Beulah Show, The

Beulah Show, The

Originally portrayed by white actor Marlin Hurt, Beulah Brown first appeared in 1939 when Hurt introduced and played the character on theHometown Incorporated radio series and in 1940 on NBC radio's Show Boat series. In 1943, Beulah moved over to That's Life and then became a supporting character on the popular Fibber McGee and Molly radio series in late 1944. In 1945, Beulah was spun off into her own radio show, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show, with Hurt still in the role. Beulah was employed as a housekeeper and cook for the Henderson family: father Harry, mother Alice and son Donnie. After Hurt died of a heart attack in 1946, he was replaced by another white actor, Bob Corley, and the series was retitled The Beulah Show.

When black actress Hattie McDaniel took over the role on November 24, 1947, she earned $1000 a week for the first season, doubled the ratings of the original series and pleased the NAACP which was elated to see a historic first: a black woman as the star of a network radio program.

McDaniel continued in the role until she became ill in 1952 and was replaced by Lillian Randolph, who was in turn replaced for the 1953-54 radio season by her sister, Amanda Randolph. 

In 1950, Roland Reed Productions adapted the show into a TV situation comedy for ABC. The Beulah TV show ran for three seasons, Tuesday nights at 7:30 ET from October 3, 1950 to December 23, 1952.

Most of the comedy in the series derived from the fact that Beulah, referred to as "the queen of the kitchen," has the ability to solve the problems that her employers cannot figure out. Other characters included Beulah's boyfriend Bill Jackson, a handyman who is constantly proposing marriage, and Oriole, a befuddled maid for the family next door. [Source: Wikipedia]

Broadcast: 17th August 1945
Starring: John Brown, Marlin Hurt
Added: Sep 17 2010
Broadcast: 25th December 1946
Added: Dec 24 2011
Broadcast: 7th May 1947
Added: Oct 04 2008
Broadcast: 27th June 1950
Starring: Hattie McDaniel
Added: May 23 2009
Broadcast: 13th November 1953
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: May 21 2009
Broadcast: December 23, 1953
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: Dec 23 2016
Broadcast: December 24, 1953
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: Dec 24 2016
Broadcast: 26th January 1954
Added: Mar 30 2010
Broadcast: 28th January 1954
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: May 25 2009
Broadcast: 3rd February 1954
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: Feb 13 2010
Broadcast: 4th February 1954
Added: Feb 14 2010
Broadcast: 5th February 1954
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: Feb 22 2010
Broadcast: 10th September 1954
Starring: Amanda Randolph
Added: Nov 17 2009