Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, October 20, 2022


 Justin Vesey is found murdered and Broadway and art critic Ambrose Hammer work on solving the case.

John Brown, described as "one of the top five most prolific radio actors in the history of the medium," was cast as Broadway, the narrator and star of Damon Runyon Theater -- a role that supposedly should have gone to Pat O'Brien had it not been for Howard Hughes's insisynce that the film The Boy with Green Hair  be reshot.  Brown was  a natural for the role, uktilizing a similar accent that he was using for th seven years he appeared on My Friend Irma as Irma's boyfriend Al.  Other significant roles that rown played on radio included Thorny, Ozzie's next door neighbor on Ozzie and Harriet. Digby Odell, the friendly undertaker on The Life of Riley (as well as Riley's neighbor Gillis).1957, age 53, of a sudden heart attack while on his way to a doctor's appointment. Brown also made several appearances on The Jack Benny Show, A Date With Judy, and Duffy's Tavern.   On television he played Harry Morton on The Burns and Allen Show, and  Digby O'Dell (agin) on The Life of Riley; in films he appeared in Strangers on a Train and Robot Monster and had uncredited roles in The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Horn Blows at Midnight, Casanove Brown, and (keeping up with a Damon Runyon theme) The Lemon Drop Kid.  His career came to a screeching halt when he was targeted by Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare Fifties.  He died in 1957, age 53, while on his way to a doctor's appointment.

Alan Ladd's Mayfair Productions produced the 52 episodes (January-December 1949) of Damon Runyon Theater for local syndication.  The shows were directed by Richard Sanville.  Russell Hughes adapted Runyon's short stories.  The show relied on many of radio's top actors for regular roles and occassional roles; I'm not sure who appeared in this episode.

Damon Runyon Theater was one of the brightest spots of old-time radio.  The production and cast was first-rate.  A prime example was this episode.


1 comment:

  1. I have no memory of radio shows. Born in 1948, it seems like I should have.