Howard Alexander Petrie (November 22, 1906 - March 24, 1968) was an American radio, television, and film actor.
Howard Petrie was born in Beverly, Massachusetts on November 22, 1906. When Howard was three years old his family moved to Concord, Massachusetts The Petries later lived in Arlington, Massachusetts and then Somerville, Massachusetts, where Howard Petrie received his secondary school education. A talented musician, he conducted his high school glee club and played with various instrumental groups. He was a member of the debating team, a captain in the School Regiment and Chairman of the Senior Night Committee.
Petrie appeared in school dramatic productions including a starring role as "Marquis de la Seigliere" in the senior class play and the Jules Sandeau three-act comedy,Mademoiselle de la Seigliere.
After he graduated from Somerville High School in 1924, Petrie worked briefly as a bank clerk and a securities salesman. While on a sales call to a radio station, his sonorous bass voice landed him a job. He joined WBZ Radio in Boston in 1929 as a junior announcer. After ten months at the WBZ studios, Petrie left for New York City in June, 1930 where he joined the staff of NBC. Petrie soon became the head announcer for many of the network's shows. His first major network assignment was on Everything Goes, starring Garry Moore. He was the announcer for scores of shows including Abbie's Irish Rose, Big Sister, Camel Caravan, Blondie, The Ray Bolger Show, The Judy Canova Show, The Jimmy Durante Show, and The Garry Moore Show.
While at NBC he met his future wife, Alice Wood who was employed at NBC between 1931 and 1936. The Petries had one son.
In 1936, Petrie won the prestigious Batten, Barten and Durstine Award for Good Announcing. In 1942 he was the recipient of the H.P. Davis Memorial Announcers' Award for "personality, adaptability, diction, voice and versatility." Petrie moved to California in 1943 to become the announcer for The Judy Canova Show. As a "personality announcer," he became a character in the show.
Film and television career
In 1947, a movie producer who was looking for a tall man for a character role, saw Petrie on the radio stage and offered him the part. At 6 feet four and 240 pounds, Petrie played numerous "big man" roles. He worked as a character actor in over thirty feature films and forty television shows. He often appeared in Westerns in both mediums.
Later years and death
Howard Petrie had been living in semi-retirement at his home, Autumn Hill, in Walpole, New Hampshire, when he died in Keene, New Hampshire, on March 24, 1968.