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Lou Merrill

Show Count: 155
Series Count: 9
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: April 1, 1912, Winnipeg, Canada
Died: April 7, 1963, Los Angeles, California, USA

Lou Merrill was best known as the host/narrator of the radio docudrama, Crime Classics, which was on CBS radio from 1953 until 1954. The program was created, produced and directed by Elliott Lewis and was based on historical true crimes.

Crime Classics also featured such radio anthology stars as Mary Jane Croft, Paula Winslowe, John Dehner and Norma LeMond. Elliot would recreate the facts of a historical crime, including an accurate portrayal of the times.

Merrill was an excellent narrator for the crime series. Listeners would first hear the sound of rain and then Merrill’s deadpan voice, “That’s the way it sounded when it rained, because the room was just below gutter level, and the rainwater rushed by the room’s only window, and many lodgers caught cold in this room. They were lucky.”

The early days of Lou Merrill’s radio career included a role in the dramatic anthology, Arch Oboler’s Plays. The show also featured such stars as Ronald Colman, Geraldine Page and Lurene Tuttle. Arch Oboler’s Plays aired from 1939 until 1940 on NBC radio.

Big Town, a newspaper-related crime drama, aired from 1937 until 1942 and cast Merrill in many gangster roles. He was often a stand-in for Edward G. Robinson. Robinson was cast on the show as Steve Wilson, the managing editor of ‘Illustrated Press,’ a newspaper known for its crusading ideals.

Among the various roles that Merrill played on the radio, Santa Claus was one that he played on a children’s fantasy program called, The Cinnamon Bear, which played during the holiday season of 1937 and ended just before Christmas.

Escape, the highly popular dramatic adventure anthology which played from 1947 until 1954, also featured Lou Merrill as part of a cast that included Frank Lovejoy, William Conrad and Paul Frees. He also appeared in episodes of Suspense, Dr Christian, Broadway Is My Beat, Nightbeat, The Whistler, Dark Venture, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Railroad Hour.

Merrill also played the role of Captain Craig McKenzie, skipper of a mysterious submarine with a cast of characters that included Bruce Payne, Jack Zoller and Ed Max. The show was the first to be targeted to young people and was hyped as, “A story of five men against the world – heroic men with ideals and the courage to fight for their ‘Latitude Zero.’

The NBC University Theater, a dramatic anthology which featured great novels was on the air from 1948 until 1951 and often cast Lou Merrill in its stories. Other stars on the show included Beulah Bondi, Angela Lansbury and Paul Frees.

Merrill was in many productions of Lux Radio Theater as a supporting player and was also an assistant director who specialized in crowd scenes for the program. One of his notable roles was Sleepy in the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Lou Merrill was born on April 1, 1912 and passed away on April 7, 1963. His radio career spanned the years from the 1930s until the 1950s. The later part of his working years included voice-over roles.

Cinnamon Bear, TheCinnamon Bear, The
Show Count: 28
Broadcast History: 1937 to 1962
Cast: Buddy Duncan, Barbara Jean Wong, Verna Felton, Joseph Kearns, Hanley Stafford, Howard McNear, Slim Pickins, Elvia Allman, Elliott Lewis, Lou Merrill, Frank Nelson, Cy Kendall, Gale Gordon, Ted Osborne, Joe Du Val, Martha Westworth, Dorothy Scott, Ed Max, Rosa Barcelo, Lindsay MacHarrie, Bud Hiestand
Director: Lindsay MacHarrie
A wonderful serial that was enjoyed annually by young children (at adults) in the period leading up to Christmas.
Crime ClassicsCrime Classics
Show Count: 51
Broadcast History: June 1953 to June 1954
Cast: Lou Merrill, Ben Wright, Barney Phillips, Mary Jane Croft, Bill Johnstone, Paula Winslowe, Jeanette Nolan, Herb Butterfield, Betty Harford, Jack Kruschen, Irene Tedrow, John Dehner, Sam Edwards, Lillian Buyeff, Norma LeMond, Roy Rowan
Director: Elliott Lewis
Producer: Elliott Lewis
Crime Classics was a United States radio docudrama which aired as a sustaining series over CBS from June 15, 1953, to June 30, 1954.
Broadcast: 15th November 1938
Added: Sep 20 2010
Broadcast: 23rd February 1953
Added: May 09 2010
Broadcast: 13th November 1939
Added: Jan 24 2010
Broadcast: 20th October 1950
Added: Feb 10 2011
Broadcast: 8th January 1940
Added: Jan 08 2011
Broadcast: 3rd December 1954
Added: Sep 10 2013
Broadcast: 21st October 1951
Added: Nov 13 2011
Broadcast: 10th January 1938
Added: Sep 07 2010
Broadcast: 27th September 1955
Added: Jun 11 2010
Broadcast: 29th March 1955
Added: Mar 25 2010
Broadcast: 31st January 1938
Added: Oct 13 2012
Broadcast: 28th January 1953
Added: Feb 15 2011
Broadcast: 2nd June 1952
Added: Sep 13 2012
Broadcast: 8th May 1952
Added: Sep 30 2011
Broadcast: 14th April 1952
Added: May 16 2009
Broadcast: 5th December 1949
Added: Dec 05 2011
Broadcast: 1946
Starring: Lou Merrill
Added: Sep 20 2005
Broadcast: 28th April 1954
Added: Apr 22 2013
Broadcast: 26th March 1952
Added: Apr 13 2012
Broadcast: 12th May 1955
Added: Aug 27 2012
Broadcast: 18th August 1957
Added: Sep 17 2010
Broadcast: 8th May 1960
Added: May 07 2012
Broadcast: 25th November 1956
Added: Nov 15 2010
Broadcast: 26th September 1938
Added: Aug 09 2008
Broadcast: 25th September 1939
Added: Sep 13 2008
Broadcast: 29th April 1940
Added: Apr 28 2008
Broadcast: 27th April 1958
Added: Apr 22 2011