Showing posts with label William Conrad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label William Conrad. Show all posts

Saturday, September 27, 2014

September 27: Happy Birthday, William Conrad



Thanks for stopping by to help us celebrate the birthday of quintessential radio character actor William Conrad, who entered the world in 1920.

If you're remembering Conrad as Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke you're probably in good company.  However, Conrad once estimated he'd played more than 7,500 roles.  How did he find the time?  We do know for sure that he appeared on Fibber McGee and Molly, Lux Radio Theater, Suspense.  He also spent a few years as the announcer for Escape, bringing listeners in and asking them if they'd like to get away.

Resembling Orson Welles, Conrad was deep-voiced, a rugged man's man.  He was also a mainstay in the world of classic radio.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22: Happy Birthday, Paul Frees

June 22, 1920 was when American voice and character actor Paul Frees was born. Born Solomon Hersh Frees, his voice range that covered multiple octave levels made Frees a popular pick for voice characterizations over 40 years.

 To this day, some of his voice offerings can be found in the Disney company of entrees, including Walt Disney World. Beginning in 1942, Frees would extend his voice to cartoons, and other venues of entertainment...including commercials.

While beginning a career in radio, Frees was drafted into WWII and fought in the European theatre. Injured in Normandy, he would would convalescent for a year at home. His return to radio would endear him to millions of Americans as a voice actor in such popular programs as Gunsmoke and Suspense Theatre. In fact, if actor William Conrad was not the voice narration, Paul Frees would be heard giving the voice to Suspense. In the radio drama The Player , Frees handled all the parts; cast and storyteller.

Paul Frees talent ran into handling various dialects and into narration. Disney loved using Frees because of the versatility of his vocal talents. He would be the voice of Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, portraying a solid rendition actor James Mason’s voice...the performer from the movie. In the 1959 Disney hit, The Shaggy Dog, Frees came on -board the filming for a bit part as a psychiatrist. This was an example of the few times America actually caught a glimpse of the actor that was a voice of a thousand parts.

In November of 1986, Paul Frees lost his life to a heart attack at the age of 66. Whether it was hearing the snobbish Von Drake or the Little Green Pea of Green Giant commercials, America lost a talented voice.