Herbert "Herb" Vigran was a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, but his family moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he was reared. He graduated with a law degree from Indiana University School of Law but later chose to pursue acting.
After starting out on Broadway, he soon moved to Hollywood with no money and only the Broadway acting experience. In 1939, Vigran's agent helped him secure a lead in the radio drama Silver Theatre. The actor had a $5 recording made of the radio show and used it as a demo to get other jobs with his unique voice. He performed in radio shows with the likes of Jack Benny, Bob Hope,Lucille Ball and Jimmy Durante.
He later had hundreds of television appearances on shows like Adventures of Superman (six episodes), Dragnet (11 episodes), I Love Lucy (four episodes), The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (seven episodes), Perry Mason (two episodes), Dragnet 1967 (seven episodes), and The Brady Bunch (two episodes). Vigran had a recurring role as Judge Brooker in Gunsmoke between 1970-1975. He appeared in a number of I Love Lucy episodes, and in the 1954 episode titled Lucy Is Envious, Vigran is the promoter who hired Lucy and Ethel to dress up as "Women From Mars" for a publicity stunt. With his bushy eyebrows and balding pate, he was easily cast in a wide variety of middle-aged "everyman" roles: cops, small-time crooks, judges, jurors, bartenders, repairmen, neighbors, shopkeepers, etc.
In the rock and roll movie Go, Johnny, Go (1959), Vigran played an assistant to promoter Alan Freed and performed dialogue scenes with rock legend Chuck Berry. He also provided the voice of "Whitney's boss" on the Arrowhead bottled-water television (animated) and radio commercials in the 1960s.
Personal life and death
In 1952, Vigran married the former Belle Pasternack. The couple had two sons. Vigran was active up until his death from cancer on November 29, 1986 in Los Angeles. He was cremated.