The lovely Joan Fontaine led a colorful and unusual childhood, alternately living in California and Japan. As soon as she struck adulthood she began auditioning for Hollywood film roles, racking up a spree of parts in B-movies. A breakthrough role was in Hitchcock 's Rebecca, in which she co-starred with Laurence Olivier. The radio producers new she even sounded pretty, and snapped her up for parts in adaptations of contemporary dramas. In this capacity, she appeared on Lux Radio Theater , Screen Guild Theater , and Theater Guild on the Air . Born in 1917, Fontaine is now an American treasure.
László Löwenstein , better known as Peter Lorre , was born in present day Slovakia in June of 1904. Lorre’s early years were rather dismal having lost his mother, not getting along with his stepmother and his father suffering a long-term illness. This all during the years preceding and including WWI. However, at the age of 17, Lorre began a career in entertainment with a renowned Viennese puppeteer. In the early 20’s, Lorre moved to Berlin and began his work in film by starring in a couple of moving pictures. However his work in the German made film “M” would bring him to the attention of Alfred Hitchcock . Some of his more notable film work was as the Japanese detective, Mr Moto , that ran in a few film episodes. During the 1940’s, Lorre made a number of motion pictures with names, such as George Raft and Humphrey Bogart , that carried through the troubled American period of war. After that world war, Peter Lorre spent time doing some projects for radio. The “creepy forei
Today marks the birth--in 1899--of Alfred Hitchcock . One of the greatest American film directors of all time, Hitchcock also turned in some magnificent performances on oldtime radio . Highly versatile, Alfred did radio work as a director, writer, and guest. In 1950, he appeared on Screen Directors' Playhouse , introducing the story, "Lifeboat," and interviewing the actors afterward. In 1956, he co-starred with Doris Day on a Close To Your Heart edition entitled " Alfred Hitchcock Presents Doris Day ." Also of note is an interview show on Philadelphia's WCAU radio's The Talk of Philadelphia (Mar. 26, '63), on which the director answered two women's question of what he looks for in a woman.
Only so many screenwriters become the subject of biographies, and John Michael Hayes is one of them. He was the subject of Steven DeRosa's Writing With Hitchcock which chronicled his screenwriting work for the famed director in the 1950s. In radio's golden age, the medium attracted the best talent, and Hayes was no exception. When not writing Hitchcock movies, Hayes wrote for such radio smashes as The Adventures of Sam Spade , Inner Sanctum , and Sweeney and March. He wrote an episode of Spade called "The Chargogagogmanchogagogchabunamungamog Caper," the name purportedly coming from a river in Webster, MA. We salute Hayes on the day of his 1919 birth. Thanks for the scripts, John!
March 20: Happy Birthday, Wendell Corey Wendell Corey was a stage and screen actor whose appealing voice made him a shoo-in for radio success. The star of the films Hell's Half Acre , Rear Window , and Alias Jesse James and the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Peck's Bad Girl , Corey also made notable appearances on the radio . His performances were on notable shows such as Inner Sanctum , Lux Radio Theater , and Cavalcade of America . On Lux Radio Theater , Corey reprised his supporting role in the film " Carbine Williams ." A future Santa Monica City Council member, Corey was a team player as an actor, taking on many supporting roles.