Cornelia Otis Skinner

Show Count: 7
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: May 30, 1899, Chicago, Illinois, U.S
Died: July 9, 1979, New York, New York, U.S

Cornelia Otis Skinner (May 30, 1899 – July 9, 1979) was an American author and actress.


Skinner was the daughter of the actor Otis Skinner and his wife Maud (Durbin) Skinner. After attending the all-girls' Baldwin School and Bryn Mawr College (1918–1919) and studying theatre at theSorbonne in Paris, she began her career on the stage in 1921. She appeared in several plays before embarking on a tour of the United States from 1926 to 1929 in a one-woman performance of short character sketches she herself wrote. She wrote numerous short humorous pieces for publications like The New Yorker. These pieces were eventually compiled into a series of books, including Nuts in MayDithers and JittersExcuse It Please!, and The Ape In Me, among others.

With Emily Kimbrough, she wrote Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, a light-hearted description of their European tour after college. Kimbrough and Skinner went to Hollywood to act as consultants on the film version of the book, which resulted in We Followed Our Hearts to Hollywood. Skinner was portrayed by Bethel Leslie in the short-lived 1950 television series The Girls, based upon Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.

In 1952, her one-woman show Paris '90 (music and lyrics by Kay Swift) premiered on Broadway. An original cast recording was produced by Goddard Lieberson for Columbia Records, now available on compact disc. In later years Skinner wrote Madame Sarah (a biography of Sarah Bernhardt) and Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals about the Belle Epoque. She also appeared withOrson Welles on The Campbell Playhouse radio play of The Things We Have on May 26, 1939.

In a 1944 conversation with Victor Borge, Skinner reportedly told the Danish comedian that she decided to drop the term “diseuse" from her act after reading in a Scottish newspaper: “Cornelia Otis Skinner, the American disease, gave a program last night.” 

Source: Wikipedia

Broadcast: 13th March 1943
Added: Mar 12 2013
Broadcast: December 13, 1948
Added: Jul 20 2012
Broadcast: September 12, 1948
Added: Sep 24 2017
Broadcast: 17th February 1944
Added: Jan 20 2008
Broadcast: 18th June 1940
Added: Jun 20 2013
Broadcast: 26th May 1939
Added: May 29 2005