Today's birthday salute goes to Joan Crawford , born today in 1904. Crawford's career began kicking in 1924, when she worked as a dancer in traveling revues. Spotted in a performances, she landed a gig in Innocent Eyes on Broadway. It wasn't long before she landed her first movie role, in The Circle, and the rest is history. In 1934, Crawford made her first of many appearance on The Lux Radio Theatre , starring in an adaptation of the 1934 MGM film "Chained." In 1938 it was "Anna Christie," with Crawford playing the role made famous by Greta Garbo . She would later star in "A Doll's House" on the same program. The much-sought actress also lent her talents to Screen Directors' Playhouse , Stars Over Hollywood , Hollywood Star Playhouse , and Suspense . A happy birthday to Joan Crawford .
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.
On June 21 of 1921, Ernestine Jane Russell was born and thus began a story and life that was the envy of millions of women and eye-catching of men. Miss Russell made her movie debut in 1943 when she filmed “The Outlaw”. A famous pose of her stretched out on hay and holding a revolver was an instant pin-up hit for servicemen everywhere. Her obvious physical traits notwithstanding, Miss Russell drew the attention for her acting ability that would garner her much success in the years to follow. However, she was a versatile performer as a singer as well and her talent was added to a number of films. She performed with Kay Kyser and his band for radio by creating two hit singles, “As Long As I Live” and “Boin-n-n-ng”. Her 1948 hit movie The Paleface with Bob Hope , was broadcast for radio on Screen Director’s Playhouse in 1950. She also would record for Columbia a number of ballads that allowed America to hear her talents rather than simply focus upon her body shape. Jane Rus
January 1: Happy Birthday, Dana Andrews Dana Andrews is appropriately called “The Face of Noir.” Born on January 1st, 1909, Dana traveled as a young man to Los Angeles in 1931 to try to make it as a singer. The next nine years of his life were spent working numerous different jobs while he studied opera and acting. He was sometimes best known for his radio role in I Was a Communist for the FBI . Finally, Andrews was offered a contract by Sam Goldwyn in 1940. His first roles included The Westerner, Ball of Fire, and The Ox-Bow Incident. One of his most famous roles was an obsessed detective in the movie Laura, a part he would reprise on radio on both Lux Radio Theater and Screen Guild Players . He also starred as a crooked cop in Where the Sidewalk Ends and as a soldier returning home in The Best Years of Our Lives, a part he played again on the radio program Screen Directors' Playhouse . Alcoholism took hold of Dana and his career in the 1950’s, He was relegated to mos