listen To Spencer 
1944 The Lucky Strike Program 
1944 Command Performance 
1945 Cavalcade of America 
1945 The Harold Lloyd Comedy Theater 
1945 The Joan Davis Show 
1945 The Judy Canova Show 
1945 That's My Pop 
1945 Wednesday With You 
1945 Theatre of Romance 
1945 Birds Eye Open House 
1945 The Raleigh Cigarette Program 
1945 Textron Theater 
1946 Purple Heart Theater 
1946 Maxwell House Coffee Time 
1946 The Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre 
1946 Holywood Star Time 
1946 The Tommy Riggs and Betty Lou Show 
1946 Encore Theatre 
1946 A Day In the Life of Dennis Day
1946 NBC Parade of Stars
1947 Here's To Veterans 
1947 Mulligan's Travels 
1947 Guest Star 
1947 The Jack Paar Program
1947 The Life of Riley 
1947 The Camel Screen Guild Theatre 
1947 Voyage of the Scarlet Queen 
1948 Point Sublime
1948 The Jack Benny Show 
1948 Family Theater 
1948 The First Nighter Program
1948 The Abbott and Costello Show 
1948 Guest Star 1948
In Your Name
1948 Red Feather Round-Up
1948 Errand Of Mercy
1948 Mail Call 
1948 Hallmark Playhouse 
1948 The Red Skelton Show 
1949 Sealtest Variety Theater
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse 
1949 Strengthen the Arm of Liberty
1949 The Railroad Hour 
1949 Opportunity U.S.A. 
1949 Young Love 
1949 Let George Do It 
1949 The Whistler 
1950 For the Living 
1950 The Adventures of Philip Marlowe 
1950 The American Challenge 
1950 Family Theatre

Verna Felton circa 1952
Verna Felton circa 1952

Verna Felton before ABC mike circa 1954
Verna Felton before ABC mike circa 1954

Verna Felton as Mrs. Potts in the film, 'Picnic' (1955)
Verna Felton as Mrs. Potts in the film, 'Picnic' (1955)

Verna Felton (right) with Harry Morgan and Spring Byington, c. 1957
Verna Felton (right) with Harry Morgan and Spring Byington, c. 1957

Verna Felton was one of the most endearing character actresses on stage, radio, screen and television. Her characteristic cheeky, grandmotherly face and velvety smooth, husky, voice were her greatest assets in a career that spanned 40 years.

She was a mainstay throughout The Golden Age of Radio, but her vocal abilities were, arguably best remembered through animated films, such as the the 'Fairy Godmother' in Disney's Cinderella (1950) singing Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo, and 'Aunt Sarah' in Lady and the Tramp (1955). And though those two animated films attracted her largest worldwide audience, her contributions to the most memorable programs from The Golden Age of Radio stand head and shoulders above those of the vast majority of her peers.

Among her most notable film appearances were:
  • If I Had My Way (1940) as Mrs. DeLacey, her film debut
  • Northwest Passage (1940) as Mrs. Towne
  • Dumbo (1941) as the voice of the Elephant Matriarch
  • The Fuller Brush Man (1948) with Red Skelton, as Grandmother
  • Buccaneer's Girl (1950) as a Dowager
  • The Gunfighter (1950) with Gregory Peck, as Mrs. Pennyfeather
  • Little Egypt (1951) as Mrs. Doanne
  • Disney's and Alice in Wonderland (1951) as the Queen of Hearts
  • Lady and the Tramp (1955) as Aunt Sarah
  • Picnic (1955) as Helen Potts
  • The Oklahoman (1957) as Mrs. Waynebrooke her last live acting role
  • The Jungle Book (1967) as the Elephant, her final film.

She is probably equally well remembered for her role as matronly Hilda Crocker on the television series' December Bride (1954-59) and Pete and Gladys (1960-61). She also was a regular on The Ezio Pinza Show (1952) as Mrs. Day.

Elliott Lewis
(Captain Bart Friday)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor, Director, Producer, and Writer
New York City, New York, USA

1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1939 The Silver Theatre
1939-1941 The Jello Program
1941 Miss Pinkerton, Inc.
1941 The Orson Welles Theatre
1941 We Hold These Truths
1942-1946 The Cavalcade of America
1942 The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Lights Out!
1944 Command Performance
1945 The Theatre of Famous Radio Players
1945-1948 The Whistler
1945-1956 Suspense
1945 On A Note of Triumph
1945 Arch Oboler's Plays
1945 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Twelve Players
1945 The Life of Riley
1945 The Amazing Nero Wolfe
1946 Lux Radio Theatre
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 The Casebook of Gregory Hood
1946 Columbia Workshop
1946-1951 The Lucky Strike Program
1947 The Adventures of Sam Spade
1947 The Voyage of The Scarlet Queen
1947 Escape!
1947 Hawk Larrabee
1948 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1948 The Sweeney and March Show
1948-1952 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show
1949 The Kraft Music Hall
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1950 The Line-Up
1951 Pursuit!
1952-1954 Crime Classics
1953 Onstage with Cathy and Elliott Lewis
1957 The CBS Radio Workshop
1973 The Hollywood Radio Theatre [Zero Hour]
1979 Sear Radio Theatre
1980 Mutual Radio Theatre
Elliott Lewis's comparatively sparse casting book entry circa 1942
Elliott Lewis' comparatively sparse entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory

Elliott Lewis c. 1944
Elliott Lewis c. 1944

Elliott Lewis c. 1948
Elliott Lewis c. 1948
It's safe to say that Elliott Lewis was the most prolific, versatile Renaissance Man of both Radio and Television throughout the Golden Ages of both media. Quite simply, he did it all--and superlatively. Elliott Lewis first made his mark as an actor, writer, producer and director on radio in the late 1930's. Indeed his first recorded radio appearances were in 1937's The Cinnamon Bear.

During World War II, Lewis was responsible for many of the finest Armed Forces Radio Service productions of the War years, working in conjunction with Gower Gulch fellow enlistee, Howard Duff. Indeed, being the ingenious and resourceful non-Coms that they were, they are reported to have often substituted for each other on air. Apparently each had the other's air voice down so pat that they were indistiguishable from each other when they wanted--or needed--to be. Dedicated fans of AFRS' Mystery Playhouse have been tricked without knowing it, through the personae of Sgt. X, who, in reality was often Elliott Lewis subbing for his buddy, Duff.

Lewis' guest appearances on The Adventures of Sam Spade are some of the more memorable episodes of that series for the magical, on-air interplay between Lewis, Duff, and Lurene Tuttle.

In contrast to his extraordinary radio career, in which he worked either alone or in tandem with his first wife Cathy Lewis, and/or his second wife, Mary Jane Croft, his movie career, like those of most radio actors of the period, wasn't nearly as prolific, with only three films to his credit. His voice was also heard on Gordon Jenkins' classic recording of "Manhattan Tower" on Decca Records in 1945.

During the 1950s, he began to concentrate on writing, producing and directing in earnest. During that period, Lewis produced (1950-1956) and directed (1951-1954) CBS's long running, highly collectible Suspense program. He also produced and directed Broadway Is My Beat from 1949-1954. CBS Radio also tapped him to produce and direct Crime Classics from 1953 to 1954.

After the Golden Age of Radio effectively ended, Lewis moved to Television as a producer of such shows as The Lucille Ball Show (1962) and The Mothers-In-Law (1967), and directed all but one episode of the final season of Petticoat Junction (1963). But it was Radio that remained his first love and he continued to direct the occasional radio play well into the 1970s, culminating with Mutual's critically acclaimed Zero Hour (Hollywood Radio Theatre) in 1973, Sears Radio Theatre in 1979, and Mutual Radio Theatre in 1980 as both director and producer. These Golden Age Radio Revival dramas were some of the finest productions of the 1970s, and despite the dominance of Television, represented an enduring, sophisticated tribute to The Golden Age of Radio that Elliott Lewis had loved so very much.

CBS Radio Publicity once dubbed Elliott Lewis "Mr. Radio" because of his contributions to the medium as a writer, producer, director, and actor. Lewis was involved in more than 1,2o0 network radio programs in those various capacities.

Howard NcNear
(Samuel, The Seal;
Slim Pickins, the Cowboy)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

1937 Calling All Cars
1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1937 White Fires Of Inspiration
1938-1942 Speed Gibson of the International Police
1939 The Shadow of Fu Manchu
1939 Lux Radio Theatre
1940 The American Challenge
1941 Romance of the Ranchos
1941 Cavalcade of America
1943 Homicide O'Kane
1943 Wings To Victory
1945 Suspense
1945 Twelve Players
1946 Lum and Abner
1946 Pacific Story
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1946 Let George Do It
1946 The Fifth Horseman
1946 The Casebook of Gregory Hood
1946 The New Adventures of Michael Shayne
1947 The Smiths of Hollywood
1947 The Whistler
1947 Family Theatre
1947 United States Postal Inspector
1948 Doorway To Life
1948 Diary of Fate
1948 The Sweeney and March Show
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 Proudly We Hail
1949 NBC University Theater
1949 Hopalong Cassidy
1949 The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Howard McNear c. 1958

Radiography (cont'd):
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse

1949 Our Miss Brooks
1949 The Amident Show
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1949 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1950 Frontier Town
1950 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar 1950 Much Ado About Doolittle 1950 The Line-Up 1950 Escape 1950 The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe
1950 The Amazing Nero Wolfe
1951 The Railroad Hour
1951 The Adventures of the Saint
1951 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1951 Romance
1951 Wild Bill Hickok
1951 Escape
1951 Tarzan
1951 The Roy Rogers Show
1951 The Silent Men

and hundreds more . . .
Howard McNear began his career in Radio during the mid-1930s, distinguishing himself in both The Cinnamon Bear (1937) and Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police (1938-1940) as ace operator Clint Barlow.

While McNear could be effect authoritative roles with ease, his true calling was in comedic character roles. He created the role of 'Doc' Charles Adams in CBS Radio's Gunsmoke (1952-1961). Under contract to CBS for most of his career, McNear was featured in many of the network's radio and television programs. From 1955 to 1960 he appeared frequently, in various quirky roles, in the popular radio detective series Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. In the TV sitcom Leave It to Beaver, McNear made an early appearance as a barber named Andy, quite ironic, given his long-running character, Floyd The Barber would eventually become his signature contribution to The Golden Age of Television in The Andy Griffith Show.

But radio icon, Howard McNear, made a name for himself on network radio in a vast array of characterizations, from snivelling murderers to dapper French detectives. In films from 1954, the bespecled, mustachioed McNear was usually cast as a querulous fussbudget. He was spotlighted as Dr. Dompierre in Otto Preminger's
Anatomy of a Murder (1959), and was prominently featured in three Billy Wilder comedies: Irma La Douce (1963), Kiss Me Stupid (1964) and The Fortune Cookie (1966).

He appeared with great frequency on Television in the 1950s and 1960s, often as a foil to such comedians as Jack Benny and Burns and Allen, but Howard McNear's most beloved television characterization was as Mayberry barber Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show. Indeed, when McNear suffered a debilitating stroke in 1967, Griffith kept him on the payroll, re-writing the scripts to allow Floyd the Barber to be seated and non-ambulatory without drawing undue attention to McNear's affliction. As a tribute to both McNear's professionalism and Griffith's compassion, his performances as Floyd continued to draw laughs, in spite of the circumstances.

Quiet, unassuming Howard McNear remains a giant of both Radio and Television Legend and his memory lives on through some of the most enduring, popular Golden Age entertainment of the 20th century.

Frank Brandon Nelson
(Captain Tin Top)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor
Colorado, USA

1930 The Count of Monte Cristo
1932 Tarzan of the Apes
1933 The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
1935 Shell Chateau
1936 Lux Radio Theatre
1937 The Jello Program
1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1938 Texaco Star Theatre 1939 Good News
1940 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1940 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1941 Fibber McGee and Molly
1942 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Command Performance
1942 The Great Gildersleeve
1942 The Jack Benny Program
1942 It's Time To Smile
1943 The Al Jolson Program
1943 Cavalcade of America
1943 The Roma Wine Show
1944 The Spirit of the Vikings
1944 The Raleigh Cigarette Program
1944 The Dinah Shore Program
1944 The Lucky Strike Program
1945 The Danny Kaye Show
1945 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
1945 Mail Call
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1945 Blondie
1945 Birds Eye Open House
1945 Pabst Blue Ribbon Town 1946 Hollywood Star Time 1946 The Eddie Cantor Show 1946 The Abbott and Costello Show
1946 The Harry Von Zell Show
1946 The Life of Riley
1946 The Baby Snooks Show
1946 The Cass Daley Show
1946 Enocre Theatre
1946 The Jack Kirkwood Show
1946 The Jack Carson Show
1947 The Rudy Vallee Show
1947 The Alan Young Show
1947 The Sealtest Village Store
1947 The Victor Borge Show
1947 The Smiths of Hollywood
1947 Family Theater
1947 The Jack Paar Program
1947 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1947 The Eddie Cantor Show
1948 Just Outside Hollywood
1948 A Day In teh Life of Dennis Day
1948 Your Movietown Radio

Frank Nelson c. 1938

Frank Nelson with Jack Benny c. 1958

Frank Nelson with Lucille Ball c. 1956

Radiography (cont'd):
1948 The Jimmy Durante Show
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 Guest Star
1948 Sealtest Variety Theater
1948 My Favorite Husband
1949 Life With Luigi
1949 Our Miss Brooks
1949 Young Love
1949 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show
1949 The Martin and Lewis Show
1949 Four Star Playhouse
1949 The Whistler
1949 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1950 Screen Director's Playhouse
1950 The Private Life of Rochester Van Jones
1951 Stars Over Hollywood
1951 Hollywood Sound Stage
1952 Stars In the Air
1952 Cascade of Stars

Frank Nelson had one of the most identifiable voices in Radio and Television. Short and husky, with a neatly-styled mustache and a deep baritone voice dripping with indignant sarcasm, Frank Nelson's career in Film, Radio and Television spanned over six decades. Frank Nelson was born in 1911. He started working in Radio at a Denver, Colorado radio station KOA as an announcer at the tender age of 15 and only four years later, at the age of 19 he was appearing some of the earliest nationwide radio dramas of the era.

Frank Nelson soon became another of the A-List icons of The Golden Age of Radio. He was a charter member (1937) of AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists) before it became AFTRA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists), and served as AFTRA's president from 1954 to 1957. He was a driving force in securing responsible pension plans for actors.

Radio programs such as The Great Gildersleeve, Burns and Allen, and
Fibber McGee & Molly made frequent use of his droll, squealing voice and "slow burn" takes. A show-stealer in even the tiniest of roles (clerk, neighbor, announcer), Frank Nelson performed in hundreds of sitcoms, culminating in his fifteen-year stint as a regular on The Jack Benny Program and as a returning guest artist year after year on I Love Lucy. His characters' appearances, alone, on Television and Radio were so predictably funny that script writers and timers had to allow extra time for a live audience's reaction to Nelson's stage entrances.

An equally well-seasoned voice talent in Animation, his voice will be equally well remembered from 1962's
The Jetsons television series.

Radiography (cont'd):
1952 Errand of Mercy
1952 The Amos 'n Andy Show
1953 Destination: Blood Center
1953 His and Hers
1953 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1953 On Stage
1953 You Were There
1954 That's Rich
1954 The New Beulah Show
1954 Our Miss Brooks
1954 Suspense
1954 The Bob Hope Show
1954 Meet Mr McNutley
1955 Hallmark Hall of Fame
1955 My Little Margie
1956 The New Edgar Bergen Hour

Verna Martha Wentworth
(Wintergreen the Witch)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actress
New York City, New York, USA

1934 Calling All Cars 
1937 Lux Radio Theatre 
1937 The Cinnamon Bear 
1937 The Babbitt Sisters In Another Part of Hollywood 
1938 Good News 
1938 Dr Christian 
1940 The Honorable Archie 
1942 The Abbott and Costello Show 
1945 Cavalcade of America 
1945 The Whistler 
1946 Out of the Deep 
1946 The Charlie McCarthy Show 
1946 Hollywood star Time 
1947 All Star Western Theater 
1947 In Your Name 
1948 Hopalong Cassidy 
1948 Let George Do It 
1949 Errand of Mercy 
1949 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar 
1949 The Red Skelton Show 
1949 Family Theater 
1949 The Lassie Show 
1949 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show 
1950 Night Beat 
1950 Screen Director's Playhouse 
1951 Guest Star
1951 Suspense
1952 Stars Over Hollywood
1952 The Little Matchmaker
1953 Dangerous Assignment
1953 Crime Classics
1953 On Stage
1954 That's Rich
1954 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1958 Frontier Gentleman
1959 Heartbeat Theater

Martha Wentworth entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory
Martha Wentworth entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory

Martha Wentworth as Motel Manager in The Case of The Runaway Corpse from Perry Mason (1957)
Martha Wentworth as Motel Manager in The Case of The Runaway Corpse from Perry Mason (1957)

Martha Wentworth as Mrs. Lyle in The Case of The Corresponding Corpse from Perry Mason (1958)
Martha Wentworth as Mrs. Lyle in The Case of The Corresponding Corpse from Perry Mason (1958)

While Golden Age Radio fans fondly remember Martha Wentworth as one of the most recognizable voice talents of early Radio, by the time her Radio career was hitting its stride she had already attracted a huge, loyal audience of Red Ryder western adventure fans.

Martha Wentworth played the Duchess, Allan Lane's formidable aunt, in seven of Republic Pictures' popular Red Ryder Westerns between 1946 and1947. The original Duchess, Alice Fleming, had left the series along with William Elliott, who was being groomed for Grade-A Westerns. As the new Duchess, Wentworth joined Lane, Elliott's replacement, and little Bobby Blake (Robert Blake), the former Our Gang star, who played Indian sidekick Little Beaver in all the Republic Red Ryder films. For a great majority of the series' fans, the Lane-Wentworth-Blake combination marked the quintessential Red Ryder films, the trio becoming one of the most successful combinations in B-Western history. Republic sold the Red Ryder franchise to low-budget Eagle-Lion in 1948 and four additional films were produced, but Wentworth was replaced with former silent-action heroine Marin Sais.

In her later years, Wentworth did quite a bit of voice-over work for Walt Disney.

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