Howard Culver

Show Count: 112
Series Count: 6
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: June 4, 1918 , Larimer County, Colorado, USA
Died: August 4, 1984, Hong Kong

Howard Culver (June 4, 1918 - August 4, 1984) was an American radio and television actor, best known as hotel clerk Howie Uzzell during the entire run of TV's Gunsmoke. On radio he starred in the title role of the Western adventure series Straight Arrow, which aired on Mutual from May 6, 1948 to June 21, 1951.


Culver grew up in Los Angeles, and he was first heard as an actor on CBS while he was a teenager. He served in the Navy for three years during World War II, returning to continue on many San Francisco and Hollywood-based radio shows. In 1948, he was the last actor to portray Ellery Queen on radio's The Adventures of Ellery Queen. After Straight Arrow, he co-starred with Mercedes McCambridge as reporter Jud Barnes on ABC's Defense Attorney (1951–52).

Straight Arrow opened with an introduction by announcer Frank Bingman, who remained close friends with Culver for years:

To friends and neighbors alike, Steve Adams appeared to be nothing more than the young owner of the Broken Bow cattle spread, but when danger threatened innocent people, and when evildoers plotted against justice, then Steve Adams, rancher, disappeared. And in his place came a mysterious, stalwart Indian, wearing the dress and war paint of a Comanche, riding the great golden palomino Fury. Galloping out of the darkness to take up the cause of law and order throughout the West comes the legendary figure of Straight Arrow.

Jack French recalled Culver in his 1996 essay on Straight Arrow:

McCann Erickson decided the new series would be broadcast from Los Angeles, and they quickly chose their cast from West Coast talent. Howard Culver, who had been the narrator of We Deliver the Goods and the announcer on Chandu the Magician, was selected for the title lead. At the time, he had a small goatee, which would be later be shaved off before his first personal appearance as Straight Arrow... Frank Bingman was hired as the announcer. He had started in radio at age 19 on Life of Mary Southern but was best known then as the voice of Cresta Blanca Wine. Bingman was surprised to find out that Culver occupied his spare time at the studio by knitting. While on the Joan Davis Show,Verna Felton had taught Bingman to knit, but he was a "closet knitter," since he was embarrassed to knit in front of other men. "Well, I don't give a damn what they say!", Culver told Bingman, sounding very unlike Straight Arrow. Thereafter, they both knitted in the studio, and later these two buddies donated their time at local military hospitals, teaching wounded vets to knit... Culver, much like Clayton "Bud" Collyer had been doing for years as Clark Kent/Superman, used his regular voice for Steve Adams and then lowered it for Straight Arrow.

Much information about Culver and Straight Arrow was published in the newsletter, Pow Wow, edited by William and Teresa Harper of North Augusta, South Carolina.

Films and television

In addition to his regular role on Gunsmoke, he made numerous TV guest appearances on such shows as Dragnet, Adam-12, and CHiPs. His films included the role of the newscaster in Hal Ashby's Shampoo (1975).

Culver died in 1984 during a vacation in Hong Kong, China.

Source: Wikipedia

Chandu The MagicianChandu The Magician
Show Count: 295
Broadcast History: 10th October 1932 to 6th September 1950
Cast: Tom Collins, Gayne Whitman, Margaret MacDonald, Bob Bixby, Betty Webb, Howard Hoffman, Cornelia Osgood, Olan Soule, Audrey McGrath, Irene Tedrow, Lee Millar, Joy Terry, Veola Vonn, Luis Van Rooten
Director: Cyril Armbrister
Chandu the Magician, one of the longest running radio adventure serials, was heard on several different networks and aired in two distinctly different series, one in the 1930s and a revival 12 years later in the 1940s and 1950s. The series was created by Harry A. Earnshaw (1878–1953) and Raymond R. Morgan.
Defense AttorneyDefense Attorney
Show Count: 4
Broadcast History: 31 August 1951 to 30 December 1952
Cast: Mercedes McCambridge, Howard Culver, Tony Barrett, Irene Tedrow, Harry Bartell
Director: Dwight Hauser
Straight ArrowStraight Arrow
Show Count: 14
Broadcast History: 6 May 1948 to 21 June 1951
Cast: Howard Culver, Fred Howard, Gwen Delano
Director: Ted Robertson, Neil Regan
Producer: Ted Robertson, Neil Regan
Broadcast: 14th January 1953
Added: Jan 22 2012
Broadcast: 13th July 1949
Added: Mar 06 2009
Broadcast: 30th January 1953
Added: Feb 18 2011
Broadcast: 19th February 1956
Added: Jan 31 2010
Broadcast: November 9, 1946
Added: Mar 09 2017
Broadcast: August 31, 1946
Added: Jan 21 2017
Broadcast: September 27, 1954
Added: Nov 02 2010
Broadcast: 7th November 1952
Added: Sep 13 2010
Broadcast: February 9, 1954
Added: Mar 26 2021
Broadcast: 21st June 1950
Added: Jul 11 2010
Broadcast: January 30, 1953
Added: Oct 01 2019
Broadcast: 4th November 1954
Added: Dec 04 2009
Broadcast: 15th August 1946
Added: Sep 06 2008
Broadcast: 23rd January 1953
Added: Jan 12 2010
Broadcast: August 29, 1951
Added: Sep 07 2014
Broadcast: 30th March 1955
Added: Mar 28 2011
Broadcast: 1st April 1954
Added: Jun 02 2009
Broadcast: 9th October 1953
Added: Oct 22 2010