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Original Cloak and Dagger header art

The Cloak and Dagger Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Cloak and Dagger
OSS Pin

Cloak and Dagger Spot Ad from Aug 08 1950
Cloak and Dagger Spot Ad from Aug 08 1950



Cloak and Dagger Spot Ad from Oct. 22 1950
Cloak and Dagger Spot Ad from Oct. 22 1950

Based on the book, Cloak and Dagger: The Secret Story of the O.S.S. by Corey Ford and Alistair McBain, the Radio rendition of these fascinating stories promised to keep any listener perched on the edge of their seat.

May 3, 1950:

"Cloak and Dagger," to be heard at 4, is a new half hour based on the files of the Office of Strategic Services. It goes on in place of the temporary recorded repeat of the Monday night who-dun-it Night Beat.

Apart from describing the book upon which the new adventure series was based, the above is just about all the fanfare that was associated with the roll-out of NBC's only espionage program of the year. It was also one of the few solo productions that Wyllis Cooper undertook for NBC. It was also Cooper's first collaboration with British crime journalist Percy Hoskins, who would work with Cooper yet again on NBC's WHItehall-1212 a year hence. The combination of Hoskin's unfailingly accurate research and Cooper's lively, fast-paced writing and direction proved to be an excellent underpinning for an espionage adventure drama based on factual events.

The Office of Strategic Services--the progenitor of our Central Intelligence Agency--was one of American History's most colorful and compelling World War II intelligence gathering efforts. It was also, quite understandably, one of our most secret undertakings. Given that backdrop it's very instructive that during the run up to the Cold War years, NBC would attempt to air a fact-based espionage anthology.

Even more unlikely, only a year after Cloak and Dagger aired, NBC followed up with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and his equally revealing The Silent Men. We say unlikely since the prevailing political undercurrents of the era were moving America into a very disruptive period of highly conservative politics, a full-court press by Industry against any form of Union organizing, a period of unbridled whispering and smear campaigns against any form of progressive ideology, and plain, old fashioned, tried and true fear-mongering.

How could this have happened so soon after the unprecendented growth and prosperity immediately following World War II? The Right Wing knew what every fascist power before it knew: you can't instill fear into a society that has nothing to lose. But with:

  • The extraordinary prosperity of the post-War years
  • America's move to the suburbs, with two-car gararges in the norm
  • The acquisition of all manner of modern amenities--on credit
  • An unprecendented period--in 20th Century history anyway--of keeping up with the Jones's,

. . . then, all of a sudden, a significant majority of middle-class America had something to lose--for many families, for the first time in several generations.

For many in the oldest generation of that era, The Great Depression was still a recent memory. And for the wealthy that had managed to hold onto what they'd inherited--or better yet, picked up another millionaire's wealth at fire-sale prices during The Depression--the ageless struggle between the 'have's' and 'have not's seemed more like a pitched battle. So it was that the right wing -- the conservatives who called even President Eisenhower a communist--got the foothold they'd long been hoping to exploit during a time of marked weakness in the American spine.

And yet, in spite of--or perhaps because of--the beginning uproar of the era, NBC's two, back-to-back spy dramas may have served to subtlely inform America about some of the more visceral, unsung sacrifices that had been made in their name--in the name of their freedoms, their economy and the values they held most dear as a nation.

The productions themselves were superbly mounted. With Wyllis Cooper at the helm, superb engineering and music direction for all of the heady atmosphere attendant to most espionage yarns, and a cast of the finest dramatic talent of the era, these programs were examples of the height of their craft.

Within a few years, Radio, the commercial force America had once believed unassailable, would be reduced to Top-40 payola scandals, wall-to-wall shock-jocks, and in the ultimate disgrace, 24/7 Talk Radio of the most narcissistic variety.

All the more remarkable that Radio of this quality was still making its way to the airwaves--albeit appearing in much shorter runs. Those last few years of Golden Age Radio at its finest saw hundreds of potentially excellent productions ignite, burn brightly, then just as quickly burn out and disappear. Television had become the unstoppable force.

Cloak and Dagger ran only twenty-five weeks. Of those 25 scheduled programs, only twenty-four ever aired. Two of the remaining twenty-four have yet to be released to circulation. The twenty-two examples that have survived remain some of the most interesting dramas from the 1950s, and certainly some of the most fascinating tales from World War II.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Espionage Dramas
Network(s): NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 50-05-07 01 [Untitled Premiere Program]
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 50-05-07 to 50-10-22; NBC ; Twenty-five, 30-minute programs; Sundays, 2:00 p.m.
Syndication: Louis G. Cowan
Sponsors: Sustaining
Director(s): Wyllis Cooper; Sherman Marks [Director/Supervisor]; Louis G. Cowan [Producer]; Alfred Hollander [Associate Producer]
Principal Actors: Joseph Julian, Berry Kroeger, Raymond Edward Johnson, Ross Martin, Dolly Haas, Jane White, Leon Janney, Karl Weber, Guy Sorel, Bernie Gould, Hester Sondergaard, Boris Aplon, Everett Sloane, Larry Haines, Jerry Jarrett, Lily Darvis, Joseph Buloff, Nancy Franklin, Jackson Beck, Inge Adams, William Quinn, Michael Artist, Bobby Weil, Brad Barker, William Zuckert, Ralph Bell, Eileen Heckart, Martin Balsam, Grant Richards, Virginia Payne, Stefan Schnabel, Lotte Stavisky, Jerry Lester, Dan Ocko, Irene Hubbard, Arnold Robertson, Lester Fletcher, Harvey Hayes, Jared Burke, Gordon Stern, Francois Grimar, Basil Langton, Patricia Courtleigh, Beulah Garrick, Victor Chapin, Louise Barclay, Janice Gilbert, Frank Barrens, Vic Gillespie, Bob Wile, Charles Webster, Eric Dressler, Joan Alison, Maurice Tarplin, Guy Repp, Les Tremayne, Bryna Raeburn, Lily Valenti, Jack Gordon, Evie Juster, Louis Sorin, Horace Braham, Anna Karen, Alice Frost, Carl Eastman, Louise Erickson, Ian Martin, Luis Van Rooten, Arnold Moss
Recurring Character(s): Varied from production to production
Protagonist(s): Varied from production to production
Author(s): Colonel Corey Ford, Alistair McBain [Originators/Creators/Authors]
Writer(s) Winifred Wolfe, Jack Gordon, Wyllis Cooper, David Harmon, Ken Field; Percy Hoskins [Research]
Music Direction: Jon Gart [Music Director]; Chet Hill, Dick Gillespie, Art Cooper, Manny Segal, John Powers, Max Russell, Al Fanelli [Sound Effects]; Norman Gruenfelder, Don Abbott [Engineers]
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Karl Weber, Bob Warren; Corey Ford [Host]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
26
Episodes in Circulation: 22
Total Episodes in Collection: 22
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Martin Grams' Radio Drama.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the RadioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

As we'd expected, this fine, short-lived adventure series is yet another poster child for the perils of 'commercial otr' misinformation.:

  • 1. Archive.org cites the program as a series of fictional espionage stories, when, in fact they're all drawn from allegedly true stories from the annals of the O.S.S. during World War II.
  • 2. Archive.org cites the series 'complete' at twenty-two episodes, numbered sequentially from '1' to '22'. In fact there were twenty-six ordered weeks of episodes, four of which were either preempted, never aired or remain uncirculated.
  • 3. Radio Drama incorrectly cites Episode #7 as The Kachlin Story in its log of Cloak and Dagger. It should be titled The Kuchin Story. The Kuchin Story is about Burma. All too many of Radio Drama's incorrect citations can be easily explained--they were simply copied from the Cloak & Dagger log from otrsite.com. That's also the source of the title 'The People In The Pass Story', which is actually titled, The People In The Forest. It also failed to note Episode #2, File 2219 - Karl's Story.
  • 4. Many of the surviving exemplars have had either the beginning of the recording tinkered with, the end of the recording truncated for identification, and/or the middle monkeyed with. There's one and only one reason someone would do this across the board--to leave all of the circulating exemplars with some question as to their provenance.

What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. Here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here's the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

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.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.







The Cloak and Dagger Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
50-05-07
1
File 2218 - Frank Baker's Story
Y
[Replaces temporary rebroadcasts of Night Beat]

50-05-07 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. -- Cloak and Dagger (WMAQ): new series based on Office of Strategic Services files; Gen. William Donovan, guest.

[Announces File 2219 - Karl's Story as the next episode]
50-05-14
--
Pre-empted
--
[Preempted for network-wide Truman speech]

50-05-14 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m.
President Truman
50-05-21
2
File 2219 - Karl's Story
N
50-05-21 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. -- Cloak and Dagger (WMAQ):
story of Austrian-born agent of Office of Strategic Services.
50-05-28
3
The Trojan Horse Story
Y
50-05-28 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. WMAQ: Cloak and Dagger. 50-05-28 Charleston Gazette - 4 p.m. WGKV-NBC Cloak and Dagger
50-06-04
4
The Brenner Pass Story
Y
50-06-04 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. WMAQ: Cloak and Dagger.
50-06-11
5
The People In the Forest
Y
50-06-11 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. Cloak and Dagger (WMAQ): agent parachutes into France to prepare for St. Nazaire assault.
50-06-18
6
The Kuchin Story
Y
50-06-17 Capital Times
3 p.m. -- Cloak and Dagger: Irish priest helps
OSS man in jungles of Burma--WIBA.
50-06-25
7
Direct Line To Bombers
Y
50-06-24 Reno Evening Gazette
Sunday 1:00 Cloak and Dagger
Comstock Story.
50-07-02
8
The Eyes Of Buddha
Y
50-07-02 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. WMAQ: Cloak and Dagger.
50-07-09
9
The Trap
Y
50-07-09 Wisconsin State Journal
3 p.m. -- Cloak and Dagger (WIBA): 13th OSS man maps German positions at Bruyers after 12 fail.
50-07-16
10
Title Unknown
N
50-07-16 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. WMAQ: Cloak and Dagger.

50-07-16 LaCrosse Tribune
2 p.m. WKBH: Cloak and Dagger.
50-07-23
11
The Secret Box

Y
50-07-21 Charleston Daily Mail and The Daily Mail (Haggerstown, MD)
A rather sudden rearrangement was made by NBC because the William Powell family comedy was dropped after one broadcast, due to reported differences over script rights. In the realignment, ..."Cloak and Dagger" was
transferred from Sunday afternoons to Monday night.

50-07-23 Charleston Daily Mail - 4:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-07-30
12
The Swastika On the Windmill
Y
50-07-30 Wisconsin State Journal
2 p.m. -- Cloak and Dagger (WMAQ):
Dutch-born American returns to Netherlands as secret agent.
50-08-06
13
A Recommendation From Rommell
Y
50-08-03 Cumberland Evening Times
General Douglas MacArthur: Reason we haven't heard any Korean exploits of the OSS on NBC's "Cloak and Dagger" radio series, that network notes, is that during World War II and the present General MacArthur permitted no agents of the Office of Strategic Services to operate in his command. Only other area where OSS did not operate was in the U.S., where John Edgar Hoover watchdogged espionage activities.

50-08-05 Wisconsin State Journal
3:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-08-13
14
The Roof of the World
Y
50-08-12 Wisconsin State Journal
Sunday WIBA 3:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-08-20
15
Norwegian Incident
Y
50-08-20 Cumberland Times
4:00--Cloak & Dagger--nbc.
50-08-27
16
The Black Radio
Y
50-08-27 Wisconsin State Journal
Sunday 2:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-09-01
17
A War Of Words
Y
50-09-01 Wisconsin State Journal
7 p.m.--Cloak and Dagger: (WIBA) A new adventure series based on the files of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
50-09-08
18
Overground Railroad
Y
50-08-08 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-09-15
19
Seeds Of Doubt
Y
50-08-15 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-09-22
20
Operation Sellout
Y
50-08-22 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-09-29
21
The Last Mission
Y
50-08-29 Wisconsin State Journal
6:00 Cloak and Dagger.
50-10-06
22
Delay En-Route
Y
50-10-06 Corpus Cristi Times - Now it can be told! World War Two's thrilling espionage activities are dramatically revealed on Cloak and Dagger, 7:00 p.m.
50-10-15
23
Wine Of Freedom
Y
50-10-15 Wisconsin State Journal
3:30 Cloak and Dagger.

[ At the end of the circulating Wine of Freedom episode, NBC announces that Governor Dewey would endorse General Eisenhower for president. And, indeed, on October 15, 1950, Governor Dewey appeared on NBC's Meet The Press and was asked whether he would run for the presidency in 1952. "No, that one is out. I am definitely and finally removed and that is beyond consideration," Dewey said.
In a follow up, Egan asked if Dewey had any other candidates in mind. He replied that he would recommend support for General Eisenhower for president if he would accept the draft
]
50-10-22
24
Windfall
Y
50-10-22 La Crosse Tribune
Cloak and Dagger from CSS files, stories of heroism in World War II 3:30.






The Cloak and Dagger Radio Program Biographies




Willis Oswald 'Bill' Cooper [Wyllis Cooper]
(Writer/Director)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Writer, Producer, Director, and Actor
(1899-1955)
Birthplace: Pekin, Illinois, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1929-31 Empire Builders
1932 Tales of the Foreign Legion
1933 Desert Guns
1933 Fifty-Fifty
1933 Armistice Day Program
1934-36 Lights Out!
1934 Hello, America
1934 Daffy-Dilly Christmas
1935 Immortal Dramas
1935-36 Flying Time
1935-36 Betty and Bob
1944 Arthur Hopkins Presents
1945 Lights Out
1947 Crime Club
1947 Quiet Please
1948 Radio City Playhouse
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1951 Living 1951
1951 Philip Morris Playhouse
1951 Scotland Yard
1951 WHItehall 1212

Wyllis Cooper at work in Hollywood ca. 1947
Wyllis Cooper at work in Hollywood ca. 1947

U.S. Army Signal Corps Emblem
U.S. Army Signal Corps Emblem
1st Batallion, 131st Infantry Coat of Arms
1st Batallion, 131st Infantry Coat of Arms.

Original Light's Out cover art

Willis Cooper (1935)
Willis Cooper (1935)

Arthur Hopkins Presents spot ad from 1944
Arthur Hopkins Presents spot ad from 1944

Willis Cooper was born in 1899 in Pekin, Illinios, to Charles Edgar and Margaret (Oswald) Cooper. He was joined a year later by his younger brother Harry Edgar Cooper.

Upon graduating from Pekin High School, he entered the the U.S. Cavalry, serving initially as a Sergeant patrolling the U.S. border with Mexico. By 1917 he was in the Army Signal Corps as a member of the Allied Expeditionary Forces until 1919, at which time he returned to Illinois. His three years in the Army were far from uneventful. He'd chased Mexican Bandits on the border, he'd shipped overseas with the 131st Infantry, suffered a head injury from a German shelling in Germany, and he'd been gassed in the Argonne Forest. He continued to serve with the Illinois National Guard, as a Captain of the 31st Infantry. Cooper retained his commission from 1923 through 1933, serving the last five years of his commissioned service with the U.S. Cavalry Reserve.

When not serving on active duty between 1919 and 1929, Cooper found several writing positions with Advertising concerns. Throughout that period he'd been employed variously as a photographer and ad copywriter in various places between Santa Monica, California, to Chicago, Illinois. He'd reportedly started his own advertising company while in Santa Monica. He'd married his first wife Beatrice shortly upon returning to civilian life. And by 1929 he'd apparently divorced his first wife and married the former Emily Beveridge in Chicago.

Willis Cooper began writing for CBS some time around 1931, as a continuity editor until 1933, at which time he took a position with NBC as a continuity editor. He apparently worked as a free-lancer, since he was writing for NBC's Empire Builders (1929-1931) while reportedly working for CBS at the same time. In any case, Cooper left NBC in 1935 to devote his full interest to Lights Out!.

Apparently he was simply hedging his bets, since 1935 found him writing for Betty and Bob for WGN, Chicago before leaving Illinois for Hollywood, California to work as a screenwriter for the 20th Century Fox, Universal and Paramount studios. He tried to keep his hand in Lights Out! from L.A., but by 1936 he was notified that Arch Oboler had been contracted to take over Cooper's writing duties with Lights Out!.

Between 1936 and 1939, Cooper received screen credits for Think Fast Mr. Moto (1937), Thank You Mr. Moto (1937), Mr. Moto Takes A Chance (1938), Son of Frankenstein (1939) and the serial, The Phantom Creeps (1940) with Bela Lugosi. Some time around 1940, in response to a request from his wife--an ardent numerologist--Willis changed his name to Wyllis with a 'y'.

A prolific writer for Radio, Cooper wrote almost all of the 1934-36 scripts for Lights Out!, at least eight more Lights Out! scripts post-1945, all of the scripts for Quiet Please!, and of course the 500+ other scripts he penned before lending his hand to screenwriting in Hollywood.

Television was a natural extension for both his writing and producing talents. Wyllis Cooper contributed to many of Television's earliest dramas, including his own short-lived Volume One (1949) and Stage 13 (1950), Escape (1951), Lights Out! (1951), Tales of Tomorrow (1951) and CBS's prestigious drama anthology, Studio One (1951).

Cooper was not without his severest critics, the curmudgeonly Radio critic, John Crosby among them, from his Radio In Review columns:

From the September 5th 1949 edition of the Oakland Tribune: 

Writer Puts Unique
Tone In Air Plays
 By JOHN CROSBY
 
   Wyllis Cooper, who looks like a cross between a gnome and Alexander Woollcott, is an arresting and, in one respect, almost unique figure in radio.  He is one of the few writers whose own personality is impressed on listeners more vividly than that of the actors.
   He is the author of "Quiet Please," now off the air, and of a short-lived television program.  Any single drama on either of those programs was instantly recognizable as the handiwork of Cooper, whose mind works in strange ways.  In almost all Cooper scripts a sense of dread, or imminent catastrophe, hangs over the characters from the outset to about one minute before the closing commercial.  Yet nothing much happens in the half hour.  There are long, long pauses, so long sometimes you wonder if your radio has gone on the blink.  Networks are horrified at the amount of dead air they purchase along with Cooper.  (A half hour Cooper script played at ordinary tempo would run about 11 minutes.)
 
ALWAYS SURPRISE END
 
   A Cooper story always ends with a surprise, a twist of some sort, many of them unexplained.  The supernatural figures strongly, though in strange ways.  Supernatural characters in Cooper's dramas are not terribly sinister.  Many of them are more likeable than the humans in the script and some of them are just ridiculous and a little poignant.  They are likely to pop in unexpectedly.  You'll see (or hear of) a couple of guys at a bar drinking beer and suddenly become aware that one of them has four arms and hails from the moon.
   A Cooper story starts so slowly you can hear your heart beat, sometimes with a satiric twist right at the beginning.  There was one about a private eye to whom nothing had ever happened.  He'd had no adventures at all.  And his secretary was no glamor girl, but a battleaxe, roughly 112 years old.  Then a man walked in to discuss a murder.  "Who was murdered?" asked the private eye.
   "I was," said the man, rather aggrieved about it.
 
EXCELS IN CHARACTER
 
   Some of these twists are little too elfin to stand analysis, but then Cooper is not long on plot anyhow.  His gift is for mood and character.  The listener gets so wrapped up in a Cooper character, wondering who he is, what he's doing there, and how its all going to come out, he'll sit on the edge of his chair for half an hour.  And at the end of half an hour, he may still be pretty fuzzy about what happened depending on how explanatory pending on how explanatory Cooper feels at the moment.
   Like Henry Morgan, Cooper has no respect for or interest in listeners who are doing the dishes or who drop out to the icebox for a beer during his stories.  He never repeats himself.  "Why should I make concessions to the audience that doesn't pay attention?" he says.  As a matter of fact, he doesn't make very many concessions to the people who do pay attention.  At the end of half an hour they may be just as baffled as the dishwashers.
   Cooper's Holinshed, at least his principal one, is the  Bible.  "Quite a source book," he explains.  Cooper loves to lift stories from the Bible and then wait around for the mail to see how many people recognized the source.  Biblical stories are put into modern dress and sometimes re-arranged rather drastically to suit Cooper's peculiar point of view.  In the Cain and Abel story, for example, it was all Abel's fault.  Abel was such a nasty character he provoked his brother into what Cooper considered justifiable homicide.  (A lot of people wrote in to say they agreed.)
 
USES NARRATIVE FORM
 
   There are few characters in any Cooper script, two or three or sometimes just one, and he uses more straight narrative than almost anyone.  Besides insisting--against all the rules--on long stretches of silence.  Cooper frequently has two people talking at once--again against all radio rules.  In ordinary conversation, says cooper, everyone talks at once and they appear to understand one another, so why not in radio?
   While unquestionably a rare and entertaining writer, Cooper has some strong faults.  He avoids cliches with such intensity that he's creating his own.  Some of his characters, surprising as they are, bear as much resemblance to human beings as a baby in a bottle at Harvard.  His tricky but obscure endings sometimes seem an easy way for a writer to get out of a bad hole.
   In his single invasion of television Cooper's crotchets were as individual and startling as they were in radio.  But that will have to wait until tomorrow.
   Copyright, 1949, for The Tribune

From the September 7th 1949 edition of the Portsmouth Times: 

'You Can't Do That!' 

By JOHN CROSBY
    Wyllis Cooper, a writer of eerie, sometimes incomprehensible though remarkably literate radio and television dramas looks as if he'd stepped out of one of his own scripts.  He's a short, bespectacled man, broad of brow and sweeping of girth.  His double chin is an expanse of incomparable grandeur.  He works, hunched over a typewriter like an intelligent spider, in a large office in the Hotel Brittany behind drawn blinds.  The drawn blinds, he explains, are to protect him from street noises, which is the sort of contradiction he loves to use in his radio plays.   After his single brush with television, a six-program series on ABC-TV entitled characteristically Volume 1 (Nos. 1 to 6), he is brimming with theories about television, most of them heretical.  Television, he says, is neither a movie nor an illustrated radio show.  Too much television, he feelsl, is just a bad adaptation of Hollywood techniques with cameras running wild all over the place. WINDOW IN ROOM    Television, says Cooper, is really a window in your living room and should be treated that way.  In his own series, Cooper tried to get the home audience to forget all about the cameras, to become eavesdroppers.  The audience was told in the first of the plays, that it was seated behind a mirror.  The audience could see every move of the characters; the characters, of course, could see only their own reflections in the mirror.   Into the room--a hotel room--crept a man and a woman who had just robbed a bank and were using the place as a hideout.  The camera never budged throughout the half hour.  The woman would tidy her hair in front of the mirror--which was your television screen--then walk away.  The man would stamp out a cigarette on an invisible bureau over which the mirror hung.  An ordinary kitchen chair was the only prop.  There was no scenery.  The room was black as a cave except for spots illuminating the actors.     Gradually, the couople became aware there was something very fishy about the hotel room.  The bellhop, the only other character, seemed to know all aobut their crime and to pity them for it.  Their money disappeared.  They couldn't get food or, a more desperate need, cigarettes.  And they couldn't get out of the room.  Finally--if my interpretation of the convolutions of Cooper's brain is correct, and I wouldn't swear to it--they realized they were doomed to spend eternity in that hotel room with a neon light flashing off and on, off and on, outside the window and a jukebox playing the same dreary tune down stairs.  It's a torment I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. TYPICAL OF STORIES    That is typical of the stories Cooper tells and also of this methods.  He used no scenery in four of his six plays and only rudimentary scenery in the other two.  The purpose was not to save money.  The televisionscreen is so small, he says, that the viewer can't absorb the scenery and also see what the people are doing.  He uses small casts because he thinks too many characters clutter up the action.  As in radio, he was spate with dialogue.  Cooper feels there is too much chatter in television.  Yet the first script totaled 74 pages, two-thirds the length of a two-and-a-half housr play.  Most of it was stage directions.    Cooper is trying to establish on television the intimacy that was radio's peculiar distinction among dramatic forms.  He admits it's difficult, but he says that the imitation of movie technique is the wrong way to go about it.    "The movies can go into great detail," he points out.  "In television, we can't.  We haven't the time, the clarity, the size, or the Audience stimulation."  (Audience stimulation:  people in an audience stimulate one another.  Two people in a living room don't vary much.)   On the other hand, television has an urgency and a freshness that can't be duplicated by the movies.  Cooper used to writer his little vignettes and throw them in front of the camera--three one-hour reading periods, six hours for rehearsals--before he had time to grow cold on the.
 PROVED THEORIES

HE STILL INSISTS his series was not experimental and was wildly indignant when ABC press releases listed them as such.  "I had some theories about television and I proved them--to my satisfaction at least.   The main rule, says Cooper:  "Don't try to do what you can't do.  You can't do 'Gone with the Wind' on television.  Why does anyone want to do it anyway?"   His brief experience with television left him unbowed--he'll undoubtedly be back--but he admits it wilted him a little.   " I never heard 'You can't do that' so many times in my life," he says.
   Copyright, 1949, The Tribune




Joseph Julian [Joseph Shapiro]
(Performer)

Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor; Author
(1911-1982)

Birthplace: St. Marys, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Education: Johns Hopkins University

Radiography:

1937 NBC Presents Eugene O'Neill
1938 Ideas That Came True
1940 Renfrew Of the Mounted
1940 Forecast
1942 Columbia Workshop
1942 This Is War
1942 An American In England
1942 Suspense
1943 Words At War
1944 The Sportsmen's Club
1944 New World A' Coming
1944 Columbia Presents Corwin
1944 Treasury Salute
1944 The American School Of the Air
1945 War Town
1945 Inner Sanctum
1945 Cavalcade Of America
1946 Murder At Midnight
1947 One World Or None
1947 Molle Mystery Theatre
1947 The Mysterious Traveler
1947 Call the Police
1947 Crime Club
1947 Casey, Crime Photographer
1947 Gang Busters
1948 Adventures In Industry
1948 And Ye Shall Find
1948 Secret Missions
1948 Communism, U.S. Brand
1948 The Shadow
1948 Under Arrest
1950 Dimension X
1950 Cloak and Daggar
1950 The Eternal Light
1950 Two-Thousand Plus
1951 Now Hear This
1952 The Turning Wheel
1952 Best Plays
1953 The Search That Never Ends
1953 Rocky Fortune
1954 21st Precinct
1955 X Minus One
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1958 The Couple Next Door
1958 Indictment
1974 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
The Eyes and Ears Of the Air Force
Treasury Salute


Joseph Julian ca. 1961 from Perry Mason
Joseph Julian ca. 1961 from Perry Mason

Joseph Julian ca. 1966 from Dark Shadows
Joseph Julian ca. 1966 from Dark Shadows

Joseph Julian ca. 1960, from Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Joseph Julian ca. 1960, from Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

Joe Julian was born in St. Marys, Pennsylvania. He attended Johns Hopkins University and soon after started his acting career with the Provincetown University Players. Julian began his Radio career with NBC, but by 1940 he was signed with CBS and working steadily in a wide array of many of CBS' most prestigious and popular Radio programs, including Forecast (1940), Columbia Workshop (1942), This Is War (1942), An American In England (1942), Suspense (1942), Words At War (1943), New World A'Comin (1944), Columbia Presents Corwin (1944) and CBS Radio Workshop (1956). And yes, as is obvious, Joe Julian appeared in every Norman Corwin CBS production that the famous director ever mounted.

The remainder of Julian's Radio career reads like a Who's Who of Radio's most popular and critically acclaimed crime, detective, mystery and science fiction dramas. In a Radio career spanning almost forty years, Joseph Julian appeared in well over 5000 Radio productions.

Julian's Stage performances included Judgment Day, Walk Into My Parlor, My Heart's in the Highlands, The Rope Dancers, and A Case of Libel, in a Stage career that spanned thirty years.

Joe Julian, of necessity, also appeared in several exploitation movies during the 1950s and early 1960s while recovering from the damage caused to his career by the appearance of his name in the cowardly, right wing 'Red Channels' pamphlet. Joe was reduced to fighting the charges over some seven years. Joe authored his book, 'This Was Radio' in response to the injustices of the right-wing red-baiting and union busting attempts throughout the theatrical community of the late 1940s and 1950s.

By the 1960s, Julian's transition to Television was equally successful--and impressive. Over a fifteen year career in Television, Julian compiled over 100 appearances in many of The Golden Age of Television's most prestigious drama programs, including Big Story (1956), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960), Perry Mason (1961), The Defenders (1962), The Trials of O'Brien (1966), Dark Shadows (1966) and ABC Stage 67 (1967). Julian also appeared in numerous daytime melodramas in addition to Dark Shadows.

Joe Julian passed away in 1982 at the age of 71, after a remarkable, 45-year career on the Stage, Screen, Radio and Television. As a reflection of his extraordinary career in the theater, Joseph Julian's memorial service was held at the American Renaissance Theater in New York.

One glance at Julian's Radiography at the left shows a career marked as much for its prolific output, as for his repeated appearances in virtually all of Radio's most patriotic and inspirational wartime tributes. This fine actor was also a fine, selfless, patriotic American. His body of work in Radio alone stands on its own as a reflection of his patriotism. Norman Corwin was right. Joe Julian was one of America's finest, most effective and most versatile performers.




Berry Kroeger [Barry Kroeger]
(Ensemble Performer)

Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor
(1912-1991)

Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.

Education: Brackenridge Senior School, San Antonio, TX;
University of California at Berkley

Radiography:
1938 Calling All Cars
1938 Doctor Christian
1941 Forecast
1942 Columbia Workshop
1942 Suspense
1943 Cresta Blanca Carnival
1943 Treasury Star Parade
1943 Words At War
1944 Lives In the Making
1944 The New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
1944 Inner Sanctum
1944 Radio Hall Of Fame
1944 Treasury Salute
1944 Men At Sea
1944 Molle Mystery Theatre
1945 American School Of the Air
1945 The Eternal Light
1945 Builders Of Victory
1945 Pearl Harbor To Tokyo
1945 The Radio Edition Of the Bible
1946 Brotherhood Week
1946 True Detective Mysteries
1946 Murder At Midnight
1946 American Portrait
1947 Out Of This World
1947 Escape
1947 The Clock
1947 Decision Now!
1947 Lest We Forget: The American Dream
1947 The Big Story
1948 Favorite Story
1948 Voyage Of the Scarlet Queen
1948 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1948 Theater Guild On the Air
1949 Crisis In War Town
1949 The Railroad Hour
1949 The Whistler
1949 NBC University Theatre
1949 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1949 Cavalcade Of America
1950 You Are There
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1950 Dimension X
1950 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1952 Tom Corbett, Space Cadet
1956 X Minus One
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1974 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
Berry Kroeger casting book entry circa 1943
Berry Kroeger casting book entry circa 1940

Announcement of one of Berry Kroeger's acting appearances from May 2 1932
Announcement of one of Berry Kroeger's acting appearances from May 2 1932.

Berry Kroeger in The Case of Lady Sannox

Berry Kroeger in a brilliant tour de force in The Case of Lady Sannox from Suspense (1949)
Berry Kroeger in a brilliant tour de force in The Case of Lady Sannox from Suspense (1949)

Berry Kroeger as Arthur Jarech in The Case of The Screaming Woman from Perry Mason (1958)
Berry Kroeger as Arthur Jarech in The Case of The Screaming Woman from Perry Mason (1958)

Berry Kroeger as Ernest Wray in The Case of The Lame Canary from Perry Mason (1959)
Berry Kroeger as Ernest Wray in The Case of The Lame Canary from Perry Mason (1959)

Berry Kroeger as Donald Evanson in The Case of The Flighty Father from Perry Mason (1960)
Berry Kroeger as Donald Evanson in The Case of The Flighty Father from Perry Mason (1960)

Berry Kroeger as Edgar Whitehead in The Case of The Blindman's Bluff from Perry Mason (1961)
Berry Kroeger as Edgar Whitehead in The Case of The Blindman's Bluff from Perry Mason (1961)

Berry Kroeger as Rexford Wyler in The Case of The Wooden Nickels from Perry Mason (1964)
Berry Kroeger as Rexford Wyler in The Case of The Wooden Nickels from Perry Mason (1964)

Berry Kroeger in Demon Seed (1977)
Berry Kroeger in Demon Seed (1977)
As noted from his casting card at left, Berry Kroeger had already been a Radio performer for 10 years by 1942. Young Berry Kroeger was born, raised and educated in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio, Texas, a very affluent annex of San Antonio. His family was prominent in San Antonio's society and well respected and admired from all contemporaneous accounts. Berry's father was an independent construction contractor as well as an active philanthropist and local volunteer to all manner of civic causes.

While attending Brackenridge Senior School, Berry Kroeger was actively involved in the school's drama productions. Kroeger briefly attended the University of California at Berkley after graduating from high school, returning in the summers and for holidays to perform in--and eventually direct--many of San Antonio's Little Theatre plays. Indeed the draw of San Antonio's rich theatrical traditions eventually brought Kroeger back to San Antonio by 1931, to complete his education at the local Junior College, while becoming much more active in the community theatre productions in and around San Antonio. The San Pedro Playhouse, especially, came to be Kroeger's theatrical home for several years.

Between 1931 and 1935, Berry Kroeger continued to commute back and forth between California and San Antonio dependent only upon the demands or offers of Radio work on the coast or theatrical productions back home in San Antonio.

In September 1935, Kroeger packed up his auto and committed to giving Hollywood one good, solid run, driving from San Antonio to Hollywood to settle in for the duration--if his luck holds up. With some four years of stage directing experience and seven years of acting experience under his belt, Kroeger has every expectation of succeeding in Hollywood in any medium he chooses.

CBS Radio signed Berry Kroeger to a two-year contract in 1936, which eventually leads to numerous appearances in Calling All Cars, a production well suited to Kroeger's extraordinary range of character ages, versatility and authority. He also shows versatility in Dr. Christian, CBS Forecast, Columbia Workshop, Suspense, and Words at War for CBS. Kroeger also shows his durability as he begins to appear regularly on several of the daytime serials of the era.

From the 46-07-07 San Antonio Light:

Berry Kroeger, former San Antonian, is much around Broadway these days and has changed his first name to Barry. He will have the leading role in the CBS Grand Central Station program starting July 6.
Before Kroeger went to New York he played with the Pasadena Playhouse in California, with Max Reinhardt in Hollywood. Among his Broadway plays were ''The World's Full of Girls" and the Margaret Webster productions of "The Tempest" and "Theater."
He has acted in such radio programs as "The Falcon," "Light of the World," "The Inner Sanctum" and "The Thin Man."

Through the remainder of the 1940s, Kroeger continues to work in Radio--mostly out of New York, while occasionally appearing on the Broadway Stage with stars such as Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Lorraine (1947). 1947 also found Kroeger in two small, but breakout roles in Iron Curtain and Down To The Sea In Ships. His role in Iron Curtain was the better role, but he recieved far better screen credit in Down To The Sea In Ships even though much of his scripted performance ended up on the cutting room floor, for time.

By the time the 1949 Alan Ladd film noir feature, Chicago Deadline began screening, Berry Kroeger had begun the inescapable move toward being typecast as all manner of unsavory character of one type or another. No longer the tall, muscular, youthful appearing actor--in film in any case--the remainder of Barry Kroeger's acting career would find him playing almost exclusively naughty fellows of on type or another over every medium--Stage, Screen, Television and Radio.

But it was indeed Television that truly occupied the lion's share of Kroeger's time from the 1950s on. This, on top of what had already become an almost 25 year career on the Stage, a 20 year career in Radio and a 10 year career in Film--by the age of 38.

His hair having turned prematurely gray in his late-20s, Kroeger found himself hoist by the incredible range of his own voice and characterizations. While only 38, Kroeger often found himself in roles--even in Television and Film--portraying men as old as their 60s and 70s. And in Radio, Kroeger, true to his reputation, was still portraying characters aged from 8 to 80.

Television was a bit kinder to him than Film. His Film characterizations tended to become more and more sinister and evil with each passing year, while his Television work, while clearly leaning more toward his darker characterizations, provided many truly delightful, against-type characterizations throughout the remainder of his extraordinary Television career.

All told, Berry Kroeger's Radio career eventually spanned almost forty years, his Film career almost thirty years, his Television career almost forty years, and his Stage career, for all intents, his entire adult life in one capacity or another.

And yet, in spite of the rather cruel typecasting of this great character actor, he was by all contemporaneous accounts, unfailingly generous to peers and students alike, constantly volunteering for one worthy cause or another, a tireless contributor to his community theatre productions--great and small--throughout his life, a multi-talented artist in several disciplinces, and an overall truly fine gentleman in every respect.

While we miss him, an extraordinary number of his performances over Television, Radio and even Film are now readily available--a fitting tribute to one of Radio's truly great unsung workhorses.




Karl Weber
(Announcer and Performer)

(1916-1990)

Birthplace: Columbia Junction, Iowa, U.S.A.

Education: The University of Iowa

Radiography:
1941 Lone Journey
1941 The Barton Family
1942 Stepmother
1942 The Woman In White
1943 Author's Playhouse
1944 Words At War
1944 The Romance of Helen Trent
1945 The Strange Romance of Evlyn Winters
1945 When A Girl Marries
1948 The V.D. Radio Project
1948 Mysterious Traveler
1950 Nona From Nowhere
1950 Dimension X
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1950 Inspector Thorne
1952 Best Plays
1952 The Cavalcade Of America
1953 The Marriage
1953 Stroke Of Fate
1954 My Secret Story
1954 Doctor Six-Gun
1954 Inheritance
1955 X Minus One
1962 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1964 NBC Experiment In Drama
1967 The Eternal Light

Karl Weber as Dr. Cromwell in Perry Mason circa 1959

Karl Weber as Dr. Cromwell in Perry Mason circa 1959

Karl Weber as Bruce Chapman in Perry Mason circa 1959
Karl Weber as Bruce Chapman in Perry Mason circa 1959

Karl Weber in Maverick circa 1960
Karl Weber in Maverick circa 1960

Karl Weber in Bourbon Street Beat circa 1959
Karl Weber in Bourbon Street Beat circa 1959

Born and raised in Iowa and a graduate of the University of Iowa, Karl Weber--possibly best-known as the husband of The Woman in White (1938-1948), a medical melodrama heard over NBC--began as an actor with Midwestern Shakespearean troupes before settling in Chicago where many of the nation's top radio shows then originated.

He went to New York in the late 1940s to help found New Stages, an off-Broadway group that helped popularize Jean Paul Sartre's The Respectful Prostitute before it moved to the Broadway Stage. In addition to helping found New Stages, Weber's Stage career spanned almost twenty years, beginning with his debut in Lady of Fame (1943), followed by Lady Behave! (1943), The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden and the above mentioned The Respectful Prostitute--both in 1948, and finally 1961's The Best Man.

His radio credits over the years included featured roles in The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters and Dr. Sixgun and recurring performances in The Barton Family, Lone Journey, The Romance of Helen Trent, Stepmother and When a Girl Marries.

Karl Weber's Television career was equally successful, with over 200 appearances in many of The Golden Age of Television's most popular dramatic programs. Weber made several appearances each in Studio One (1948), Search for Tomorrow (1955-56), Robert Montgomery Presents (1956), Bourbon Street Beat (1959), Hawaiian Eye (1959), Maverick (1960), Bronco (1959), Dr. Kildare (1961), and Perry Mason (1961)

Karl Weber also recorded more than 200 books in the Talking Book Program of the American Foundation for the Blind and served as president of the New York chapter of the Screen Actors Guild from 1968-69.

Weber was a mainstay on many of the most popular radio shows of the wartime and postwar years. His deeply resonant voice was later heard in commercials for the presidential campaigns of Lyndon B. Johnson and Nelson A. Rockefeller.

Weber was 74 when he died of congestive heart failure near his home in Edgartown, Mass., where he continued to record commercials until his death. He was survived by a daughter, two sons, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, two brothers and a sister.




Percy Kellick Hoskins
(Research Consultant)

Journalist; Author; Scriptwriter
(1904-1989)

Birthplace: Bridport, Dorset, England, U.K.

Radiography:
1948 Secrets Of Scotland Yard
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1951 Whitehall 1212
Percy Hoskins Life magazine photo ca. 1963
Percy Hoskins Life magazine photo ca. 1963

No Hiding Place
Hoskins' No Hiding Place published in 1951 chronicled the famous and infamous history of the effectiveness of New Scotland Yard


No Hiding Place slip cover

Hoskins was born in 1904 in Bridport, Dorset, England. At the age of only 19, he joined the Evening Standard for a year before landing a job with London's Daily Express where he worked for more than five decades on its Crime Desk, eventually becoming its Chief Crime Reporter. Hoskins' formula for success as a crime reporter was simple. He actively cultivated often life-long friendships with the policemen and police officials on his beat.

Those friendships provided him both a valuable well of sources for his articles, as well as entre to not only Metropolitan Police officials great and small, but senior government officials throughout the United Kingdom. By all accounts Hoskins' amiability and generosity were quite genuine and selfless.

Hoskins clearly knew where a great many skeletons were hidden throughout British Aristocracy, while at the same time remaining a trusted confidante of the wealthy and powerful. So widely respected was his reputation, that he was often tapped to act as a consultant for Radio, Film and Television. Two of his most significant contributions to Radio were as consultant to famed American scriptwriter Wyllis Cooper for NBC's WHItehall 1212 (1951) and as writer, consultant and performer in Harry Alan Towers' syndicated Secrets of Scotland Yard (1948).

Percy Hoskins wisely avoided maintaining his own desk at the Daily Express. In his brilliant view, no desk meant no Express executives pointing to a desk--empty or not--at which to monitor Hoskins' comings and goings. His work ethic wisdom was also famously shared with fellow journalist Michael Bywater:

"Whenever you are interviewing somebody, always have this question in the back of your mind: ‘Why is this bugger lying to me?'"

Hoskins' powerful friendships extended far outside of Great Britain. A lookalike for Alfred Hitchcock, the two enjoyed a long friendship. He was also friends with the American FBI's J. Edgar Hoover, as well as The Daily Express' owner, Lord Beaverbrook.

Long a great supporter, champion of, and expert on New Scotland Yard, Hoskins' rivetting book, No Hiding Place was published in 1951 to great critical acclaim within and without Great Britain. A Crime Reporter of great principles, Hoskins didn't always follow the lead of his fellow journalists when it came to reporting on some of Great Britain's most famous crimes or trials, but he was invariably proven right in the end.




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