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The Witness Radio Program

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This series is another of those fascinating little finds that one usually only discovers after years of studying Golden Age Radio. In this case it's a wonderful little gem of a program with a unifying social theme--common sense human interaction. And yes, one can occasionally find such similar episodes within the morality plays often contained within such popular series' as The Whistler, The Shadow, and CBS Mystery Theatre. Indeed such message dramas are as frequently found in even some of the juvenile adventures such as The Green Hornet and The Adventures of Superman.

"In the normal course of most any day everyone of us is witness to matters of life and death. The way we involve ourselves in these vital matters makes our own lives worthwhile . . . or meaningless."

Robert Young's opening message (above) frames every one of the sixteen morality plays contained within the canon of The Witness. In this series of sixteen, 15-minute installments, every episode contains a wonderful, highly effective cautionary tale, fully developed, and fully resolved. Indeed, all 16 compelling episodes are supported by a star-studded cast of socially conscious actors from The Stage, Film, Television, and Radio. The production values are also superb. It's obvious that everyone who had a hand in producing this little gem of a series threw their heart and soul into each production.

Accompanying each new episode is a wonderfully soothing, fatherly exposition by America's Father, Robert Young. Even more poignant is the knowledge, in retrospect, of the very demons that plagued Robert Young throughout most of his most productive years. As such, this short series of 16 sensitively mounted radioplays gives both an historic context to the Cold War years of American Society, as well as gentle reminders of what a short way we've come as a Society in overcoming the common, interpersonal issues presented by each of these dramas.

Robert Young, Art Gilmore and The Episcopal Church teamed up in 1960 to produce 'The Search', a similarly targeted series more overtly religious in message and hosted and narrated by Robert Young and Art Gilmore, respectively.

This series is a definite keeper, with timeless messages for any thoughtful member of society.

Series Derivatives:

The Search; AFRTS END-685 'The Search'; Witness; The Search; Viewpoint
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Social Dramas
Network(s): Syndicated by The Episcopal Church.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 59-xx-xx 01 Labor Relations In An Electronic Age
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): [Unknown]
Syndication: The Episcopal Church.
Sponsors: The Episcopal Church.
Director(s): Thomas Freebairn-Smith; Producer: Marjorie Hunt-Pearson
Principal Actors: Robert Young, J.Carroll Naish, Tim Matheson, James Edwards, Ivan Dixon, Nestor Paiva, Janet Waldo, Parley Baer, Virginia Gregg, Gil Stratton, Bernie Hamilton, Peter Leeds, Alan Young, Les Tremayne, Joseph Cotten, Rosemary DeCamp, Jayne Meadows, Leon Ames, Lenore Kingston, Marvin Miller, Sandy Wormser, and Jerry Hausner.
Recurring Character(s): Varied from Episode to Episode
Protagonist(s): Varied from Episode to Episode
Author(s): Lawrence Waddy
Writer(s) Don Hall, S.K. Hershaway
Music Direction: Unknown
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Robert Young [Host]
Art Gilmore [Announcer]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
26
Episodes in Circulation: 16
Total Episodes in Collection: 17
Provenances:
Jay Hickerson Guide, Los Angeles Times.

Notes on Provenances:

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


There are no known provenances for this series. We can surmise from the timbre and 'age' of the voices of Art Gilmore and Robert Young that the series may have run during the late 1950s or 1960s. We understand from Reverend Lawrence Waddy's biography that he emigrated from England to serve as Headmaster of The Bishop School near La Jolla, California in 1963, but he'd been writing inspirational dramas in England for several years by then. This could date the series to the mid-1960s.

However, several episodes star a young Tim Matheson, who was born in 1947 and would appear to be 10 to 12 in these episodes. We also know that Matheson, at the age of 13, co-starred in the short-lived television series, Window on Main Street, produced and directed by Robert Young and starring Young, Constance Moore and Ford Rainey. That show ran from 1961-1962. All of these facts, combined, would more accurately date this series to between 1958 and 1960. Given Tim Matheson's known age--thirteen--during his debut television series, this lends further weight to our estimate of an air date for The Witness of 1959-1960.

We welcome you to compare our log below with the log from the 1,500 'expert researchers' at the OTRR and their own The Witness log. We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE and HERE.


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The Witness Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
59-xx-xx
1
Labor Relations In An Electronic Age
Y
[ Premiere Episode ]

Stars Robert Young, James Edwards, Nestor Paiva, Ivan Dixon, and Richard Reinauer

59-xx-xx
2
A Good Man's Anger
Y
Stars J. Carrol Naish, Bernie Hamilton, Janet Waldo, Parley Baer, and Peter Leeds

59-xx-xx
3
Who Is My Neighbor?
Y
Stars J. Carrol Naish, Gil Stratton, Tim Matheson, Janet Waldo, Peter Leeds, Virginia Gregg, Richard Reinauer, and Bernie Hamilton

59-xx-xx
4
An Atmosphere of Love and Trust
Y
Stars J. Carrol Naish, Gil Stratton, Virginia Gregg, Tim Matheson, Peter Leeds, Jerry Hausner, and Bernie Hamilton

59-xx-xx
5
Laugh and The World Laughs With You
Y
Stars Alan Young, Leon Ames, Janet Waldo, Parley Baer, and Les Tremayne

59-xx-xx
6
Who Is A 'Friend Indeed'?
Y
Stars Joeph Cotten, Rosemary DeCamp, Nestor Paiva, Virginia Gregg, Peter Leeds, and Tim Matheson

59-xx-xx
7
The Purpose To Live
Y
Stars Gene Raymond, Jayne Meadows, Nestor Paiva, Peter Leeds, and James Edwards

59-xx-xx
8
Aloneness -- Loneliness and Separation
Y
Stars Rosemary DeCamp, Leon Ames, James Edwards, Nestor Paiva, and Tim Matheson

59-xx-xx
9
A Farm Couple Adopts
Y
Stars J. Carrol Naish, Rosemary DeCamp, Virginia Gregg, and Peter Leeds

59-xx-xx
10
Differing Racial and Cultural Backgrounds
Y
Stars Virginia Gregg, James Edwards, Ivan Dixon, Janet Waldo, and Lenore Kingston

59-xx-xx
11
The Good Samaritan of the Highway
Y
Stars Robert Young, Rosemary DeCamp, Marvin Miller, Virginia Gregg, Peter Leeds, Bernie Hamilton, Lenore Kingston, and Parley Baer

59-xx-xx
12
Blending Ethnic Backgrounds
Y
Stars J. Carrol Naish, Tim Matheson, Virginia Gregg, Nestor Paiva, Janet Waldo, and Richard Reinauer

59-xx-xx
13
A Boy's Mother Dies
Y
Stars Alan Young, Leon Ames, Tim Matheson, Virginia Gregg, Janet Waldo, and Parley Baer

59-xx-xx
14
The Abused Child
Y
Stars Joseph Cotten, Rosemary DeCamp, Parley Baer, Virginia Gregg, and Sandy Wormser

59-xx-xx
15
Kindness and Understanding
Y
Stars Alan Young, Robert Young, Marvin Miller, Tim Matheson, Virginia Gregg and Parley Baer

59-xx-xx
16
Parents and Juvenile Delinquency
Y
Stars J. Carrol Naish, Tim Matheson, Virginia Gregg, Gil Stratton, Peter Leeds, Jerry Hausner, and Bernie Hamilton

59-xx-xx
17
Parents and The Rigors of The Teens
Y
[ Last Episode ]

Stars Robert Young, Rosemary DeCamp, Marvin Miller, Janet Waldo, Virginia Gregg, and Tim Matheson






The Witness Biographies


Robert George Young
(Host, Actor)

(1907-1998)
Birthplace: Chicago, IL

Radiography:
1938
Good News of 1938
1939
Good News of 1939
1940-1941
The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942
The Kraft Music Hall
1942
The Pepsodent Show
1942
Lux Radio Theatre
1942
The Lady Esther Screen Guild Players
1943
Suspense
1943
A Passport for Adams
1943
Cavalcade of America
1944-1945
The Frank Morgan Show
1945
The Doctor Fights
1945
This Is My Best
1946
Theatre of Romance
1946
The Fifth Horseman
1947-1949
The Family Theatre
1947
Hollywood Fights Back
1948
Studio One
1949
Hallmark Playhouse
1949-1954
Father Knows Best
1958
One Man's Family
1958
Virginia: Pattern for Resistance
1958
How America Votes
1959
The Hidden Revolution
1959
The Witness
1960
The Search
Robert Young c. 1959
Robert Young c. 1959
Robert Young c. 1931
Robert Young c. 1931

Robert Young Player's Cigarettes card, c. 1935
Robert Young Player's Cigarettes card, c. 1935

During the end of his Metro Goldwyn Mayer contract years
During the end of his Metro Goldwyn Mayer contract years

Father Knows Art, Too. Robert Young kibitzes daughter Elizabeth, 13, as she tackles one of her first oil paintings.
Father Knows Art, Too. Robert Young kibitzes daughter Elizabeth, 13, as she tackles one of her first oil paintings.


The Robert Young Health Center

While born in Chicago to an Irish immigrant father and an American mother, from the age of 10 forward he grew up in Los Angeles, California, graduating from Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles. Soft-spoken Young acquired some stage experience with the Pasadena Playhouse before entering films in 1931.

His movie career consisted of playing charming, good-looking, often bland characters. He rarely "got the girl". Louis B. Mayer is quoted as saying of Young, "He has no sex appeal." But he did play in as many as eleven films per year for a decade starting with the second Charlie Chan movie, The Black Camel (1931). He also distinguished himself as the redoubtable spy in Alfred Hitchcock's Secret Agent (1936), a distinctly un-bland characterization.

He began his Radio career in the late 1930s becoming a mainstay in the Maxwell House Coffee-sponsored Good News series' of 1938 and 1939. He made another 30 appearances during the 1940s in The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre, The Pepsodent Show, Kraft Music Hall, The Lady Esther Screen Guild Players, several Cavalcade of America episodes, Suspense, Lux Radio Theatre, and in several Family Theatre episodes. In all, some 100 Radio appearances before 1949.

But in 1949, Young began his starring role as Jim Anderson in Father Knows Best, as an average father dealing with average family situations--a role tailor-made for his extremely likeable personality. The show ran for five years before going to Television in 1954, by which time he became America's Father for six years until the show was canceled in 1960. It was during the last two years of his Father Knows Best television show that we believe he participated in The Episcopal Church's 18-episode The Witness program, a program again perfectly suited to his kindly, fatherly Radio and Television persona.

Those same fatherly, loving, kindly roles were an adoring public's only real view of Robert Young. But what his millions of fans never saw or knew of was his agonizing battle with depression and alcoholism. This was a difficult struggle for him for most of his adult life. He went to great lengths to disguise this inner torment from his friends, family and producers and his struggle went untreated for most of his performing years.

From the February 14th 1952 edition of the Long Beach Press-Telegram:

Robert Young
Outnumbered by
Gals at Home


By GENE HANDSAKER

    
     HOLLYWOOD.  The day Robert Young's fourth daughter was brought home, new-born from the hospital, the actor was outnumbered 12 to 1 by the female sex.
     That included the cook, maid, twice-a-week laundress, once-a-week steamtress, two nurses, and Bob's mother-in-law.  Even when just his wife and four daughters are there, he says, "I'm pretty well out-voted."
     But the slender, easy-going star enjoys his minority role.  "Actually, I was never too much set on the idea of having a boy," he says.  "I've found there's no point in resisting or fighting the situation.  I might as well go along with it."
     Bob sat down the other day and reflected on his growingly outnumbered status since he married Betty Henderson, high school acquaintance whom he had thought "an awful bore" in 10th-grade history.  Wed in 1933, they've been augmented successively by—
     Carole, now 18, "reesrved, shy, self-conscious; there's a lot of me in her," Bob says.  "She has steadfast friends but they're few in number."
     Barbara, 14, "vivacious, like her mother.  A 'junior miss'; plays the piano; enjoys whatever she's doing."
     Betty Lou, 8, "acts, thinks and looks like her mother.  Has a mind like a steel bear trap; thinks in a straight line, with humor and perception."
     Kathy, 6, "we call her 'The Leprechaun.'  Lives in a little world of her own but emerges now and then to confer with us.  The pet of all our friends.  My wife says. 'She never meets a stranger.'"
     Summing up his womenfolk, Bob mused:  "It's very interesting how these dames work.  They appear to be on any side; they'll all agree with me.  But a thing always works out the way they want.  I'm not quite aware of it until it has taken place.
     "Every once in a while I want to take a stand just to assert my masculinity.  But we've never had an issue come up that was important enough."
     Whenever Bob brings a 16-mm. movie home, to show on their projection machine, 8-year-old Betty Lou asks if he's in it.  If he says he isn't, she makes a great show of crying, "Oh, no?  Wonderful!"  Young adds, "They make a kind of .game of pushing me around.  But when the chips are down, they're all on my side."
     All in all, Bob agreed, the situation is somewhat as it is on his radio show, "Father Knows Best."  The format there is:  Father THINKS he knows best.  "Every once in a while," Young admitted, "I realize I'm being led along, gently and subtly, by the nose."


From the June 15th 1958 edition of the Independent STAR-NEWS:

1958 Father Knows Best caricature

TV's Favorite Family Man
Typical of Average


By Pat Nogler

     All fathers, including television dads, will be reaping their rewards today.
     This being so, it's only natural that we not let this day pass without making a to do over TV's most popular dad and Emmy Award winner Robert Young, of NBC-TV's "Father Knows Best" series.
     A dignified man with a most pleasing smile and amiable way, Robert Young finds his role as a father very satisfying both on and off screen.  In speaking of his TV portrayal of Jim Anderson, in the "Father" series, Bob says he feels very much at home.  "You see in private life I have four attractive daughters, Carol, Barbara, Elizabeth and Kathleen.
     You can readily see then that being a devoted family man, Young was more than eager to do the 'wholesome' family show which was conceived after Eugene B. Rodney, producer of the program, and he sat through many talk sessions discussing their respective families.
     There is--and was then—an abundance of children on all sides, the girls in the Young household and a houseful of boys at the Rodney home.  Each parent would talk about their problems, and the every day issues of family life.  This, of course made never ending conversation, as any family man will tell you.  Their problems, not too serious, often were very funny.
     So, with two such "pros" as Young and Rodney talking, it was inevitable that they should eventually say to each other'"this might make a good series."  And that is exactly what happened.  The program proved excellent listening fare for 5 years on NBC Radio, before switching to television.
     Since 1954, the "Father Knows Best" show, has won four national awards, including the Sylvania TV Award, the 1955 National Association for the Betterment of Radio and TV Award, a Christopher Award and the 1955 Family Service TV Award.
     With the sincerest interests at heart for the youngsters of America, Bob launched a radio portion of a national campaign to reduce highway accidents among teen-aged drivers.  This was early in 1950.  He succeeded in enlisting almost 4,000,000 members in the Robert Young Good Drivers Club.
     Following along this same theme, one of the TV "Father" episodes has been" shown numerous times off TV in the Cleveland, Ohio, public schools driving classes.  The particular episode we are referring to is the "Safety First" story in which Bud Anderson, played by Bill Gray, is made to serve as school crossing monitor because he had misused his father's car.
     Other episodes of the weekly program keep popping up in English classes and at private screenings for public service organizations.  Few television shows receive as many special requests for prints and scripts.
     As Bob and his friend Rodney point out, "We definitely don't try to preach or instruct.  We only make an effort to entertain and amuse, bringing out comedy in honest and believable situations.  That, they believe, is what makes "Father" interesting to educators.
     On receiving the show's most recent award, the Volunteers of America Award at the organization's annual convention, Young pointed out that the comedy in the show is based on a credible portrayal of a typical American family.
     "If the viewers won't laugh at us every time we think they ought to," said Bob, "we hope they'll at least like us. And we think they'll like us if we're their kind of folk.  From the countless number of letters we receive, he added, we're inclined to believe that the vast majority of families and fathers, are rather accurately typified in "Father Knows Best."
     When Young is not occupied with being TV "Father," he spends his time with his wife Betty in their charming Beverly Hills home where they try to have their family together whenever possible.  Their daughter Carol is now married and Barbara attends the University of Southern California where she is majoring in music.  The other two girls are still junior members of the family and are leading the lives of young school girls.
     An interesting sidelight, in tune with the day, we learned that altogether there are 35 real life fathers in the staff of "Father Knows Best," including Young, the producer, and director, cameramen, technicians, etc.  Among them they have 81 children.  All these fathers are experts on the show, because naturally, they all know best.


From the March 19th 1959 edition of The Progress:

The Robert Youngs Now Have
Been Married Three Tim
es

By DOROTHY ROE
Associated Press Women's Editor

     HOLLYWOOD (AP) - It's not often a girl gets to marry the same man three times, with no intervening divorces.
     This is the unique accomplishment of charming, red-haired Betty Young, wife of tne screen and TV star, Robert Young, and mother of four daughters.
     The first Young wedding was performed by a justice of the peace in Santa Ana, Calif., when Bob and Betty were very young.  The second took place on their 25th wedding anniversary, last March, in the Episcopal chapel of the Bishop School at La Jolla, alma mater of all the Young daughters who are old enough.  The third showed up as an episode in Young's long-standing TV series, "Father Knows Best," just a few weeks ago.
     "I don't know whether it was the children's idea or ours," says Betty, "but everybody agreed that since we have never had a church wedding it was high time to have one, and our silver wedding anniversary was a good date.
     "So we went through the whole ceremony at the beautiful little chapel on the campus of the school which has been a sort of second home to our daughters.  The ceremony was performed by the chaplain, Canon Frederick J. Stevens, and Bob's best man was the J.P. who married us the first time — only now he's Superior Court Judge Kenneth Morrison.
     "It gives you a strange feeling to see your own life being played on a television screen by your own husband and his TV wife.  But I enjoyed the film version of my wedding almost as much as I did the first two real ones."
     Many episodes of Young's TV series parallel events in his own lovely family, although both he and Betty insist they never interfere with the script writers.  His screen family consists of actress Jane Wyatt as his wife, and three children.
     His real family consists of Betty and their four daughters:  Carol Anne, now Mrs. Arthur Proffitt and a teacher at the Buckley School in Los Angeles; Barbara, 21, student at U.S.C.; Betty Lou, 15, a student at the Bishop School and Kathleen, 13, who is in the seventh grade at the Buckley School, where her sister teaches "Bobby and I always put our family first," Betty 'says, "And I guess that's why he's able to be such a convincing father on the screen."


Having basically retired from Film, he'd already claimed over 100 movies to his credit. And after Father Knows Best left the air, he continued making guest appearances on many television shows and television movies until his revival in Television in 1969's Marcus Welby, M.D. which ran for seven years until it was canceled in 1976.

From the April 29th 1972 edition of Pacific Stars and Stripes:

Thrives on Hard Work

How Robert Manages to
Stay Young


By LAWRENCE LAURENT
c 1972, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Robert Young was a major motion picture actor in the 1930s but he wasn't happy.
     In those days of motion picture tycoons and moguls, when five studios dominated the industry, actors weren't permitted to be serene, fulfilled, satisfied or contented.  They were supposed to be insecure and manageable.
     Young, for example, was under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for 15 years.  "And every year," Young recalls, "I expected to be dropped."  He expected to be fired mainly because of the kinds of daily greetings he got when he went to work.  "One guy would greet me and say, 'Gee, Bob, if only you could gain a little weight. . . .' the next guy I'd run into would say something like, 'Gee, Bob, if only you had sex appeal. . ."'
     Young's reminiscences were interrupted by his wife, the former Betty Henderson, to whom he has been married for nearly 40 years.  She said:  "I never complained about your sex appeal."
     Young's face lighted into a smile.  He patted Betty's hand.  "No, you never have," he said.  "But we lived through some problems."  Those problems included the insecure actor's excesses with booze.  No, despite what you may have read in the movie fan magazines, Robert Young was never an alcoholic; never joined Alcoholics Anonymous for a cure, and never "almost ended his career" because of alcohol.  He didn't, for example, miss many work calls.
     He made 84 motion pictures from 1931 ("The Black Camel") to 1966 ("Born Free") and he was ready to retire.
     Along with motion pictures, Young worked in radio.  He was master of ceremonies for "Good News of 1937" and had a six-year run on NBC radio in "Father Knows Best."
     He moved quickly and easily to television and this is where his life changed.  "Father Knows Best" became a television series in 1954 and lasted one season on CBS before it was dropped.  It was renewed the following year on NBC and continued for five seasons.
     Young won two "Emmy" awards for his work as insurance agent and idealized father.  More important, he won—at long last—financial security.
     He didn't need to work after that, but an old friend talked him into making a mistake called "Window on Main Street."  Young is not an embittered man, but he is never very happy when he discusses that TV series.  "I played the town's busybody . . . kind of a male Mary Worth . . . in each episode I stuck my nose into someone else's business . . . The show lacked comedy, warmth snd drama... it lasted one season and I was delighted when it was canceled."
     Robert and Betty Young decided that the time had come for retirement. Their four daughters were grown and the film business wasn't good.  The Youngs moved to Rancho Santa Fe, 25 miles north of San Diego.  This is a resort community built around a golf course.
     They built a small, two bedroom house and named it "The Enchanted Cottage," after a motion picture that Young had made in 1945.
     Bob enjoyed retirement, but he reckoned without the persuasiveness of television producer David Victor, who persuaded Young to "try again" in an episode of "The Name of the Game."  Young played an eccentric millionaire ("I got enough money to be able to wear white socks.  You got enough money to be able to wear white socks?") and he enjoyed the work.
     Equally important, David Victor liked Young's work and David Victor is a very persuasive man.  He had guided "Dr. Kildare" through four successful hospital seasons and Victor now wanted to do a series about a general practitioner, whose office was in his home.  David Victor also wanted Robert Young to come out of retirement and to play "Marcus Welby, M.D."
     "So, you have financial security," he told Young.  "Now, you can be rich as well as secure."
     Dr. Welby first turned up as a two-hour, made-for-TV motion picture and even before the film was televised it became a series.  Word came early in 1969 that the most certain hit for the next season would be "Marcus Welby."
     The forecast was correct, for the series was quickly established as the top-rated program in all television.  (It helped, of course, that this entertainment series played opposite the "CBS News Hour" and that, once every four weeks, NBC brought in its "First Tuesday" series.  As former NBC executive Paul Klein wrote in TV Guide, "Well over two-thirds of all homes viewing the networks at 10 to 11 p.m., decided 'Welby' is the least objectionable program.")
     Even when the news programs were moved, the "Welby" series stayed among the four most popular programs in all television.
     Young never did sell the huge home (6,000 square feet of space and five baths) in Beverly Hills, where he and Betty raised their family.  He still uses the place when he's working.  By contract, he's on call from noon, Monday to noon, Friday and the long weekends are spent at Rancho Santa Fe and the Enchanted Cottage.
     More important, however, is the peace, serenity and fulfillment that has come to Robert Young as he approaches the age of 65.
     "When I was a young man I was afraid of everything.
     "Life was a chore.  But today, it's great.


As must be apparent in the above article, Robert Young and his representatives had been attempting to disquise Young's depression and alcohol issues for much of Young's career-and well after. Robert Young, by then in his seventies, finally confronted--and defeated--a secret 40-year battle with alcohol and depression after an abortive suicide attempt in 1991. Once Young successfully recovered, he devoted the remaining seven years of his life to alerting the public to the dangers of untreated depression and alcoholism.

From the July 24th 1998 edition of Pacific Stars and Stripes:

Actor Robert Young, 91, dies;
won 3 Emmys

*Popular star will always be
remembered for his roles
in "Father Knows Best" and
"Marcus Welby, M.D."

The Associated Press

     LOS ANGELES -- Robert Young, loved by millions of viewers as television's all-knowing dad on "Father Knows Best" and the compassionate "Marcus Welby, M.D.," has died.  He was 91.
     Young died Tuesday evening at his home in Westlake Village, his physician, Dr. John Horton, said.  He had suffered from heart problems, Horton said.
     Jane Wyatt, Young's co-star on Father Knows Best," paid tribute to him as "simply one of the finest people to grace our industry."
     "Though we never socialized off the set, we were together every day for six years and during that time he never pulled rank (and) always treated his on-screen family with the same affection and courtesy he showed his loved ones in his private life," she said.
     After a prolific career in films, where Young appeared in such well-remembered movies as "Sitting Pretty," "Northwest Passage," and "Journey for Margaret," he went on to even greater success in the two long-running television shows that were among the most popular of their respective decades.
     Young won two Emmys for "Father Knows Best" and a third for "Marcus Welby, M.D."
     "Father Knows Best," which Young originated on radio in 1949, was moved to television in 1954 and, after a rocky start in the ratings, finished its run in 1959-60 as No. 6.  It was so popular that CBS continued it in prime-time reruns for two seasons after Young decided he'd had enough and the original run ended in 1960.
     In contrast to the shows where comedy came largely from a blundering character, "Father Knows Best" aimed for chuckles more than belly-laughs as Jim Anderson and wife Margaret (played by Wyatt) thoughtfully soothed the growing pains of their Betty (Elinor Donahue), Bud (Billy Gray) and Kathy (Lauren Chapin).
     Answering latter-day criticism that the show wasn't realistic, Young said that adding a subplot about illness or drugs "would have been like taking a beautiful painting and obliterating it with black paint--and that really would have turned the audience off.  We never intended the series to be more than a weekly half-hour of fun and entertainment."
     He recalled telling a producer friend, in the process of creating the original radio show, "I'd like to be the father, but not a boob."  He said they strove to create "what we thought would be representative of a middle-class American family, if there was such a thing.  There probably isn't, but that was what we were looking for."
     "Marcus Welby, M.D.," which ran on ABC from 1969 to 1976, got even larger audiences with a similarly thoughtful, compassionate lead character.  It was the highest-rated show in the 1970-71 season — the first ABC show to be so rated — and was in the top 15 shows for four seasons, 1969-73.
     Young's role as the general practitioner who strove to understand patients' hopes and fears as well as their diseases brought him praise from medical groups.
     "He's understanding and dedicated," Young once said of his character.  "These are words that for some reason have fallen into disuse.  I knew from the start that I had to come back to play this man."
     "I enjoy acting," Young once remarked.  "Whenever anyone says 'retire' I say, 'Retire to what?'"
     He was married to the same woman for more than 60 years, and they had four daughters.
     Young was born Feb. 22, 1907, in Chicago, fourth of five children of an Irish immigrant building contractor.  The family moved to Los Angeles when he was 10.
     He said he found the makeup he wore for high school plays a shield for much of his natural shyness.  After graduation, he worked as a bank clerk by day and a student actor nights at the Pasadena Community Playhouse.
     "The world has lost one of its last real leading men, and I have lost my father," daughter Betty Lou Gleason said in a statement.


The Rock Island, Illinois Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, an affiliate of Trinity Regional Health System, is a comprehensive community mental health center named after Young for his work on passage of the Illinois Tax Referendum 708, which earmarked funds for both mental health community awareness programs and the Center itself.


Lawrence Waddy
(Writer)

Writer, Author, Dramatist, Anglican Priest
(1914 -)
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Radiography:
1959
The Witness


Reverend Lawrence Waddy, c. 1980

The Reverend Lawrence Waddy was born in Sydney, Australia. During the war, Waddy's father was a chaplain in the Australian Army. He took Waddy's family to live in Jerusalem in 1919. He lived in Jerusalem from 1919 until 1924. There was no school, but plenty of adventures and people to meet. At age 7, Waddy was cast as Puck in the first Shakespeare play ever performed in Jerusalem.

Reverend Waddy was schooled in England, winning a Craven Scholarship in Classics at Oxford University in London, where he graduated in 1937. He began teaching at Winchester College in 1938, joined the National Fire Service and also prepared for ordination as an Anglican priest.

Reverend Waddy served as a Navy chaplain in the Royal Navy during World War II, from 1942-1946. He then served as Headmaster of Tonbridge School from 1949 to 1962.

From 1963 to 1967, Waddy was the chaplain at The Bishops School. He also served in different capacities at St. James by-the-Sea, and started a mission in University City, which is now the Church of the Good Samaritan. He was also a lecturer in Greek, Latin and Humanities at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) from 1969 to 1980.

Reverend Waddy has written about 200 plays and almost as many songs. His books include Pax Romana and World Peace; The Bible as Drama; Drama in Worship; Symphony; Shakespeare Remembers; and A Parish by the Sea, a history of St. James by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in La Jolla, California.

Father Waddy directed the BBC television production of his musical, "Job" which won first prize in the Monte Carlo UNDA Film Festival in 1971. He and his wife Laurie live in La Jolla, California.


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