Saturday, November 10, 2012

They faded after radio

I wonder how many actors who were prominent in radio did not make it in TV and the movies, at least not nearly in as big a way.

Betty Lou Gerson was a very busy actress on radio. Her sultry voice made her a favorite as sophisticated characters. However, she was not a raving beauty, and while she was in a few movies, she never made it big there. The same for Bob Bailey, who was a heart-throb audibly as Johnny Dollar, but not visually - and so he never made it in films. The same for William Conrad, who starred in the long-running Gunsmoke radio show, but was not picked to be Matt Dillon on TV because he was short and stout. No doubt many more could be added.

The exceptions were the actors who were not leading men or ladies on radio, but who were character actors there and also on film. It did not matter so much what they looked like, so they just moved right over into the other media.

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