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Original Hollywood Star Time header art

The Hollywood Star Time Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Hollywood Star Time

1944 RKO-produced Hollywood Star Time spot ad
RKO produced a similarly named program, RKO's Hollywood Star Time that was often mistaken for or conflated with the CBS-produced drama anthology of the same name in 1946
Spot ad for March 02 1946 Hollywood Star Time
Spot ad for March 02 1946 Hollywood Star Time

Hollywood Star Time spot ad from January 1 1947
Hollywood Star Time spot ad from January 1 1947



From the February 7, 1946 edition of the Mason City Globe-Gazette: 

On The Beam

with CHUCK HILTON

      A RADIO PREVIEW of the psychological mystery motion picture, "Shock," will be presented on Hollywood Star Time over KGLO-CBS, Thursday at 6:30 p.m.  A dramatic story of mysterious happenings, "Shock" will feature Lynn Bari and Vincent Price who star in the screen play.

     It will be the first time any 20th Century Fox motion picture has ever been presented in a radio version before the picture has been released.

     Music for "Shock" has been specially written by composer-conductor Alfred Newman and it will be produced by Joe Rines and directed by Robert L. Redd.

Radio's earliest 'Hollywood Star Time' was a 1944 run of daily, weekday Hollywood interviews produced by the RKO Studios and called RKO's Hollywood Star Time. It was a 15-minute format of promotional interviews. We cite the earlier run to disambiguate it from the 1946 to 1947 run of Hollywood Star Time, produced by CBS as a drama anthology starring the greatest stars of Stage, Screen and Radio of the era.

To underscore the level of talent that the series would employ, CBS persuaded Tyrone Power to perform in the series premiere of January 6, 1946. Power and co-star Jeannie Crain performed Seventh Heaven, the successful romantic drama previously performed on the Broadway stage and produced in Film twice by 20th Century Fox. Tyrone Power had just been released from the Marine Corps and this was his very first public performance since his release.

Initially linked with 20th Century Fox on an exclusive basis, but by the 13th week of broadcasts, 20th Century Fox found itself out of productions to plug through script tie-ins to their production schedule. Their contract with Foote Cone and Belding, the ad firm representing General Motors and Frigidaire, called for 13-week option periods. Finding themselves out of new productions to promote through Hollywood Star Time, 20th Century Fox opted out of their contract with G.M. after the first option period.

This left Hollywood Star Time the latitude to acquire the rights to all of the other studios for their productions and probably came as a mixed blessing to Foote, Cone & Belding and General Motors. The down side of the situation, having lost the exclusive tie-in to 20th Century Fox was that the Film adaptation field was already pretty crowded--and had been for some time. Long running productions such as Lux Radio Theatre, Screen Guild Players in its various incarnations, Theatre of Romance, and Academy Award we're already well-established--or on their way to becoming so at the time. How then to differentiate itself from the other established Film adaptation programs with years of loyal listenership behind them.

To its credit, the half-hour series continued to pull respectable numbers for General Motors/Frigidaire. The arrival of Herbert Marshall as a regular host at about Episode No. 40 provided a familiar--and popular--voice and 'image' to the prestigious program, and Robert Redd's selection of popular productions to adapt to the half-hour format proved to be the right mix in the end. The productions were well adapted by Milton Geiger and the production values and name talent that Frigidaire could afford to attract kept the series viable--and popular--for two almost two seasons.

The production's move to Saturday at Episode No. 23 also placed the production in a far better day and time to compete for--and retain--listeners. The move to Saturdays worked well through the holiday season of 1946, which was really all G.M./Frigidaire could ask of the production.

By far the most appealing portions of the run were the Herbert Marshall hosted programs. One of Hollywood's most beloved stars, Marshall was also lending his talent to G.M and Frigidaire via his The Man Called X. Whatever success Hollywood Star Time continued to achieve was, for Frigidaire in any case, simply more attractive-- and popular--leverage from which to promote its appliances during an era of both stiff competition during post-World War II prosperity--however short-lived.

Series Derivatives:

AFRS Playhouse 25; AFRS Mystery Theatre
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Dramas
Network(s): CBS; The AFRS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 46-01-06 01 Seventh Heaven
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 46-01-06 to 47-03-27; CBS; Sixty-five, 30-minute programs; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. then Saturdays, 6 p.m.
Syndication: AFRS
Sponsors: Frigidaire and General Motors
Director(s): Robert L. Redd [Director/Producer]
Jack Johnstone
Principal Actors: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, William Eythe, Linda Darnell, John Payne, James Dunn, Peggy An Garner, Vincent Price, Lynn Bari, Victor Mature, June Haver, Cornell Wilde, Dana Andrews, Ann Baxter, Henry Fonda, Cesar Romero, Gregory Ratoff, Nancy Guild, Allyn Joslyn, Barbara Whiting, Signe Hasso, John Shepperd, Lloyd Nolan, Betty Grable, Frank Latimore, Vanessa Grown, Lee Cobb, Charles Bickford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Roddy McDowell, William Eythe, George Montgomery, Ida Lupino, Rex Harrison, George Brent, Joan Bennett, Dick Powell, Alan Ladd, Robert Young, Charles Laughton, Eddie Bracken, Diana Lynn, Robert Montgomery, Brian Donlevy, Joan Caulfield, Robert Cummings, Sidney Greenstreet, Herbert Marshall, Sylvia Sidney, Dane Clark, Maria Goulavitch, Judy Garland, Joan Blondell, John Lund, Walter Pidgeon, Lucille Ball, Frank MOrgan, Teresa Wright, Dennis Day, John Hodiak, Virginia Bruce, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ann Blythe, James Dunn, Margaret O'Brien, Mickey Rooney, Hal Peary, Jane Wyman, Ann Todd, Cary Grant, Marguerite Chapman, Bob Hope, Jeanne Crain, Frank Nelson, Joseph Kearns, Lurene Tuttle, Elliott Lewis, Leo Cleary, Gale Gordon, Cy Kendall, Fred Howard, Ben Alexander, Burl Ives, Ernest Whitman, Conrad Binyon, Sharon Douglas, George Sorel, Carlton Young, Faye Marlowe, Herbert Rollins, Jerry Farber, John Brown, Linda Darnell, Vanessa Brown,l Pedro De Cordoba, Verna Felton, Ben Alexander, Ken Christy, Howard McNear, Cathy Lewis, David Ellis, Gerald Mohr, Jay Novello, Margaret Brayton, Raymond Lawrence, Mary Jane Croft, Dick Powell, James Eagles, Martha Wentworth, Mary Astor, Mike Mazurki, Olivia De Havilland, Reed Hadley, Al Hill Jr., Edmond MacDonald, Sharon Douglas, Gloria Blondell, Theodore Von Eltz, Harry Bartell, Elliott Reid, Jim Backus, Jane Morgan
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): Ring Lardner, Somerset Maugham
Writer(s) Robert L. Redd, Franz Werfel
Milton Geiger [Adapter]
Music Direction: Alfred Newman [Composer/Conductor/Music Supervisor]
Composer/Conductors: Lionel Newman, Frank De Vol, Bernard Hermann, Johnny Green
Edward Powell [Orchestrations]
Harry Zimmerman and His Orchestra - AFRS Music Fill
Charles Henderson [Chorus Director]
Ignatz Hillbreg [Piano]
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Wendell Niles [Announcer]
Herbert Marshall [Host]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
65
Episodes in Circulation: 43
Total Episodes in Collection: 42
Provenances:
Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

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The Hollywood Star Time Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-01-06
1
Seventh Heaven
Y
46-01-05 The Capital - Sunday--CBS, 2:30 P.M., new Hollywood star time, dramatized movies, opening with "Seventh Heaven" and Tyrone Power; NBC.

46-01-06 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): new program with film stars in adaptations of screen hits; premier, Tyrone Power, Jeanne Crain in "Seventh Heaven."
46-01-13
2
Laura
Y
46-01-13 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, with William Eythe in radio version of "Laura."
46-01-20
3
Daytime Wife
Y
46-01-20 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--"Daytime Wife" with Linda Darnell and John Payne.
46-01-27
4
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Y
46-01-27 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): James Dunn and Peggy Ann Garner in "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn."
46-02-03
5
Shock
Y
46-02-03 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Vincent Price and Lynn Bari in "Shock."
46-02-10
6
My Gal Sal
Y
46-02-10 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): radio verson of "My Gal Sal," with Victor Mature and June Haver.
46-02-17
7
The Mark Of Zorro
Y
46-02-17 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "The Mark of Zorro" with Cornel Wilde.
46-02-24
8
Home In Indiana
N
46-02-24 Hutchinson News Herald - 1:30 Hollywood Star Time - Home In Indiana
46-03-03
9
Swamp Water
Y
46-03-03 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Dana Andrews and Ann Baxter in "Swamp Water."
46-03-10
10
The Return Of Frank James
Y
46-03-10 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Henry Fonda, "The Return of Frank James."
46-03-17
11
Cafe Metropole
Y
46-03-17 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Cesar Romano, Gregory Ratoff, and Nancy Guild in "Café Metropole."
46-03-24
12
Junior Miss
Y
46-03-24 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "Junior Miss" with Peggy Ann Garner, Allyn Joslyn, and Barbara Whiting.
46-03-31
13
Strange Triangle
Y
46-03-31 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Signe Hasso, John Shepperd and Lloyd Nolan in "Strange Triangle."
46-04-07
14
Hangover Square
Y
46-04-07 Wisconsin State Journal
1:30 Hollywood Star Time--WBBM

46-04-07 Chicago Tribune
1:30--WBBM--Hollywood Star Time: "
Hangover Square," with Linda Darnell.
46-04-14
15
Diamond Horseshoe
N
46-04-14 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): with Betty Grable and Frank Latimore in "Diamond Horseshoe."
46-04-21
16
Song Of Bernadette
Y
46-04-21 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Vincent Price, Vanessa Grown, Lee Cobb, and Charels Bickford star in "Song of Bernadette."
46-04-28
17
Kidnapped
Y
46-04-28 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Roddy McDowell in "Kidnapped."
46-05-05
18
The House On 92nd Street
Y
46-05-05 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): William Eythe, Signe Hasso, and Lloyd Nolan in "The House on 92nd St."
46-05-12
19
Riders Of the Purple Sage
Y
46-05-12 Wisconsin State Journal
1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Lynn Bari and George Montgomery in "
Riders of the Purple Sage."
46-05-19
20
The Lodger
Y
46-05-19 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Ida Lupino and Vincent Price in "The Lodger."
46-05-26
21
The Man Who Broke the Bank At Monte Carlo
Y
46-05-26 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Rex Harrison, British film star in "The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo."
46-06-02
22
Second Honeymoon
Y
46-06-02 Wisconsin State Journal - 1:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Lynn Bari and George Brent in "Second Honeymoon."





46-06-08
23
Murder, My Sweet
Y
46-06-08 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): new time and day; "Murder My Sweet," with Joan Bennett and Dick Powell.
46-06-15
24
Morning Glory
Y
46-06-15 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 Hollywood Star Time--WBBM

46-06-15 New York Times
8-8:30--Play: "
Morning Glory," With Olivia De Havilland--WABC.
46-06-22
25
Double Indemnity
Y
46-06-22 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Alan Ladd in "Double Indemnity."
46-06-29
26
It Happened Tomorrow
Y
46-06-29 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Robert Young in "It Happened Tomorrow."
46-07-06
27
The Suspect
Y
46-07-06 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Charles Laughton in "The Suspect."
46-07-13
28
Christmas In July
Y
46-07-13 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Eddie Bracken and Dianna Lynn in "Christmas in July."
46-07-20
29
Mr and Mrs Smith
Y
46-07-20 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Robert Montgomery in Mr. And Mrs. Smith."
46-07-27
30
Hot Spot
Y
46-07-27 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "Hot Spot" with Brian Donlevy and Vincent Price.
46-08-03
31
The Major and the Minor
Y
46-08-03 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Robert Young and Joan Caulfield in 'The Major and the Minor."
46-08-10
32
Operations Touchdown
N
46-08-10 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Robert Cummings in "Operations Touchdown."
46-08-17
33
Conflict
N
46-08-17 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Sidney Greenstreet and George Brent in "Conflict."
46-08-24
34
Operation Monsoon
N
46-08-24 Chicago Tribune
7:00--WBBM--Hollywood Star Time: "
Operation Monsoon."
46-08-31
35
Lost Horizon
N
46-08-31 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall in "Lost Horizon."
46-09-07
36
Mission Perilous
N
46-09-07 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "
Mission Perilous" with Sylvia Sidney and Dane Clark; guest, Maria Goulavitch, Czech spy and underground leader.
46-09-14
37
Holiday
N
46-09-14 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Judy Garland in "Holiday."
46-09-21
38
The Lady Eve
N
46-09-21 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Joan Blondell and John Lund in "The Lady Eve."
46-09-28
39
The Most Dangerous Game
Y
46-09-28 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Robert Cummings in "The Most Dangerous Game."
46-10-05
40
Intermezzo
N
46-10-05 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall becomes regular host; stars in "Intermezzo."
46-10-12
41
Death Takes A Holiday
N
46-10-12 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Walter Pidgeon in "Death Takes a Holiday."
46-10-19
42
Ball Of Fire
N
46-10-19 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Lucile Ball in "Ball of Fire."
46-10-26
43
Bedulia
N
46-10-26 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 Hollywood Star Time WBBM
46-11-02
44
Holy Matrimony
N
46-11-02 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Frank Morgan in "Holy Matrimony."
46-11-09
45
One Way Passage
N
46-11-09 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall presents Teresa Wright in "One Way Passage."

46-11-09 Chicago Tribune
7:00--WBBM--Hollywood Star Time: Herbert Marshall and Teresa Wright in "
One Way Passage."
46-11-16
46
Three Men On A Horse
N
46-11-16 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Dennis Day in "
Three Men on a Horse."
46-11-23
47
Woman In the Window
Y
46-11-23 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall and Joan Bennett in "
Woman In the Window."
46-11-30
48
Stagecoach
N
46-11-30 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall presents "
Stagecoach," with John Hodiak and Virginia Bruce.
46-12-07
49
Dulcy
N
46-12-07 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "
Dulcy" with George Burns and Gracie Allen.
46-12-14
50
Mad About Music
Y
46-12-14 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall and Ann Blythe in "Mad About Music."
46-12-21
51
Three Wise Guys
N
[Christmas Special]

46-12-21 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "
Three Wise Guys," with Herbert Marshall and James Dunn.
46-12-28
52
A Star Is Born
N
46-12-28 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall and Diana Lynn in "
A Star Is Born."
47-01-04
53
Captain January
Y
47-01-04 Albuquerque Journal
9:00 Hollywood Star Time (Gen. Motors Corp.) Presents Margaret O'Brien in "
Captain January."
47-01-11
54
It's A Date
Y
47-01-11 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 Hollywood Star Time WBBM
47-01-18
55
June Moon
Y
47-01-18 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Mickey Rooney, Herbert Marshall in "
June Moon."
47-01-25
56
Elmer the Great
Y
47-01-25 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Hal Peary (Gildersleeve) in "
Elmer the Great."
47-02-01
57
Hired Wife
Y
47-02-01 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Jane Wyman and Herbert Marshall in "
Hired Wife."
47-02-08
58
The Letter
Y
47-02-08 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): "
The Letter," with Herbert Marshall and Ann Todd.
47-02-15
59
Talk Of the Town
Y
47-02-15 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Cary Grant, Herbert Marshall, Marguerite Chapman in "Talk of the Town."
47-02-22
60
Journey Into Fear
Y
47-02-22 Wisconsin State Journal
7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall in "
Journey Into Fear."
47-03-01
61
It Started With Eve
Y
47-03-07 Logansport Press
7:00 Hollywood Star Time

46-02-24 Portland Press-Herald
Audrey Totter will star at 8 p m today on Hollywood Star Time over WGAN, in
It Started With Eve
47-03-08
62
My Name Is Julia Ross
Y
47-03-08 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall and Ann Todd in "My Name Is Julia Ross."
47-03-15
63
The Petrified Forest
N
47-03-15 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:00 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): Herbert Marshall and Anne Baxter in "The Petrified Forest."
47-03-22
64
Blind Spot
N
47-03-22 Logansport Press
7:00 Hollywood Star Time





47-03-27
65
Love Is News
N
47-03-27 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p.m.--Hollywood Star Time (WBBM): change of time; Herbert Marshall and Bob Hope in "
Love Is News."





The AFRS 'Hollywood Star Time' Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-03-31 Strange Triangle
Y
46-04-28 Kidnapped
Y
46-08-03 The Major and the Minor
Y






The Hollywood Star Time Radio Program Biographies




Herbert Marshall [Herbert Brough Falcon Marshall]
(Host)

(1890-1966)

Birthplace: London, England, U.K.

Education: Harvard, Munich and Paris Art Institutes

Radiography:
1936 Shell Chateau
1936 Lux Radio Theatre
1938 Texaco Star Theatre
1939 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1939 Silver Theater
1939 Woodbury's Hollywood Playhouse
1940 Kraft Music Hall
1940 Forecast
1940 Canadian Red Cross Emergency Appeal
1940 Community Mobilization For Human Needs
1940 Information Please
1941 The Jell-O Program
1941 Old Gold Program
1942 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1942 Over Here
1943 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1943 Command Performance
1944 What's New
1944 It's Time To Smile
1944 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 The Star and the Story
1944 The Dinah Shore Program
1944 Cavalcade Of America
1944 Mail Call
1944 Suspense
1944 This Is My Best
1944 The Man Called X
1944 The First Nighter Program
1944 Christmas On the Blue
1944 The Harold Lloyd Comedy Theater
1945 Matinee Theater
1945 V-E Day Special
1945 The Pepsodent Show
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1945 Request Performance
1946 Stars In the Afternoon
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1947 Our Land Be Bright
1947 Lum 'n' Abner
1947 The Constant Invader
1948 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1949 Giselle Of Canada
1949 NBC University Theatre
1950 U.N. Story
1950 Operation Tandem
1951 Guest Star
1951 Hollywood Sound Stage
1954 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1957 CBS Radio Workshop
Meet Corliss Archer
Skippy Hollywood Theater

Herbert Marshall circa 1923
Herbert Marshall circa 1923

Herbert Marshal with his 2nd wife, Edna Best, and Rod LaRoque at a Hollywood fete circa 1932
Herbert Marshal with his 2nd wife, Edna Best, and Rod LaRoque at a Hollywood fete circa 1932

A romantic Herbert Marshall with Miriam Hopkins in Trouble in Paradise (1932)
A romantic Herbert Marshall with Miriam Hopkins in Trouble in Paradise (1932)

Herbert Marshall and Claudette Colbert in Four Frightened People for Cecil B. DeMille (1934)
Herbert Marshall and Claudette Colbert in Four Frightened People for Cecil B. DeMille (1934)

Herbert Marshall and Constance Bennett from A Woman of The World (1935)
Herbert Marshall and Constance Bennett from A Woman of The World (1935)

A suave, sophisticated Herbert Marshall circa 1936
A suave, sophisticated Herbert Marshall circa 1936

Herbert Marshall publicity photo circa 1938
Herbert Marshall publicity photo circa 1938

Herbert Marshall and Bette Davis in The Letter (1940)
Herbert Marshall and Bette Davis in The Letter (1940)

Radio City marquee lit up for Herbert Marshall and Bette Davis in Little Foxes (1941)
Radio City marquee lit up for Herbert Marshall and Bette Davis in Little Foxes (1941)

Herbert Marshall and Joan Fontaine in Ivy (1947)
Herbert Marshall and Joan Fontaine in Ivy (1947)

Herbert Marshall reviews script for A Man Called X at the CBS mike
Herbert Marshall reviews script for A Man Called X at the CBS mike.

''Bart''and ''Boots''. Herbert Marshall and his beloved Boots Mallory at a party honoring Jeanette MacDonald's triumphal recital at The Hollywood Bowl circa 1948
''Bart''and ''Boots''. Herbert Marshall and his beloved Boots Mallory at a party honoring Jeanette MacDonald's triumphal recital at The Hollywood Bowl circa 1948

Herbert Marshall and Vincent Price in The Fly (1958)
Herbert Marshall and Vincent Price in The Fly (1958).

The beloved Herbert Marshall in one of his last publicity photos circa 1961
The beloved Herbert Marshall in one of his last publicity photos circa 1961
From the Cedar Rapids Tribune of July 27, 1944:

Herbert Marshall Started Career As Forelegs of a Horse

By Station WMT

   Here's one for Ripley.

   Herbert Marshall, suave, cultured, man-of-the-world, who plays the title role in CBS' new dramatic series, "The Man Called X," began his theatrical career playing the front part of a horse.  The records fail to state, however, who played the rear end. 
   Marshall the youth was a clerk for a firm of chartered accountants in London, his birthplace.  At the age of 19, however, he entered the theater, first as an assistant stage manager, then as a boxoffice man, and finally as the forelegs of the horse. 
   Following that debut, Marshall played a succession of small parts--count, butler, soldier, sailor in repertory and stock companies.  Finally he reached London, where in the role of Tommy in "Brewster's Millions" he first gained recognition.
   While playing in "Brewster's Millions" Marshall caught the attention of Cyril Maude, subsequently joining the celebrated British actor in "Grumpy," both in London and in the United States.  Marshall appeared as Ernest Haron, "a very nervous character."  Marshall says he was so nervous at the audition, Maude thought he played the part to perfection.
   During World War I, Marshall served with the British army and was severely wounded in the battle of Arras in 1915.  Two months after the Armistice, he joined Sir Nigel Playfair's repertory troupe, and in the following years played in various productions with Marie Lohr, Tallulah Bankhead and other stars.  His first appearance on he screen was with Pauline Frederick, in a silent film.
   In 1925, Marshall appeared on Broadway in "These Charming People," and for the next seven years led the life of a transatlantic commuter, playing in both New York and London.  "Interference" in London and "The High Road" in New York, were among his greatest successes during this period.
   Marshall's final stage appearance was with his first wife, Edna Best, in "There's Always Juliet," on Broadway.  In 1929 he was signed to a picture contract, making his first talking film with Jeanne Eagles in "The Letter."  Last year he again appeared in "The Letter," this time with Bette Davis.  Among his other films are "Rip Tide," with Norma Shearer, "The Painted Veil," with Greta Garbo, "Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble," with Mickey Rooney, and innumerable others.
   By his first marriage, Marshall has one daughter, Sarah.  In February, 1930, the actor was married a second time to Lee Russell.  His second child, Ann, was born June, 1942.  Marshall, nicknamed "Bart" by his friends, is 6 feet tall, weighs 170 pounds, likes dogs, fishing and boating, and belongs to the Green Room club in New York and the Garrick club in London.  He still maintains a family home in Cornwall, England, although he hasn't been there for the last eight years.  "A Man Called X" is heard over WMT, Mondays at 8:30 p.m

As indicated above, Herbert Marshall had trained to become a certified accountant, but it was The Stage that intrigued him the most. What the article didn't mention--out of obvious deference to Marshall's ongoing successful career--is that he lost a leg while serving in World War I, rehabilitating himself with a wooden leg. This didn't dissuade him in the least from continuing to make The Stage his life's work. Marshall simply adjusted for it by employing a deliberately "square-shouldered and guided walk" which remained almost imperceptible to a growing number of his most ardent fans throughout the world.

Herbert Marshall spent fifteen years on The London Stage before making his first film appearance in the British silent film, Mumsie (1927). He seamlessly transitioned directly into talkies once they arrived, and never looked back.

Marshall's highly distinctive, smooth, baritone British accent, combined with an equally distinctive nonchalance in most of his deliveries created an on-screen persona that quickly propelled him onto the 'A' List of both leads and key supporting character roles. His blasé demeanor proved equally effective in light comedy, romantic drama, or in the most foreboding or villainous roles.

By the time he appeared in his first Hollywood film
he was almost 40. That film was 1929's The Letter. The comparisons and contrasts between that early performance and his later, more famous and critically acclaimed performance with Bette Davis in 1940's The Letter make for some interesting observations about Marshall's range. In 1929's The Letter he was the murder victim, but by the 1940, at the age of 50, he portrayed the betrayed husband to even greater effect.

Herbert Marshall found himself in great demand throughout the 1930s, appearing in as many as five or six features a year during the period. His most affectionately remembered--and critically acclaimed--roles during the 1930s were Trouble in Paradise (1932) for Ernst Lubitsch and Blonde Venus (1932) with Marlene Dietrich.

Throughout the 1940s Marshall's Film roles naturally evolved into a string of character roles, albeit almost always highly effective and substantive. Alfred Hitchcock cast Marshall as the brilliantly devious pre-World War II peace leader secretly working against peace for the Third Reich. It was a predictably brilliant casting choice by Hitchcock and an equally brilliant opportunity for Marshall to perform against-type, in Hitch's 1940 classic Foreign Correspondent.

In yet another surprise for his adoring fans, Marshall portrayed the malevolent Scott Chavez in 1946's Duel In The Sun. With the nonchalance only a Herbert Marshall could deliver, Marshall quite casually shoots his Indian wife, a cantina entertainer, over her very public cheating.

Some reflection on Marshall's extraordinary Radio career might help to explain why these against-type performances were all the more effective, especially in Marshall's film roles.

Herbert Marshall's Radio career spanned the breadth and depth of The Golden Age of Radio. Indeed, if it's even possible, one might easily conclude that Herbert Marshall found an even more ardent and sympathetic audience over Radio than he ever acquired in Film. His appearances in the finest drama anthologies of the 1930s through 1950s were always greatly anticipated and highly promoted. Marshall's unstinting contributions to the War Effort were equally noteworthy--and utterly altruistic. One is reminded that Marshall lent his efforts to at least twenty Screen Guild Theatre performances in support of the Motion Picture Relief Fund. In addition, Marshall hosted the long-running Globe Theatre for the AFRS for some 180 performances.

Marshall also made Radio history by ushering in the long-running Suspense series with his stirring narration of The Lodger, as directed by Alfred Hitchcock, in 1940's CBS Forecast Season One, Week Two. Suspense wasn't immediately picked up for production, but within two years it was on its way to becoming a Radio legend.

But far and away Marshall's most engaging role was as Ken Thurston throughout the run of The Man Called X (1944-1952). Again, Marshall's nonchalance and unflappable demeanor lent a supreme confidence to Marshall's Ken Thurston character. Marshall's equal facility with the occasional light-comedy elements of the series, playing as he was off of the slippery, yet resourceful, Pegon Zellschmidt made for eight years of some of Radio's most compelling and entertaining espionage drama.

When the 1950s--and Television--arrived, Marshall was entering his 60s. Although his film appearances began to tend toward exploitation, he continued to deliver both highly sympathetic and highly effective performances for his age and maturity in Film. But it was Television through which Marshall found and even greater audience during the remainder of his performing years.

The proliferation of 1950s Playhouse-type drama anthologies seemed designed for his talents and throughout his Television career his performances were anticipated with the same excitement that his first Radio appearances had created. He didn't get the chance to reprise his Ken Thurston character over Television's The Man Called X (1956-57). That role fell to Barry Sullivan. But in one remarkable arc of five episodes of 77 Sunset Strip (1958) Marhsall's performances as Father Anthony, remain five of that series' most sought-after episodes.

Marshall's last Film performance was in 1965's The Third Day, released just a few months before Marshall's passing in January of 1966. His last Television role was in the made for TV movie The Presidency: A Splendid Misery (1964).

Herbert Marshall was married five times, the second time to Edna Best, an extraordinarily gifted actress in her own right. Their union produced the equally successful Sarah Marshall, most remembered for her 1960 Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Goodbye Charlie. The spouse most associated with the era of Marshall's greatest successes in Radio and Film was Boots [Patricia] Mallory, to whom Marshall was married for eleven years until her passing in 1958.

With a career on The Stage of almost 25 years, a Film career of almost 40 years, a Radio career spanning the entire Golden Age of Radio, and a Television career of 15 years, it's easy to understand Herbert Marshall's almost universal appeal to a worldwide audience. The exemplars of his craft in Film, Radio and Television stand as an eduring tribute to Marshall's well-earned--and deserved--reputation as one of America's most beloved and respected actors.




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