Elliott Lewis

Show Count: 307
Series Count: 23
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: November 28, 1917, New York City, New York, USA
Died: May 23, 1990, Gleneden Beach, Oregon, USA

Elliott Lewis (November 28, 1917 – May 23, 1990) was active during the Golden Age of Radio as an actor, producer and director, proficient in both comedy and drama. These talents earned him the nickname "Mr Radio".

Elliott Lewis was born in New York City, New York, on November 28, 1917. He headed west to Los Angeles to take a pre-law course in his twenties but found himself drawn to acting. During WW-II, Lewis was a master sergeant who supervised shows for the Armed Forces Radio Network.

In 1943, while on leave from the Army, Lewis married Cathy Lewis, his first wife; they shared the common surname before their marriage. Cathy Lewis, who began in radio as a singer on Kay Kyser's radio program, was best known to audiences as Jane from My Friend Irma, both on radio and television. Together, the couple produced such old time radio classics as Voyage of the Scarlet Queen and Suspense. The couple divorced in 1958. In 1959, Lewis married actress Mary Jane Croft, and the couple remained together until Lewis' death from cardiac arrest in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, on May 23, 1990. His stepson, from Croft's first marriage, was killed inVietnam.


As a voice actor, Elliott Lewis was in high demand on radio, and he displayed a talent for everything from comedy to melodrama. He gave voice to Rex Stout's roguish private eye Archie Goodwin, playing opposite Francis X. Bushman in The Amazing Nero Wolfe (1946). He played adventurer Phillip Carney on the Mutual Broadcasting System's Voyage of the Scarlet Queen.

But perhaps Lewis' most famous role on radio was that of the hard-living, trouble-making left-handed guitar player Frankie Remley on NBC's The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. This character, based on a former band mate of Harris', served only one purpose: To get Phil into trouble. The trouble usually began when Frankie, in response to a request, complaint or musing from Harris, would speak the line that was to become his signature: "I know a guy...".

The name "Frankie Remley" belonged to the Jack Benny radio program, on which Harris was a cast member. When Benny moved his show from NBC to CBS in 1949, rights to use references to Remley went with him. So when the new season of the Harris show began, the character "Frankie Remley" became the character "Elliott Lewis" without notice.

Lewis' other most famous voicing was not on radio but on record. He is the narrator and male lead of Gordon Jenkins' musical narrative album "Manhattan Tower," both the original 10 inch LP and the later recorded, expanded 12 inch LP version of the musical story.

During the run of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, Lewis took over as a director of the well-known radio series Suspense. On the May 10, 1951, broadcast, Lewis reversed roles with Harris in the play Death on My Hands. A band leader, played by Harris, is horrified when an autograph-seeking fan accidentally shoots herself and dies in his hotel room. A singer (played by Harris' wife and radio costar Alice Faye) comes to his aid as the townsfolk blame him for the girl's death and call for vigilante justice against him.

Lewis was also heard on episodes of The Clock, The Adventures of Maisie and literally hundreds of other shows. He claimed that acting came to him too easily, and that he preferred to write and to direct. As a producer, director and writer, Lewis also worked on such radio programs as Broadway Is My Beat, Crime Classics and numerous other shows. He was considered one of the top talents in the radio world. In all, Lewis was involved in over 900 radio productions.

In the 1970s, Lewis produced radio dramas during a brief reincarnation of the medium. In 1973-74, he directed Mutual's The Zero Hour, hosted by Rod Serling. In 1979, he produced the Sears Radio Theater with Sears as the sole sponsor. In 1980 the series moved from CBS to Mutual and was renamed The Mutual Radio Theater, sponsored by Sears and other sponsors.


Lewis did work in film, although radio was his great passion. On the big screen, Lewis narrated The Winner's Circle (1948) and portrayed Rod Markle in The Story of Molly X (1949). He also appeared in Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) and Saturday's Hero (1951).

Television work 

As the Golden Age of Radio ended, Lewis shifted his focus to television, where he worked on such shows as The Mothers-in-Law, Petticoat Junction and The Lucy Show (on which his wife Mary Jane Croft costarred as Lucy's sidekick Mary Jane Lewis — her married name). His final credited work was as an executive script consultant for Remington Steele.

Source: Wikipedia

Adventures By MorseAdventures By Morse
Show Count: 54
Broadcast History: 1944 to 1945
Cast: Elliott Lewis, David Ellis, Russell Thorson, Jack Edwards
Producer: Carlton E. Morse
Burns & AllenBurns & Allen
Show Count: 283
Broadcast History: 15 February 1932 to 13 June 1934, 19 September 1934 to 24 March 1937, 12 April 1937 to 1 August 1938, 30 September 1938 to 23 June 1939, 4 October to 1939 to 26 June 1940, 1 July 1940 to 24 March 1941, 7 October 1941 to 30 June 1942, 6 October 1942 to 25 June 1945, 20 September 1945 to 23 June 1949 and 21 September 1949 to 17 May 1950
Sponsor: Robert Burns Panatella, White Owl Cigars, Campbell Soups, Grape Nuts, Chesterfield Cigarettes, Hinds Cream, Hormel Meats, Lever Brothers, Swan Soap, Maxwell House Coffee Time, Block Drugs
Cast: Bea Benaderet, Gracie Allen, George Burns, Elvia Allman, Mel Blanc, Margaret Brayton, Sara Berner, Clarence Nash, Elliott Lewis, Mary Lee Robb, Richard Crenna, Joseph Kearns, Eric Snowden, Hal March, Gerald Mohr, Marvin Miller, Wally Maher, Doris Singleton, Dawn Bender, Tommy Bernard, Gale Gordon, Hans Conried
Director: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Producer: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Casebook Of Gregory HoodCasebook Of Gregory Hood
Show Count: 10
Broadcast History: 3 June 1946 to 25 December 1949 and 25 January 1950 to 31 August 1950
Cast: Gale Gordon, George Petrie, Elliott Lewis, Jackson Beck, Paul McGrath, Martin Gabel, Bill Johnstone, Howard McNear
Director: Ned Tollinger, Frank Cooper, Lee Bolen
CBS Radio WorkshopCBS Radio Workshop
Show Count: 77
Broadcast History: 27 January 1956 to 22 September 1957
Cast: Various, Aldus Huxley, William Conrad, Parley Baer, Lurene Tuttle, Jack Kruschen, Joseph Kearns, Vic Perrin, Sam Edwards, Gloria Henry, Charlotte Lawrence
Director: Jack Johnstone, William N Robson, Dee Engelbach, Elliott Lewis, Antony Ellis
Producer: William Froug
The CBS Radio Workshop was an experimental dramatic radio anthology series that aired on CBS from January 27, 1956, until September 22, 1957. Subtitled “radio’s distinguished series to man’s imagination,” it was a revival of the earlier Columbia Experimental Laboratory (1931), Columbia Experimental Dramatic Laboratory (1932) and Columbia Workshop broadcasts by CBS from 1936 to 1943, and used some of the same writers and directors employed on the earlier series'.
Cinnamon Bear, TheCinnamon Bear, The
Show Count: 28
Broadcast History: 1937 to 1962
Cast: Martha Wentworth, 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, 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.
Fitch BandwagonFitch Bandwagon
Show Count: 11
Broadcast History: 4 September 1938 to 17 June 1945, 23 September 1945 to 16 June 1946, and 29 September 1946 to 23 May 1948
Sponsor: Fitch Shampoo
Cast: Alice Faye, Phil Harris, Eddie Cantor, Andy Devine, Cass Daley, Francis Trout, Henry Russell, Elliott Lewis, Robert North, Jeanine Roose, Anne Whitfield, Walter Tetley
Director: Paul Phillips
Producer: Ward Byron, Bill Lawrence
Host: Dick Powell
I Love a MysteryI Love a Mystery
Show Count: 113
Broadcast History: 16 January 1939 to 26 December 1952
Cast: Elliott Lewis, Luis Van Rooten, Russell Thorson, Michael Raffetto, Tony Randall, Robert Dryden, Jack Edwards, John McIntire, Cathy Lewis, Barton Yarborough, Jay Novello, Ben Alexander, Gloria Blondell, Cliff Arquette, Naomi Stevens, Edgar Norton, Barbara Jean Wong, Richard Legrand, Walter Paterson, Lal Chand Mehra, Jim Boles, Mercedes McCambridge
Director: Carlton E Morse
Producer: Al Span, Carlton E Morse, Buddy Twiss, Ralph Amati, George Cooney, Barney Beck
I Love A Mystery weaves a spell over its fans. It is a tale of three partners, Jack Packard, Doc Long and Reggie Yorke who formed the A-1 detective agency. They are adventurers who travel the world in search of action, thrills and mystery, battling the evils of natural and supernatural and rescuing women in distress.
Lineup, TheLineup, The
Show Count: 56
Broadcast History: 6 July 1950 to 20 February 1953
Sponsor: Wrigley’s Gum
Cast: Bill Johnstone, Edgar Barrier, Howard McNear, Joseph Kearns, Paul Frees, Wally Maher, Virginia Gregg, John McIntire, Tony Barrett, Junius Matthews, Clayton Post, Raymond Burr, Jeanette Nolan, Sheldon Leonard
Director: Elliott Lewis, Jaime del Valle
Producer: Elliott Lewis, Jaime del Valle
Following the massive popularity of Dragnet, other networks and producers jumped on the bandwagon, creating similar police dramas.
On StageOn Stage
Show Count: 13
Broadcast History: 1 January 1953 to 30 September 1953
Cast: Ben Wright, Elliott Lewis, Howard McNear, William Conrad, Paul Frees, Harry Bartell, Cathy Lewis, Barney Phillips, Peggy Webber
Director: Elliott Lewis
Producer: Elliott Lewis
Philip Morris PlayhousePhilip Morris Playhouse
Show Count: 9
Broadcast History: 1939 to 1949, November 1948 to July 1949, and March 1951 to September 1953
Sponsor: Philip Morris Cigarettes
Cast: Vincent Price, Dan Dailey, Cathy Lewis, Marlene Dietrich, Elliott Lewis, Howard Duff, Joseph Kearns, Sidney Miller, Jerry Hausner, James Mathews, William Conrad, Vanessa Brown, Lew Ayres, June Allyson, Robert Culp, Mandel Kramer, Peter Lorre, Everett Sloane, Ed Begley
Director: William Spier, Charles Martin
Producer: William Spier, Charles Martin
On Friday evenings at 8:30 pm, from 1939 until 1944, everyone who had a radio gathered round it to listed to the music, variety and drama offerings of Philip Morris Playhouse. It continued again in 1948 until 1951.
Speed GibsonSpeed Gibson
Show Count: 178
Broadcast History: 1937 to 1938
Cast: Elliott Lewis, Hanley Stafford, Howard McNear, Sam Edwards, John Gibson
Voyage of the Scarlet QueenVoyage of the Scarlet Queen
Show Count: 33
Broadcast History: 3 July 1947 to 14 February 1948
Cast: Ben Wright, Elliott Lewis, John Dehner, William Conrad, Ed Max
Broadcast: October 29, 1950
Added: May 18 2020
Broadcast: 19th March 1950
Added: Sep 21 2009
Broadcast: July 29, 1940
Added: Mar 28 2021
Broadcast: October 22, 1950
Added: May 11 2020
Broadcast: October 13, 1949
Added: Dec 09 2016
Broadcast: 18th December 1953
Added: Dec 18 2005
Broadcast: 30th April 1950
Added: May 15 2008
Broadcast: 15th January 1939
Added: Feb 08 2013
Broadcast: March 3, 1949
Added: Sep 18 2014
Broadcast: 7th May 1950
Added: Sep 14 2009
Broadcast: 11th December 1953
Added: Dec 11 2005
Broadcast: 12th March 1950
Added: Apr 04 2009
Broadcast: 19th February 1950
Added: Apr 02 2009
Broadcast: May 14, 1950
Added: May 11 2008
Broadcast: 23rd April 1950
Added: Oct 03 2009
Broadcast: 4th December 1953
Added: Dec 25 2005
Broadcast: January 2, 1949
Added: May 12 2020
Broadcast: June 4, 1950
Added: May 03 2020
Broadcast: Not Known
Starring: Elliott Lewis
Added: Sep 10 2005
Broadcast: 26th February 1950
Added: May 20 2008
Broadcast: 12th February 1950
Added: May 19 2008