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Original Strange Wills header art

The Strange Wills Radio Programs

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Strange Wills

Original Strange Will mp3 cover art
Original Strange Wills mp3 cover art

Strange Wills was marketed and syndicated by Teleways prior to Warren William's purchase of the series shortly before his death in 1948.
Strange Wills was marketed and syndicated by Teleways prior to Warren William's purchase of the series shortly before his death in 1948.

As indicated by Teleways, the syndication consisted of 26 dramatic programs
As indicated by Teleways, the syndication consisted of 26 dramatic programs

March 1947 announcement in Billboard magazine promoting the immediate avaiability of at least 26 programs of Strange Wills
March 1947 announcement in Billboard magazine promoting the immediate avaiability of at least 26 programs of Strange Wills

Bank of Madison-sponsored 'Strange Wills' spot ad from 1947
Bank of Madison-sponsored 'Strange Wills' spot ad from 1947

Ottawa spot ad for Strange Wills from October 31st 1946
Ottawa spot ad for Strange Wills from October 31st 1946

Background

Transcribed programming for independent, sponsor-owned, or network syndication was gaining ground in leaps and bounds during World War II and the post-War 1940s. Given talent displacements throughout the War, the rising costs of in-house network and affiliate production expenses, and the indeterminate economic climate, independent syndicators found a ready market for the majority of their productions. Charles Michelson's Teleways Radio Productions had made a modest name for itself during the late 1940s producing a variety of relatively low-budget 15-minute and 30-minute features. Michelson would go on to become one of the more durable syndicators of the 1950s and far beyond. But during the post-war years most of Teleways' offerings were relatively modest.

In 1945 Michelson obtained the services of Warren Williams, famous Stage and Film star remembered for, among hundreds of memorable roles, his portrayals of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason in four Warner Bros. features between 1934 and 1936. A canny businessman in his own right, Williams later struck a production deal with Michelson, formed his own production company, Warren Williams Radio Productions to develop at least four other Radio productions for syndication.

Other factors bore directly on the success--or failure--of Radio productions during both the World War II years and the post-war years. James Petrillo, president of the American Federation of Musicians, had mounted a successful ban on all commercial recording between 1942 and 1944. This was an effort to obtain a better arrangement for making royalty payments to the federation's musicians. The networks, constrained as they were due to the ban, found even greater competition from independent syndicators who would often record their productions offshore during the imposition of the ban to skirt its legal proscriptions. Petrillo mounted another successful ban during 1948.

Teleways debuts Strange Wills with Warren William in the lead

Strange Wills was an interesting twist on the mystery drama fare of the late 1940s. Conceived by both Teleways and Warren William himself, the premise of the series is the fascinating--but often overlooked--drama that arises from many last wills and testaments. Warren William provides the first-person accounting of these legal entanglements as either the attorney of record or as an investigator of the often complex underpinning of some extraordinary wills.

These were ''strange stories from strange wills under strange circumstances.'' The source attributed to most of these bizarre and fascinating wills was the 'seven deadly sins': pride, envy, hate, jealousy, anger, despair and greed. Initially syndicated by Teleways, Charles Michelson subsequently bought the syndication rights and licensed them further to Grace Gibson Radio Productions in 1948 for distribution to Australian audiences. The 1948 production was reportedly recorded in Australia in an effort to skirt the 1948 Petrillo ban. Many other productions were being recorded and produced in Mexico and Puerto Rico during the period. The Teleways deal with Grace Gibson reportedly included both Strange Wills and Curtain Call.

In an even further incarnation, Warren William apparently either bought--or licensed--the entire series of productions from Charles Michelson and formed his own Warren William Radio Productions, Inc., to market a continuation of the series to NBC, repackaged as I Devise and Bequeath. I Devise and Bequeath was slated to air over NBC during the late 1940s, but Warren William Radio Productions, Inc., passed on with the passing of its owner, Warren William, September 24, 1948 from a 10-month battle with 'Virus X', a cancer-causing blood disorder (bone-marrow cancer). This was a bitter irony indeed. Warren William's final two lead roles in a Radio production were as a lawyer and investigator dealing with strange last wills in one form or another.

The Teleways syndicated run of Strange Wills was of unusually high production values for a Teleways production of the era. Most circulating exemplars are from an originally syndicated subscription set with musical transitions as placeholders for local sponsors' or stations' messages. The core ensemble cast of most of the productions included its host and star, Warren William, and co-starring Howard Culver and Carleton G. Young. Lurene Tuttle also appeared in many of the episodes, as well as William Conrad, Peggy Webber, Will Wright and John Brown. The remainder of the supporting cast of most productions was comprised of many of the West Coast's finest voice talent.

Reportedly ten years in the making, writer/lawyer Ken Krippene apparently compiled a series of script ideas from a collection of last will and testament cases he'd compiled over that period. The most instructive information for the series is contained in the sales highlights recording that accompanies most circulating exemplars. Narrated by Marvin Miller, the sales highlights recording provides samples of seven of the scripts from the advertised canon of twenty-six programs in the package.

Of the five known episodes of I Devise and Bequeath, only four are currently in circulation. The I Devise and Bequeath productions apparently comprised the original scripts from Strange Wills--or vice versa.

There remains some confusion as to the possible availability of as many as three missing episodes from the originally syndicated canon. At least one exemplar that apparently never aired was High Conquest. In addition, Warren William announces an episode to follow Singapore Liz, entitled Swan Song, that apparently never aired. Another source cites one additional script entitled Dishonored Legacy that apparently never aired. This was, after all, a syndicated package of twenty-six programs, as evidenced by Teleways' marketing advertisement at left in the sidebar. Circulating exemplars of the syndication contain twenty-seven titles and a Teleways Sales Highlights recording that Teleways sent to potential subscribers to introduce the syndicated package. We're left to conjecture whether the additional three (or four) titles beyond the twenty-six program package were simply lagniappe, such as a baker's dozen, or whether Charles Michelson and Warren William had already begun to record a subsequent package of thirteen to twenty-six additional programs for a second season. Since Warren William himself announces the apparent 23rd, 27th, 28th and 29th scripts within the original, syndicated transcriptions themselves, it would seem that either Teleways or Warren William Radio Productions, Inc. had already begun a second subscription of thirteen to twenty-six additional programs.

With the passing of Warren William, and the purchase of the rights to both Strange Wills and I Devise and Bequeath by Warren William Radio Productions, Inc., we may never unravel this intriguing mystery within a mystery series.

Series Derivatives:

Charles Michelson-Syndicated Australian Series by Grace Gibson Radio Productions; 'I Devise and Bequeath' , produced by Warren William Radio Productions, Incorporated, for NBC
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Social Dramas (romance, psychological, mystery, courtroom, thriller)
Network(s): Several local affiliates and networks while in syndication; Over NBC as I Devise and Bequeath.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): American Syndication: 46-01-15 Sales Presentation promotional preview
Canadian Syndication:
[Unknown]
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: 4x-xx-xx 00 Audition
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): American Syndication: [1st known broadcast syndication]
46-09-16 01
Title Unknown

Canadian Syndication:
46-10-17 01
Title Unknown

Australian Syndication:
48-xx-xx 01
Title Unknown
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): American Syndication:
46-09-19 to 47-03-13 ; ABC [KECA]; Twenty-six half-hour episodes; Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.

Canadian Syndication:
46-10-17 to 47-04-10; CKCO, Ottawa, CJOC, Lethbridge; Twenty-six, half-hour episodes; Thursdays at 9:30 p.m.

I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: [Unknown]
Syndication: American Syndication: Teleways; Charles Michelson
Canadian Syndication: Warren William Radio Productions, Incorporated
Australian Syndication: Grace Gibson Radio Productions for Charles Michelson
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: Teleways/Warren William Radio Productions, Incorporated.
Sponsors: Canadian Syndication: Fishers, Ltd, Ottawa; Bon Ton Shoe Stores
American Syndication: Householder Funeral Home; Rosinski Furniture Company; Bank of Madison [Wisconsin]
Australian Syndication:
[Unknown]
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: Sustaining, NBC
Director(s): American Syndication: Albert Ulrich; Producer, Robert Webster Light
Australian Syndication: Reg Johnston [Producer]
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: Kenneth Higgins, Producer
Principal Actors: American Syndication: Warren William, Marvin Miller, Mary McCarty, Lurene Tuttle, Howard Culver, Will Wright, Charlie Lung, Peggy Webber, John Brown, Carleton Young, Perry Ward, William Conrad
Australian Syndication:
[Unknown]
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: Warren William, Marvin Miller, Lurene Tuttle, Howard Culver, John Brown, Carleton Young, Perry Ward
Recurring Character(s): American Syndication: Investigator (s): Warren William as Probate Lawyer, John Francis O'Connell
Australian Syndication:
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: Investigator/Attorney (s): Warren William
Protagonist(s): Varied from production to production.
Author(s): [Unknown]
Writer(s) American Syndication: Ken Krippene
Australian Syndication:
[Unknown]
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: Ken Krippene
Music Direction: American Syndication: Del Castillo
Australian Syndication: Desmond Tanner
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication:
Musical Theme(s): Dramatic Organ Music
Announcer(s): American Syndication: [Unknown]
Australian Syndication: [Unknown]
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication:
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
American Syndication: 30 [includes the Sales promotion]
Australian Syndication: 37
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: 5
Episodes in Circulation: American Syndication: 28
Australian Syndication: 4
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: 4
Total Episodes in Collection: American Syndication: 28 [includes the Sales promotion]
Australian Syndication: 4
I Devise and Bequeath Syndication: 4
Provenances:

Billboard announcement of the formation of Teleways Radio Company from January 1946
Billboard announcement of the formation of Teleways Radio Company from January 1946


Bon Ton Shoe Stores-sponsored Strange Wills spot advert in Lethbridge Herald, ca. 1947 thumb
Bon Ton Shoe Stores-sponsored Strange Wills spot advert in Lethbridge Herald, ca. 1947

March 1948 Billboard news story about the increasing trend toward recording programs in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Australia to skirt the second 'Petrillo Ban' of 1948
March 1948 Billboard news story about the increasing trend toward recording programs in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Australia to skirt the second 'Petrillo Ban' of 1948

Los Angeles Times, Martin Grams, Jr.'s Radio Drama.

Notes on Provenances:

All above cited provenances are in error to one degree or another. The most helpful provenances were contemporaneous newspaper radio listings.

The I Devise and Bequeath Episode #4 is announced as The Lady with The Tattooed Back. This may be the same script as the American syndicated Strange Wills episode #4, The Lady and The Pirate.

Although in the Strange Wills American run some episodes were listed as pre-empted in newspaper radio listings, the unaired--or later aired--episodes are available in our collection.

There remains some question as to when I Devise and Bequeath actually aired over NBC--if it ever did. Currently available newspaper provenances cite no airing of I Devise and Bequeath during the late 1940s or early 1950s. Given the passing of Warren William--and his Warren William Radio Productions, Inc., in 1948, and the subsequent passing of his wife, Helen, only months after William's demise, it might be that the scheduled NBC run never aired. We're more inclined to believe that it did eventually air, but we have no provenance upon which to base this speculation. As further evidence, Teleways is heard as the source of syndication for the three available production episodes of I Devise and Bequeath. This may imply that Teleways was the syndicator under license from Warren William Radio Productions, Inc., or vice versa.

Both episodes #10 and #11 both have Warren William citing Emeralds Come High as the next episode.

Episode #'s 23, 28, and 29 cite episode titles that either never aired, or didn't air during the listed run. This was a syndicated program. As such, we can only speculate as to the actual episode order, or whether an episode was omitted from a specific run. We can only currently speculate as to whether the Swan Song, Portsmouth Square, or High Conquest scripts actually aired--or when.

The theoretical episode order for the Australian Strange Wills run is only anecdotal at present. The dates remain approximate.

[
Updates:] Acting on a provenance from the original Teleways marketing advertisement for this series, we updated our missing episode information above. We also corrected five titles, reordered the dates to correspond with the only complete 26-episode airing of the program we could find in newspaper provenances. We also concluded that the unaired episodes were Swan Song, Portsmouth Square--not Portsmith Square, and High Conquest.

As can now be proven from the Teleways promotion in the sidebar at the top, this syndication was packaged and sold as a 26-episode package--until someone can prove to us otherwise. There are twenty-seven episodes of Strange Wills currently in circulation, however. Given the provenance in the recording, The Killer and The Saint, we can only assume, for the moment, that Portsmouth Square never aired. We can only conjecture as to the additional two possible episodes--Swan Song and High Conquest, as to whether they were simply added to any package as possible candidate replacements in the subscribers' line-up, or simply added to the package after the series entered syndication. Either conjecture is plausible, but until either Swan Song or High Conquest surface, that question will have to remain unanswered.

As to provenanced dates, The Chicago Tribune cites the premiere date over WCFL as October 12, 1946, not the widely reported October 19, 1946 in the vast majority of circulating logs. Most of the logs in circulation, including the Grams Radio Drama book, cite a premiere date in June 1946. The source of that particular misdating is apparently the Audio-Classics CD list for Strange Wills [Note: The key to determining 'borrowed' logs is the use of the title 'Portsmith Square' in the log listing. That traces the source borrowed to the Terry Salomonson CD listing for Strange Wills, Q.E.D.]. RadioGOLDINdex also cites an episode, Dishonored Legacy, that may or may not have been part of the originally syndicated package. We can find no other provenance to support that title.


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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.]










Devise and Bequeath Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-xx-xx
0
The Mad Concerto
Y
[Audition; NOTE: Warren William announces 'Midnight on The Moor' as the following episode]

46-xx-xx
1
The Mad Concerto
Y
46-xx-xx
2
Alias Doctor Svengali
Y
46-xx-xx
3
Black Interlude
Y
[NOTE: Warren William announces 'The Lady with The Tattooed Back' as the following episode) See: Provenances]

46-xx-xx
4
The Lady with The Tattooed Back
N
46-xx-xx
--
Midnight on The Moor
N





Strange Wills Series Log [American Syndications]

Date Trans. No. Title Avail. Notes
46-01-15
--
Sales Presentation and Preview
Y
[ Date approximate ]





46-09-12
--
--
46-09-12 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Mystery House

46-09-19
1
Title Unknown
?
[ KECA (ABC) syndication premiere; replaces Mystery House ]

46-09-19 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--S. Wills

46-09-26
2
Title Unknown
?
46-09-26 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-10-03
3
Title Unknown
?
46-10-03 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-10-10
4
Title Unknown
?
46-10-10 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-10-17
5
Title Unknown
?
46-10-17 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-10-24
6
Title Unknown
?
46-10-24 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-10-31
7
Title Unknown
?
46-10-24 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-11-07
8
Title Unknown
?
46-11-07 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-11-14
9
Title Unknown
?
46-11-14 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-11-21
10
Title Unknown
?
46-11-21 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-11-28
11
Title Unknown
?
46-11-28 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-12-05
12
Title Unknown
?
46-12-05 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-12-12
13
Title Unknown
?
46-12-12 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-12-19
14
Title Unknown
?
46-12-19 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

46-12-26
15
Title Unknown
?
46-12-26 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-01-02
16
Title Unknown
?
47-01-02 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-01-09
17
Title Unknown
?
47-01-09 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-01-16
18
Title Unknown
?
47-01-16 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-01-23
19
Title Unknown
?
47-01-23 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-01-30
20
Title Unknown
?
47-01-30 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-02-06
21
Title Unknown
?
47-02-06 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-02-13
22
Title Unknown
?
47-02-13 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-02-20
23
Title Unknown
?
47-02-20 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-02-27
24
Title Unknown
?
47-02-27 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-03-06
25
Title Unknown
?
47-03-06 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-03-13
26
Title Unknown
?
47-03-13 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-03-20
--
--
47-03-20 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Strange Wills

47-03-27
--
--
47-03-27 The Daily Sun
9:30 p.m.
KECA--Retribution






46-11-28
--
--
46-11-28 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 9:30 Music for Tonight
46-12-05
1
The Mad Concerto
?
[Premiere Episode of 1946 Midwest syndicated run; Fridays, 9:30 p.m.]

46-12-05 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

46-12-12
2
Alias Dr Svengali
?
46-12-12 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

46-12-19
3
Black Interlude
?
46-12-19 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

46-12-26
4
The Lady and the Pirate
?
46-12-26 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-01-03
5
The Prince of Broadway
?
47-12-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-01-10
6
Treasure to Starboard
?
47-12-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-01-17
7
One Shining Hour
?
47-12-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills
47-01-24
8
Midnight On the Moor
?
47-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills
47-01-31
9
Seven Flights To Glory
?
47-12-31 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-02-07
10
Girl From Shadowland
?
47-02-07 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-02-14
11
Madman's Diary
?
[ Same script as 'Girl From Shadowland']

47-02-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-02-21
12
Emeralds Come High
?
47-02-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-02-28
13
Emelie
?
47-02-28 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-03-07
14
Margin For Love
?
47-03-07 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-03-14
15
They Met In Monte Carlo
?
47-03-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-03-21
16
The Girl In Cell Thirteen
?
47-03-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-03-28
17
So Deep the Stream
?
47-03-28 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

Warren William announces Miser's Gold as the next episode.

47-04-04
18
Miser's Gold
?
47-04-04 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-04-11
19
East of Hudson's Bay
?
47-04-11 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-04-18
20
Autograph Girl
?
47-04-18 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-04-25
21
Penthouse Orphan
?
47-04-25 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-05-02
22
Singapore Liz
?
47-05-02 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 Strange Wills

47-05-09
23
Crosswinds
?
[Time change from 9:30 to 8:30 p.m.]

47-05-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 Strange Wills

47-05-16
24
Dance Director
?
47-05-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 Strange Wills

47-05-23
25
Death Has Ten Words
?
47-05-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 Strange Wills

47-05-30
26
The Killer and the Saint
?
47-05-29 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 Strange Wills

--
27
Portsmouth Square
?
[Never Aired]

28
High Conquest
?
[Never Aired]






47-11-01
--
--
47-11-01 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday Let's Waltz 7:30 p.m.--A quarter hour of waltz time by Lud Gluskin's orchestra, the Mayfair Society orchestra.
47-11-09
1
The Mad Concerto
Y
47-11-08 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday "Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, as John Francis O'Connell, attorney at law, stars in a half-hour dramatic thriller, "
Mad Concerto.

Warren Williams Announces
Alias Dr. Svengali next.

47-11-16
2
Alias, Dr. Svengali
Y
47-11-15 Freeport Journal-Standard
7:30 --WFJS Something Old, Something New.

Warren Williams Announces
Black Interlude next.

47-11-23
3
Black Interlude
Y
47-11-22 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday "Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren Williams, beloved actor of radio and screen, stars in "
Black Interlude."

Warren Williams Announces
The Lady and The Pirate next.

47-11-30
4
The Lady and the Pirate
Y
47-11-29 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday "Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William stars in the half-hour dramatic thriller, "
The Lady and the Pirate.

Warren Williams Announces
The Prince of Broadway next.

47-12-07
5
The Prince of Broadway
Y
47-12-06 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William stars in the dramatic thriller, "The Prince of Broadway."

Warren Williams Announces Treasure to Starboard next.

47-12-14
6
Treasure to Starboard
Y
47-12-13 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William stars in the dramatic radio play, "Treasure to Starboard."

Warren Williams Announces One Shining Hour next.

47-12-21
7
One Shining Hour
Y
47-12-20 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William stars in "One Shining Hour."

Warren Williams Announces Midnight on the Moor as next.

47-12-28
8
Midnight on the Moor
Y
47-12-27 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William stars in the mystery thriller, "Midnight on the Moor."

Warren Williams Announces Seven Flights to Glory as next.

48-01-04
9
Seven Flights to Glory
Y
48-01-03 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, as John Francis O'Connell, attorney at law, stars in the dramatic thriller "Seven Flights to Glory."

Warren Williams Announces The Girl from Shadowland as next.

48-01-11
10
Madman's Diary
Y
[ There are two circulating transcriptions with this script: one titled--and announced by Warren William as-- 'Girl From Shadowland' and another titled 'Madman's Diary']

48-01-10 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, stage, screen, and radio actor, stars as John Francis O'Connell in "Madman's Diary."

Warren William announces Emeralds Come High as the next episode.

48-01-18
11
Emeralds Come High
Y
48-01-17 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--"Emeralds Come High," another exciting adventure with Warren William, starring as John Francis O'Connell, attorney at law.

Warren William announces Emelie as the next episode.

48-01-25
12
Emelie
Y
48-01-24 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, in the role of John Francis O'Connell, attorney at law, stars in another thrilling adventure, "Emelie."

Warren William announces Margin for Love as the next episode.

48-02-01
13
Margin for Love
Y
48-01-31 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Starring Warren William in the strange case called "Margin for Love," a 30-minute dramatic thriller with John Francis O'Connell, attorney at law.

Warren William announces The Met in Monte Carlo as the next episode.

48-02-08
14
They Met in Monte Carlo
Y
48-02-07 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, prominent actor of stage and screen, stars in the dramatic play, "They Met in Monte Carlo."

Warren William announces The Girl in Cell Thirteen as the next episode.

48-02-15
15
The Girl In Cell Thirteen

Y
48-02-14 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--The strange story of how man's last will and testament affected the life of the "Girl in Cell 13." It's another exciting adventure starring Warren William, Hollywood actor.

Warren William announces So Deep the Stream as the next episode.

48-02-22
16
So Deep the Stream
Y
48-02-21 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday "Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--A tale of the strange will of a playwright who never set Broadway on fire, but left his son an old trunk full of plays and a challenge to humanity.

Warren William announces
Miser's Gold as the next episode.

48-02-29
17
Miser's Gold
Y
48-02-28 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren Wililam, prominent actor of radio, stage and screen, stars in the dramatic story of the strange will of a miser who wreaked destruction after his death. The title . . . "The Miser's Gold.

Warren William announces East of Hudson's Bay as the next episode.

48-03-07
18
East of Hudson's Bay
Y
48-03-06 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William stars in a story of the north woods--with a new twist.

Warren William announces Autograph Girl as the next episode.

48-03-14
19
Autograph Girl
Y
48-03-13 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William tells of the strange wills of a prominent screen actor and a grasping woman, whom he calls "Autograph Girl."

Warren William announces Penthouse Orphan as the next episode.

48-03-21
20
Penthouse Orphan
Y
48-03-20 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, stage, film, and radio actor, narrates the strange will that brought about the case of the "Pent House Orphan."

Warren William announces Singapore Liz as the next episode.

48-03-28
21
Singapore Liz
Y
48-03-27 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, veteran actor, presents another story from his collection of strange wills, "Singapore Liz."

Warren William announces Swan Song as the next episode.

48-04-04
22
Crosswind
Y
48-04-03 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William narrates another tale of a strange will, when WFJS presents "Cross Winds."

Warren William announces Dance Director as the next episode.

48-04-11
23
Dance Director
Y
48-04-10 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--How would you feel if a large fortune had been left to you, with the stipulation that you must work for a year on Broadway before it could be yours? For this story of back-stage Broadway, listen to "Dance Director."

Warren William announces Death Is My Destiny as the next episode.

48-04-18
24
Death Has Ten Words
Y
48-04-17 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William portrays the lawyer, John Francis O'Connell, in "Death Has Ten Words." Why did Lefty will his fortune to a girl he'd never known or seen?

Warren William announces The Killer and The Saint as the next episode.

48-04-25
25
The Killer and the Saint
Y
48-04-24 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday
"Strange Wills" 7:30 p.m.--Warren William, screen and radio actor, narrates the story of two brothers, identical twins, whose lives run smoothly until a girl enters the picture. This tale of strange wills is called "The Killer and the Saint."

Warren William announces Portsmouth Square as the next episode.

48-05-02
26
Portsmouth Square
Y
48-05-01 Freeport Journal-Standard - 7:30--WFJS, Strange Wills.

Warren William announces High Conquest as the next episode.

48-05-09
--
High Conquest
Y
48-05-08 Freeport Journal-Standard
Sunday Michael Shayne, Private Detective 7:30 p.m.--Beginning a new and different "chiller" as Michael Shayne scours the underworld.

I Devise and Bequeath Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
47-xx-xx
0
The Mad Concerto
Y
[Audition] (NOTE: Warren William announces 'Midnight on The Moor' as the following episode)
47-xx-xx
1
The Mad Concerto
Y
47-xx-xx
2
Alias Doctor Svengali
Y
47-xx-xx
3
Black Interlude
Y
(NOTE: Warren William announces 'The Lady with The Tattooed Back' as the following episode) See: Provenances
47-xx-xx
4
The Lady with The Tattooed Back
N
47-xx-xx
--
Midnight on The Moor
N

Strange Wills [Australian] Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
48-xx-xx
1
The Silver Buckles
Y
First known Australian Episode
48-xx-xx
2
The Unwanted
Y
48-xx-xx
3
Aunt Katie's Parrot
N
48-xx-xx
4
Marry In Haste
N
48-xx-xx
11
The Will Of Jerry Adams
N
48-xx-xx
12
A Convict's Legacy
N
48-xx-xx
13
Harp Of Freedom
N
48-xx-xx
14
No Silks For Julie
N
48-xx-xx
15
The Unknown Heir
N
48-xx-xx
16
A Dowry From Heaven
N
48-xx-xx
17
South Sea Story
N
48-xx-xx
18
And People Wept
N
48-xx-xx
19
Jonathan Pays A Debt
N
48-xx-xx
20
Two Wills
N
48-xx-xx
21
An Actor Makes A Will
N
48-xx-xx
22
Sweeney's Hope
N
48-xx-xx
23
The Broken Canvas
N
48-xx-xx
24
The Third Woman
N
48-xx-xx
25
Swan Song
N
48-xx-xx
26
Rumor Has It
N
48-xx-xx
27
Long, Long Ago
N
48-xx-xx
28
The Welcoming Tide
N
48-xx-xx
29
Four Walls
N
48-xx-xx
30
Tomorrow and Tomorrow
N
48-xx-xx
31
In Equal Parts
N
48-xx-xx
32
The Will Of Fingers Finnegan
N
48-xx-xx
33
Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Y
48-xx-xx
34
The Worst Woman In Marseilles
Y
48-xx-xx
35
The Strongbox
N
48-xx-xx
36
Tomorrow's Children
N
48-xx-xx
37
The Dictaphone Record
N
[Last known Australian Episode ]






Strange Wills Biographies




Warren William
[Warren William Krech]
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor, and Radio Producer
(Star, Narrator)
(1894-1948)
Birthplace: Aitkin, MN

Radiography:

1934 Hollywood Hotel
1936 Lux Radio Theatre
1940 Good News Of 1940
1940 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1940 Community Mobilization For Human Needs
1940 Listen America
1943 Suspense
1943 Cavalcade Of America
1946 Strange Wills
1947 United States Postal Inspector
194x I Devise and Bequeath

Filmography Highlights:

1932 The Woman from Monte Carlo
1932 Beauty and the Boss
1932 The Dark Horse
1932 Skyscraper Souls
1932 Three on a Match
1932 The Match King
1933 Employees' Entrance
1933 Gold Diggers of 1933
1933 Lady for a Day (1933)
1934 Upperworld (1934)
1934 Smarty (1934)
1934 Dr. Monica (1934)
1934 The Dragon Murder Case as Philo Vance
1934 The Case of the Howling Dog as Perry Mason
1934 Cleopatra
1934 Imitation of Life
1934 The Secret Bride
1935 Living on Velvet
1935 The Case of the Curious Bride as Perry Mason
1935 Don't Bet on Blondes
1935 The Case of the Lucky Legs as Perry Mason
1935 The Widow from Monte Carl
1936 Times Square Playboy
1936 Satan Met a Lady
1936 The Case of the Velvet Claws as Perry Mason
1936 Stage Struck
1936 Go West Young Man
1937 Outcast
1937 Madame X
1938 Arsène Lupin Returns
1938 The First Hundred Years
1938 Wives Under Suspicion
1939 The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt as The Lone Wolf
1939 The Gracie Allen Murder Case as Philo Vance
1939 The Man in the Iron Mask
1939 Day-Time Wife
1940 The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady as The Lone Wolf
1940 The Lone Wolf Strikes as The Lone Wolf
1940 Lillian Russell
1940 Trail of the Vigilantes
1940 Arizona
1941 The Lone Wolf Keeps a Date as The Lone Wolf
1941 The Lone Wolf Takes a Chance as The Lone Wolf
1941 Secrets of the Lone Wolf as The Lone Wolf
1941 The Wolf Man
1942 Counter-Espionage as The Lone Wolf
1943 One Dangerous Night as The Lone Wolf
1943 Passport to Suez as The Lone Wolf
1945 Strange Illusion
Fear
1947 The Private Affairs of Bel Ami


Warren William ca. 1941
Warren William ca. 1941
Warren William publicity still for The Lone Wolf from 1940
Warren William publicity still for The Lone Wolf from 1940
Warren William theater 'standie' from 1936
Warren William theater 'standie' from 1936
Warren William publicity still as Perry Mason ca. 1936
Warren William publicity still as Perry Mason ca. 1936
Warren William and his wife of 25 years, the former Helen Barbara Brown, at the premiere of Firefly (1937)
Warren William and his wife of 25 years, the former Helen Barbara Brown, at the premiere of Firefly (1937)
Columbia Pictures 'Secrets of the Lone Wolf' publicity still from 1941 thumb
Columbia Pictures 'Secrets of the Lone Wolf' publicity still from 1941
Warren William [Krech] was the son of a newspaper publisher. Born in Aitkin, Minnesota in 1894, William had hoped to follow his father into journalism. Instead, he followed his heart and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, founded in 1884 to train actors for the American Stage.

His formal studies were sidelined at the outbreak of World War I, with Warren William enlisting for a tour in France, where he stayed on after the Armistice was declared, November 11, 1918. He performed in a traveling theatrical company for several more years.

Upon returning to the U.S., he appeared [uncredited] in Fox's silent movie 'The Town That Forgot God' (1922), and got his first screen credit in 'The Perils of Pauline' series' last outing for Pearl White, 'Plunder' in 1923. Warren William made his Broadway debut in 1924, performing in H.G. Wells' 'The Wonderful Visit.' He appeared in 17 more stage plays between 1924 and 1930.

With his distinctive deep, clear baritone voice he was one of the lucky actors from the meat grinder years of the Silents to make a successful transition to 'talkies'. Warner Bros. signed him to their stock company in 1931 and William took his first lead for Warner Bros. in a Vitaphone production 'Honor of the Family' in 1931. Warren William's aristocratic, patrician air lent itself to several more similar roles throughout his years as a contract player for Warner Bros.

Most often cast as a dapper rogue in various incarnations, he was a natural for the many cocky, arrogant gentleman detectives and the lawyer Perry Mason throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s. He appeared as Perry Mason, Michael Lanyard (The Lone Wolf), a Sam Spade derivative, 'Ted Shayne', and Philo Vance--all similarly well suited to William's cocky, patrician bearing. Indeed, this author has collected all of William's Lone Wolf, Perry Mason, and Philo Vance films. They're some of the most entertaining mystery genre fare from the Golden Age of Film. His over the top performance in Satan Met A Lady (1936) with Bette Davis remains one of the few early films in which Bette Davis was upstaged--instead of the other way around.

His Radio career, although more brief--given his busy stage and screen careers, more than made up for its brevity with memorable performances in several high-profile programs from the Golden Age of Radio.

Strange Wills and I Devise and Bequeath were William's only two lead roles in Radio. William was so impressed with the concept that he formed his own Radio production company, Warren William Radio Productions, Inc. to promote them. Sadly, they were the last of his independent productions as Warren William succumbed to a year-long bout with bone-marrow cancer in 1948.

Warren William's personal life was the antithesis of his on screen personae. He was married to the same woman--the former Helen Barbara Nelson--his entire adult life, he preferred his personal interests to his stage and screen interests, and he was widely described as a quiet, shy, but personable, dedicated family man his entire life. He was an inventor in his private time, successfully acquiring several patents throughout his lifetime.

Warren William loved his family, enjoyed his various careers in The Arts, and absolutely adored his only wife of 25 years. Life simply doesn't get much better than that, even if cut short by an incurable disease. But Warren William's body of work continues to attract new generations of admirers with each new year. An entirely appropriate testament to this great American character actor and star of Stage, Screen and Radio.



Lurene Tuttle portraying both the murderess and victim in the Whistler dramatization of 'Death Sees Double'
Lurene Tuttle
(Ensemble performer)

Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actress; Lecturer and Acting Coach
(1907-1986)

Birthplace: Pleasant Lake, IN

Radiography:
1937 Hollywood Hotel
1937 White Fires of Inspiration
1937 Columbia Workshop
1937 Lux Radio Theatre
1938 CBS Hollywood Showcase
1938 Silver Theatre
1938 Texaco Star Theatre
1939 Calling All Cars
1939 The Chase and Sanborn Hour
1939 The Jello Program
1940 Good News of 1940
1940 Forecast
1940 The Rudy Valee Sealtest Show
1941 The Great Gildersleeve
1941 Hollywood Premier
1942 CBS Looks At Hollywood
1942 Cavalcade of America
1942 The Adventures of Red Ryder
1942 Stars Over Hollywood
1942 Forty Years Remembered
1942 Hello Mom
1942 The Mayor of the Town
1942 Dr Christian
1943 Wings To Victory
1943 Victory Belles
1943 Lights Out
1943 Suspense
1944 Globe Theatre
1944 Mystery House
1944 The Star and the Story
1944 This Is My Story
1944 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Theatre of Famous Radio Players
1945 Arch Oboler's Plays
1945 On A Note of Triumph
1945 Twelve Players
1945 The Whistler
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1945 Theatre of Romance
1945 Rogue's Gallery
1946 Strange Wills
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1946 The World of Rosalind Marlowe
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 Dark Venture
1946 The Adventures of Sam Spade
1946 Academy Award
1946 The Mercury Summer Theatre
1946 Favorite Story
1946 The Cat
1947 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1947 The Rudy Vallee Show
1947 The Smiths of Hollywood
1947 The Right To Live
1947 Operation Nightmare
1947 The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
1947 Mystery In the Air
1947 Sound Stage For Joan Crawford
1947 The Raleigh Cigarette Program
1947 Errand Of Mercy
1948 The Unexpected
1948 Your Movietown Radio Theatre
1948 Ellery Queen
1948 In Your Name
1948 The Diary of Fate
1948 Guest Star
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 NBC University Theatre
1948 Make Believe Town
1948 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1948 Let George Do It
1948 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1948 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
1948 The George O'Hanlon Show
1948 The Red Skelton Show
1949 Sealtest Variety Theatre
1949 Pat Novak For Hire
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 The Prudential Family Hour of Stars
1949 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1949 Family Theatre
1949 The Adventures of the Saint
1949 Four Star Playhouse
1950 For the Living
1950 Presenting Charles Boyer
1950 Night Beat
1950 The Story of Doctor Kildare
1950 Sara's Private Caper
1950 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1950 Rocky Jordan
1950 The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
1950 The Miracle of America
1950 Tales of the Texas Rangers
1950 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1950 Mr President
1952 The Silent Men
1952 The Railroad Hour
1952 The Freedom Story
1953 The Hallmark Hall of Fame
1953 Broadway Is My Beat
1953 The First Nighter Program
1953 General Electric Theatre
1953 You Were There
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1956 Those Young Bryans
1957 The Ruggles
1958 Heartbeat Theatre
1959 Have Gun, Will Travel

Caption: Lurene Tuttle, Western radio actress, frequently plays in sketches on the CBS Hollywood Showcase (1938)
Caption: Lurene Tuttle, Western radio actress, frequently plays in sketches on the CBS Hollywood Showcase (1938)

Lurene Tuttle circa 1940
Lurene Tuttle circa 1940

Lurene Tuttle circa 1957
Lurene Tuttle circa 1957

Lurene Tuttle with Howard Duff
Lurene Tuttle with Howard Duff
as 'Effie' and Sam Spade circa 1946

Lurene Tuttle plays a duet at the piano with daughter Barbara
Lurene Tuttle plays a duet at the piano with daughter Barbara

Lurene Tuttle rehearses with Dick Haymes for Everything for The Boys
Lurene Tuttle rehearses with Dick Haymes for Everything for The Boys

Lurene Tuttle was also a Mom, one of her great pleasures in life.
Lurene Tuttle was also a Mom, one of her great pleasures in life.

Lurene Tuttle in one of her more sultry roles.
Lurene Tuttle in one of her more sultry roles.

Lurene Tuttle shows her amazing versatility yet again.
Lurene Tuttle shows her amazing versatility yet again.

News clipping about Lurene Tuttle, November 5, 1949 thumb
News clipping about Lurene Tuttle, November 5, 1949

Lurene Tuttle with Rosalind Russell
Lurene Tuttle with Rosalind Russell
in the Suspense production of 'The
Sisters' from Dec. 9 1948

Barbara Ruick, daughter of Lurene Tuttle and Mel Ruick circa 1954
Barbara Ruick, daughter of Lurene Tuttle and Mel Ruick circa 1954

Lurene Tuttle served as the first woman President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Union
Lurene Tuttle served as the first woman President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Union

Lurene Tuttle served on the Board of the Screen Actors Guild from 1951-1954
Lurene Tuttle served on the Board of the Screen Actors Guild from 1951-1954
Lurene Tuttle served on the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
Lurene Tuttle served on the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts
Lurene Tuttle's Radiography is arguably the most extensive and versatile in the annals of Golden Age Radio History. There was simply nothing she--and her amazing voice--could not do, and do superbly. She remains this author's all-time favorite radio actress. Lurene Tuttle was born in Pleasant Lake, Indiana in 1907, but was reared out west on a ranch in Arizona near the California border. O.V. Tuttle, her father, had performed in minstrel shows but relied primarily on work as a railroad station agent during the 1920s. Lurene Tuttle's grandfather had been a Drama teacher, managing an opera house at one time in Indiana, her birth state. Lurene studied acting in Phoenix and the cute, petite redhead showed her scene-stealing comedic talent early on.

After she turned 15, her family relocated to Monrovia, California, where Lurene Tuttle began her performing career in earnest. She obtained her formal dramatic training at the Pasadena Playhouse, appearing in many of their productions with great success. She later joined Murphy's Comedians, a vaudeville troupe, and began performing as a dramatic ingénue in stock productions.

Though Broadway eluded her, Lurene Tuttle performed on Stage regularly until the 1930s.

Known for her fine speaking voice and extraordinary range of dialects, The Depression Years lead her to work in Radio, a natural medium for her extraordinary voice talent. For the next 25 years of the Golden Age of Radio, Lurene Tuttle became one of Radio's most recognized voices in virtually every Radio venue in which she performed.

From the August 1947 issue of Radio Mirror, in Lurene Tuttle's Own words:

Luck Is Hard Work
By Lurene Tuttle

I WONDER if the first "split-personality" a psychologist ever discovered wasn't an actress?  And if you're a radio actress as well, believe me--my personality isn't just split, it's all in little pieces.
     In the morning I wake up, peer at myself in the mirror and--yes--I can recognize the Ted hair and the grey eyes that belong to Lurene Tuttle; but an hour later I'm standing in front of a microphone, sneering my way through a broadcast as a blackhearted murderess . . . or as an eighty-year-old grandmother . . . or as a brat or as a queen . . or a barmaid.
     And that goes on all day long.

     Is it any wonder I sometimes wonder just who Lurene Tuttle is?  Not only are there all these make-helieve characters I slip in and out of during broadcasting hours--but there's the me that is mother to my teen-age Barbara.  And the me that likes to prowl around in dusty antique shops for the little porcelain dogs I collect.  And likes to play crazy word games with friends or settle weighty problems over a midnight pot of coffee.
     And there's the me that's known around the studios as "The Rock."  (It doesn't apply, they tell me, to the way I look; I can't gain an ounce over my hundred and two pounds and I stopped growing at five feet three.)  It's short for the Rock of Gibralter, that symbol of stability and dependability.  Maybe it's not glamorous, but I'd rather be known as "The Rock" than as almost anything eise, because it indicates that I've been at least a little successful in being where I'm supposed to be when I'm supposed to be there, and in giving the best performance I know how no matter what the part.
      I say almost anything else.  That means that, above all, I want to be the me that's Barbara's mother.  I don't understand actresses who are ashamed to admit they have grown-up daughters.  Barbara is in High School, and I see no point in talking about her as "my little girl," trying to disguise my age, as I've heard some do.  I'm a lot more apt to brag about her!  She's bright and she's pretty and some day I think she'll be showing me how to act.
     Barbara's father, Mel Ruick, and I were divorced a few years ago.  We're still good friends.  Though his radio announcing keeps him in New York, Mel was able to spend Christmas here with Barbara and they are still a close father-and-daughter team.  But, for most of the year, it's just the two of us, and Miss Johnson, who looks after us both.  And, of course, all of Barbara's friends . . . I'll never forget, for instance, last New Year's Eve.  It's seldom I go to a party, but this one I was looking forward to.  Yet--promptly at twelve midnight I had to excuse myself, explain hastily to my escort, and drive home and then taxi an assorted bunch of some twenty-five kids from Barbara's party to their respective homes which were scattered all over the San Fernando Valley!  I got back to my own party and date at two-thirty in the moming, just as all the other guests were yawning their way out the front door.
     But I'm no Big Sister, only, to Babs. I'm her mother.  She comes to me with help with her problems as well as for her fun.  Whether it's boy-friends or clothes or our endless discussions of what she will do when she's "grownup," I try my honest best to help her.  We have our rules, too.  When it comes to schoolwork--my share is helping in research, but she's the one to actually do the job.
     And there's one opening night I'm looking forward to as intensely as if it were my own premiere of the movie "Heaven Only Knows."
     Babs and her gang of friends have made a movie of their own, with themselves as actors, and they tell me its showing is to have an audience of one.  The kids have decided that only Mother Tuttle is to be permitted to peek at it, because it seems they feel I'll take a professional attitude and not a parental one . . . and they're afraid of shocking their own families!
     I do understand--because I remember wondering how my mother and dad were going to react the first time they saw me kiss a boy on stage!
     Between that first kiss and that good part I mentioned in Seymour Nebenzal's "Heaven Only Knows" there have been a lot of years, a lot of disappointments, a lot of hard, hard work.
     Before Barbara goes into anything like that, I want her to have all the sound preparation she can get; I want her to have the same safe, lovely life I had as a child.  Not that my family was rich, or that I was sheltered from the world.  But there had always been affection, family ties, experiences shared.
     It was in a small mining town called Johannesburg, on the edge of the California Mojave desert that I spent my childhood.
     DAD was station master and every day I met the trains with him.  The mines at Johannesburg and Atolia and the Yellow Aster at Ransburg, nearby, were going full blast and it attracted people from all over the country.  I was excited by all these colorful people and, unconsciously, I studied them and watched them.  Afterwards I would imitate them.  Dad always encouraged me, because his own hobby was putting on amateur theatricals.
     It wasn't difficult to break into stock companies.  For many years I was leading lady for major stock companies, among them the Henry Duffy Players.
     Then came the depression--and stock was out.  Came my marriage to Mel Ruick and Barbara.
     Even if stock companies hadn't gone out of business, though, I had resolved to be a mother, entirely, for the first three years of Barbara's life.  That kind of security I felt she needed because I knew how formative are these early years of a child.  After that, I felt, she wouldn't need me with her; she would be sure of my love for her.  But until she was three years old I had determined to forget the stage.
     The time passed.  Three years were soon over.  Barbara had had everything, so far, that I could give her, and I was ready to go back to work.  I was and am an actress; an actress has to act to be happy.  But at that point, I suddenly discovered that I was a frustrated housewife with no future in sight.  A person doesn't just walk out and get a good part on the stage or in the movies.  I hadn't thought at all of radio.  I got very, very discouraged indeed.
     And all of a sudden a friend, Cy Kendall, called me to say that tryouts for the Hollywood Hotel program were being held at CBS and why didn't I rush right over?  But I've never been in front of a microphone in my life, I worried--even as I was putting on my hat and running out the front door.  I was scared, all right, but it was a chance to act, and I was passing up no chance at that stage of my career!
     At ten o'clock I entered the studio.  It was five o'clock before my turn came.  But I got the part!
     Though I signed a contract with the Hollywood Hotel program for three years, new parts came slowly.  Then I heard Charles Vanda of CBS was producing White Fires.  I begged for a chance.  White Fi res was the weekly dramatic presentation of lives of famous people--just the kind of roles I wanted.
     The next week I was on the show, and I stayed with White Fires for two years.  I grew with that show.
     I learned something very strange about myself, then.  In a theater or in a movie you have costumes, and makeup men to change your appearance.  But there is nothmg of that in radio.  You wear the same dress you wore when you were out shopping an hour before and your make-up is just what you would ordinarily have on the street.
     But I swear that with me there is an actual physical as well as emotional change that goes on when I pick up the script and start reading my lines.
     The time I spent on White Fires really paid off and nowadays I have so much work it's like hopping on and off a merry-go-round every week, grabbing for the brass ring at every show.
     Want to take a ride with me for one week?  Here's how it goes--
MONDAY:  Breakfast with Barbara.  To the movie set of "Heaven Only Knows" (I play Mrs. O'Donnell, the
scrublady).  Rehearsal of the Dark Venture radio show at five; broadcast at 9:00 (murderess) .
     Tuesday: Movie set in the morning.  Rehearsal for Academy Award show (fourteen-year-old girl).   Home to spend an hour with Barbara.
     Wednesday:  Ten o'clock broadcast of serial Masquerade.  On to movie set.  Back to studio for Academy Award broadcast.  Home, to check household accounts and plan week's menus with Miss Johnson.
     Thursday:  This was the day I almost fell off that merry-go-round.  Morning, on "Heaven Only Knows" set in costume and make-up.  Since we were going to be shooting off and on all day, I had the bright idea of keeping my scrublady costume on even when I went to broadcasts.
     But it didn't work out that way.  At 2: 45 when I put in an appearance for the Dick Haymes rehearsal, the director took one horrified look at me and loudly said No!  Nothing to do but send a studio page for my own clothes on the set; showed up just in time for me to change and dash over to the first show of Burns and Allen at NBC; back to movie set at 6:30 (and into scrublady costume); back to Burns and Allen again for second show; to Dick Haymes broadcast on CBS; back to movie set again and into scrublady costume for night shooting that lasted until 12: 30 in the morning!
     Friday:  Up in the morning for Masquerade.  Rehearsal then of Star Tune show (tough chorus girl).
     For the future I want what every radio actress wants--a show of my own.  Top billing, instead of building characters to prop up someone else.  And a chance to use originality.
     But until that time, I'll go on being "the Rock."  It's not so bad really.  And it has its rewards.  There's a true story about an evening at the Robert Youngs' house where a friend was telling Mrs. Young that her husband was getting to be very popular in radio, in addition to his movie career.
     "Why," the friend said, "every time I turn on the radio lately, I hear Bob on some program."
     "Yes," Mrs. Young replied, "Bob is getting to be the male Lurene Tuttle of radio."

Aptly referred to as "The First Lady of Radio," she was most fondly remembered for her role as Effie, the deliciously endearing "Girl Friday," to Howard Duff's Sam Spade on The Adventures of Sam Spade. Dyed-in-the-wool Sam Spade fans universally refer to the interaction between Duff and Tuttle as pure Radio magic--and deservedly so. Her comedic timing and interplay with Duff was absolutely superb, rivalled only by the Radio chemistry between Frances Robinson and Bob Bailey in Let George Do It.

By the time Film and early Television discovered her acting talent she found second and third careers as a durable, versatile character actress in a wide range of roles characterized primarily by their depiction of archetypal middle-American wisdom and warmth. Later years found her in recurring characterizations as a 'brittle' world-weary matron.

She debuted in Film in Heaven Only Knows (1947), then appeared alongside Cary Grant in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) and Room for One More (1952). She performed with Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock (1952) and Niagara (1953). She also appeared with Joan Crawford in Goodbye, My Fancy (1951) and Leslie Caron in The Glass Slipper (1955). To Film's everlasting shame, she never got her chance to appear as a lead, not for lack of either versatility or talent. As it was, she continued to develop her talent as a durable, reliable character actor--and occasional scene-stealer.

Indeed her innate ability to steal any scene--on big screen or small--with an impish, knowing grin or world-weary, cynical glance remained two of her signature characterizations throughout her remarkable career. Her only real lead during this period was her portrayal of the crazed Ma Barker, in Ma Barker's Killer Brood (1960), a B-movie that's reached cult status.

Television was more cognizant of Lurene Tuttle's natural warmth and wisdom, which, given the kinder, gentler, family oriented fare of 1950s Television, found her performing regularly in a wonderful array of sitcoms, appearing as a starchy relative, gossipy gadfly, or archetypal down-home townfolk.

Lurene Tuttle married fellow actor and announcer, Mel Ruick a performer she met often while both were performing in Radio. Their daughter, Barbara Ruick, became an actress best known for her portrayal of Carrie Pipperidge in the wonderful musical comedy Carousel (1956). Barbara Ruick later married famed American composer John Williams, but died unexpectedly in 1974, just as John Williams' world-renowned talent was becoming recognized.

Lurene Tuttle became a widely-respected Drama and diction coach for several decades. She taught radio technique in the 1940s and re-trained several prominent actors returning from World War II duty. After her Television career in the 1950s, Lurene Tuttle returned to teaching. Her students included Red Skelton, Orson Welles, Milton Berle, Steve Allen, and Jayne Meadows. She joined the faculty of The University of Southern California, teaching acting technique, and remained in Southern California until she succumbed to cancer at the age of 78.

"I have a full life - radio acting, TV shows, movies, and my daily teaching - all crammed with delight. I find that the best way for me to conduct my life is to run my life - my way." -- Lurene Tuttle

Thankfully, her fame endures as new generations of Golden Age Radio and Television fans continue to discover her anew. Thus she remains to this day--and throughout the forseeable future--as one of the most beloved, most enjoyed and most admired voice and character talents of The 20th Century.

Lurene Tuttle as listed with Wormser, Heldfond & Joseph circa 1986
Lurene Tuttle as listed with Wormser, Heldfond & Joseph circa 1986




Howard Culver
(Performer)

Radio, Television, and Film Actor and Announcer
(1918-1984)

Birthplace: Larimer County, Colorado, USA

Radiography:
1937 The Life of Mary Sothern
1942 News Of the World Today
1944 Star Performance
1944 We Deliver the Goods
1946 Strange Wills
1946 The Whistler
1947 All-Star Western Theatre
1947 Mystery In the Air
1947 Stairway To the Stars
1947 Family Theatre
1948 Straight Arrow
1948 Suspense
1948 The Adventures Of Ellery Queen
1948 Chandu the Magician
1948 Make Believe Town
1948 Anacin Hollywood Star Theatre
1948 Stories From the American Scene
1949 Our American Heritage
1949 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1949 Gunsmoke
1949 The Croupier
1949 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1950 The Hour Of St Francis
1950 The Fabulous Mr Manchester
1951 Defense Attorney
1952 Father Knows Best
1952 The Freedom Story
1952 Wild Bill Hickok
1952 Escape
1953 The Roy Rogers Show
1954 Rocky Fortune
1954 Inheritance
1954 The Railroad Hour
1955 Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator
1956 Fort Laramie
1957 A Joy Forever
1958 Have Gun, Will Travel
1979 Sears Radio Theater
Horizons West
I Devise and Bequeath
Mission Accomplished
When the West Was Young
Hollywood Theatre Group
Howard Culver as Dr. Bill Hawley in Perry Mason (1957)
Howard Culver as Dr. Bill Hawley in Perry Mason (1957)

Howard Culver as handwriting expert Rufus Bolding in Perry Mason (1958)
Howard Culver as handwriting expert Rufus Bolding in Perry Mason (1958)

Howard Culver as Rufus Bolding shakes hands with Perry Mason (1958)
Howard Culver as Rufus Bolding shakes hands with Perry Mason (1958)

Howard Culver as Detective Parker in The Third Man (1959)
Howard Culver as Detective Parker in The Third Man (1959)

Howard Culver as Jury Foreman in The Twilight Zone (1961)
Howard Culver as Jury Foreman in The Twilight Zone (1961)

Howard Culver in The Untouchables (1962)
Howard Culver in The Untouchables (1962)

Diminutive Howard Culver was a giant in Radio and a solid, steadily working character actor in Television. Born in Colorado, Culver grew up in Los Angeles, California. By the age of 19 he was appearing in Radio on The Life of Mary Sothern.

From the outset, Howard Culver's distinctive baritone and straightforward delivery promised a long and successful career for the young actor/announcer. Working regularly at KFI, KNX and Don Lee-Mutual in Los Angeles and with Don Lee-Mutual in San Francisco, Culver had already performed in almost a thousand Radio episodes by the time he entered The Navy during World War II.

Upon his return to civilian life, Howard Culver jumped right back into Radio, as well as early Television. Over a forty year career in Radio, Howard Culver compiled an estimated 4,000 appearances. His Television career, equally successful and prolific saw him in some 200 Television appearances over a 35 year career.

As with many of the truly great character actors of from The Golden Age of Television, Howard Culver was a master of 'disappearing' into a well-directed Television feature--that was, after all, what he was being paid to do. As such it's a foregone conclusion that virtually anyone who watched mainstream Television from The Golden Age has seen Howard Culver a hundred times, and can probably remember him but not specifically place him.

But where Howard Culver's voice is concerned, it's likely that virtually any genuine Golden Age Radio fan can recognize Howard Culver's distinctive voice, irrespective of the vehicle in which he was appearing. He did acquire his own fan following over the years for several memorable leading roles--especially his starring role in Straight Arrow (1948) as Steve Adams for almost three years and three-hundred episodes. Juvenile adventure fans will also recognize Howard Culver from his role as the announcer in the Chandu The Magician (1948) radio series. Culver was also Radio's last Ellery Queen (1948).

Clearly comfortable in juvenile adventure roles, Culver's most diverse body of work in Radio was in the crime, mystery and detective genres which found him appearing in a truly remarkable variety of roles, spanning the entire range of characterizations. Culver was a frequent performer in virtually anything that Jack Webb was ever a party to, as well as numerous appearances in Strange Wills (1946), All-Star Western Theatre (1947), Mystery in The Air (1947) and Defense Attorney (1951).

Working right up until his unexpected passing--while on vacation in Hong Kong--Culver seemed even more in demand as a character actor the more he matured. His voice certainly never wavered and his character performances right through the end of his career were predictably solid--the epitome of a true craftsman.

Howard Culver's widow, Lois--a Radio professional in her own right--remained active in the Vintage Radio community after Howard's passing.



Carleton G. Young
(Ensemble Actor)

Stage, Screen, Radio and Television actor
(1907-1971)

Birthplace: Fulton, New York, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1937 Columbia Workshop
1937 On Broadway
1938 Silver Theatre
1940 George E. Sokolsky
1940 Great Plays
1941 Lincoln Highway
1942 This Is Our Enemy
1943 The Adventures Of Ellery Queen
1943 Treasury Star Parade
1943 Cavalcade For Victory
1943 Cavalcade Of America
1945 Arch Oboler's Plays
1945 Hollywood Mystery Time
1946 Strange Wills
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1948 Lux Radio Theatre
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 This Is Your FBI
1949 Family Theaatre
1949 The Count of Monte Cristo
1950 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1951 This Is Our Heritage
1951 Hallmark Playhosue
1951 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1951 The Man Called X
1951 The Whisperer
1951 The Railroad Hour
1952 The Pendleton Story
1952 Hollywood Sound Stage
1952 Stars In the Air
1952 The Roy Rogers Show
1954 The Six-Shooter
1955 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
Duel of Destiny
Carleton Young, ca. 1939
Carleton Young, ca. 1939


Our Gal Sunday article from 37-07-11 with Carleton Young and Dorlothy Lowell
Our Gal Sunday article from 37-07-11 with Carleton Young and Dorlothy Lowell


Carleton G. Young, ca. 1953
Carleton G. Young, ca. 1953


Carleton G. Young, ca. 1958
Carleton G. Young, ca. 1958

Carleton G. Young was one of Radio's most successful and busy actors for over twenty years--and some 8,000 to 10,000 appearances in Radio. Destined to be forever confused with or mistaken for Carleton Scott Young another successful Film, Stage, Radio and Television actor, Carleton G. Young nevertheless clearly set himself apart in both Radio and Television.

Both possessed of very distinctive deep baritone voices, the confusion between the two Carleton Youngs is perhaps forgiveable, and yet there are several notable differences in their repsective careers that certainly set them on separate paths. For one, Carleton G. Young's physical appearance was more polished and clean cut than the Film actor Carleton Young. The Film actor was more a character actor. Carleton G. Young was certainly star material, and indeed played the lead in several Radio programs during his 20-year career in Radio. His most vocal fans would probably cite his year-long portrayal of Ellery Queen (1943), a Radio program that's taken on almost cult status and which remains very rare to this day.

Others might cite his nine-year portrayal as the Count of Monte Cristo in the Radio program of the same name (1949). Still others might more animatedly recall his long running appearance as John Galt in Radio's The Whisperer (1951) another Radio cult favorite of tens of thousands of Radio fans. He also played the lead role of Producer-Director Ted Lawton in some thirty-nine episodes of Hollywood Mystery Time (1945).

Carleton G. Young's truest fans will recall his extensive body of work spanning some 350+ separate Radio productions over his Radio career. During that time, Carleton Young lent his amazing voice to every dramatic Radio format imaginable, portraying a bewildering array of characters with equal ease. From detective dramas to adventures to straight dramatic roles to even the over-the-top melodrama of his role as Philip Galt, The Whisperer, Carleton Young's unmistakeable diction, polished delivery, and highly distinctive baritone promised a Radio adventure to remember, and he never failed to deliver on that promise.

Indeed as Radio's Golden Age waned, Carleton G. Young made a smooth transition to The Golden Years of Television with equal aplomb. From Television's earliest Superman adventures through fifteen years of significant contributions to Television's wonderful Drama anthologies, Carleton G. Young was one of those male actors blessed with both the looks and air of a more and more distiguished gentleman the more he physically aged. Adding another 200+ appearances to his Television resume, Carleton G. Young's Stage, Screen, Radio and Television career ultimately spanned over forty-five years before passed on the Acting baton to his son Tony Young, another distinguished Film and Television actor in his own right.

Carleton G. Young passed away in 1971 at the age of 64, but not before seeing his own son embark onto a versatile, successful Entertainment career of his own. A fitting postscript to the life of an actor who met every new role and every new challenge with equal excellence. The Golden Age of Radio may have waned, but interest in Carelton G. Young's body of work over Radio is as intense as it's ever been. A fitting and well-deserved tribute to one of Radio's most memorable--and durable--voices.



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