Radio’s Most Essential People Countdown: #54-#52

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54) Hans Conreid

Hans Conreid was one of radio’s most beloved and versatile comic character actors. He was a psychiatrist next door neighbor to George Burns and Allen. On Life with Luigi, he played the role of Schultz, a lovable Austrian immigrant who ran a delicatessen and was the class clown in Luigi’s night school class. He played variations of this Austrian character on a wide variety of shows. However, Conreid’s versatility served not only comedy shows but dramas. His radiography is filled not only with appearances on My Favorite Husband, My Friend Irma, the Adventures of Maisie, and the Great Gildersleeve, but also on Suspense, Richard Diamond, Sam Spade, and Cavalcade of America. He was also the first Pagan Zeldchmidt on the Man Called X in 1944. While he may be best remembered as the voice of Captain Hook in Peter Pan, he left an indelible mark on radio.

53) Herbert Marshall

Herbert MarshallHerbert Marshall was best remembered  as The Man Called X. This iconic role was perhaps the best known of Pre-Bond spies. So much so that when the Man Called X was evoked when the Flintstones made a 1966 Musical Comedy spy caper and called it, The Man Called Flintstone. The show began in 1944 and journeyed from CBS to the Blue Network to NBC back to CBS and then back  NBC, with Ken Thurston (Marshall) as the debonair and daring international man of mystery who battled America’s foes with the help (and often the hindrance) of international con man Pagan Veldschmidt. He was also on a variety of other programs from hosting the Globe Theater for American GIs to guest starring on The Bob Hope  Show and Burns and Allen. His most famous appearance outside of The Man Called X was appearing in an episode of Forecast which would become the first radio airing of the long-running anthology.Suspense.

52) Phil Harris

Phil Harris made a name for himself as the long time leader of Jack Benny’s orchestra for sixteen years. He parlayed this role into his own radio vehicle when he and his wife Alice Faye began to host the Fitch Bandwagon program in 1946. The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show became a prime time radio hit combing the couples’ music and comedy, running on NBC for eight years. For most of that time, Harris continued to work for Benny. When Benny moved to CBS airing right before Harris’ show, he’d appear on the first half of the Benny show, make the one block trip to NBC and do the Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show.

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