Jackson Beck

Show Count: 240
Series Count: 18
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: July 23, 1912, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Died: July 28, 2004, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Jackson Beck (July 23, 1912 – July 28, 2004) was an American actor best known as the announcer on radio's The Adventures of Superman and the voice of Bluto in the Famous era Popeye theatrical shorts.


Beck's father, Max Beck, was a silent film actor. Beck had a career in radio, television, and animation dating from 1931 with Myrt and Marge, among other roles. In 1934, he was the announcer for The Adventures of Babe Ruth on the radio. In 1943, he took over as narrator of radio's The Adventures of Superman; it was Beck who intoned the familiar prologue "strange visitor from another planet..." Decades later, he portrayed Perry White, Clark Kent's boss in Filmation's The New Adventures of Superman animated series and was narrator as well. He also impersonated Joseph Stalin and other world leaders for the March of Time radio series, starred as The Cisco Kid on radio from 1942 to 1945 and sleuth Philo Vance in a syndicated series from 1948 to 1950, and served as narrator for the radio adventures of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

In 1969, Beck used his deep, dramatic, modulated voice as the narrator of Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. Three years earlier, he dubbed the English voice of the judge listing Tuco's many crimes before sentencing him to death by hanging in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Beck was one of the players in National Lampoon's first comedy album Radio Dinner in 1972. He was prominent as well in Allen's 1987 film Radio Days, dubbing the voice of the on-the-spot newsman. Beck also co-starred in several episodes of theCBS Radio Mystery Theater (CBSRMT).


Beck had a prolific career in animation, becoming one of the regular voice actors at Famous Studios in the mid-1940s. He voiced Bluto in the Popeye cartoons, Little Lulu's father, and Buzzy the Crow, who was a foil for Katnip the Cat in a number of cartoons. Beck used a black dialect for the voice of Buzzy. He was also the voice of King Leonardo in the 1960s TV cartoon series of the same name. He also had a part in the Peanuts 1977 film Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown as the snickering cat, Brutus. He narrated the 1980s G.I. Joe animated TV series. His other voice work included network TV promos (he did a series of promos for NBC's NFL coverage for much of the 1980s), narration for sketches onSaturday Night Live, movie trailers, and commercials for everything from toys to shampoo (one of Beck's very last commercials was for Infusium Shampoo).

Other work 

Beck also served as a pitchman for products from Combat Roach Killer to Little Caesar's Pizza (he was Caesar, Jr.) In 1999, he narrated a dramatization of L. Ron Hubbard's Dr. Methuselah for NPR's radio series 2000X. Beck also did few onscreen acting roles. A notable one was as mobster Willie Saffire in the crime-based daytime soap opera The Edge of Night from 1968 to 1969.

Beck also recorded voices for children's records such as The Little Engine That Could from Diplomat Records.

In 1994, Beck voiced Darrel the Fifth Fish, Hunter #2, Wickersham Guard #2, the Sneetches and Greedy Ape in Storybook Weaver, and later in 2004, remade as Storybook Weaver Deluxe (his last voice).


Beck died of stroke on July 28, 2004, at age 92. He is buried in Brooklyn's Mount Hope Cemetery.

Source: Wikipedia

Brownstone TheaterBrownstone Theater
Show Count: 6
Broadcast History: 21 February 1945 to 23 September 1945
Cast: Jackson Beck, Gertrude Warner, Jane Cowl, Les Tremayne, Jan Miner, Neil Hamilton
Director: Jock MacGregor
If you enjoy listening to a good play, then you'll love Brownstone Theatre!
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 Mystery TheaterCBS Radio Mystery Theater
Show Count: 1484
Broadcast History: 6 January 1974 to 31 December 1982
Cast: Leon Janney, Evie Juster, Ralph Bell, Jackson Beck, Teri Keane, Mason Adams, Roger DeKoven, Robert Dryden, Bryna Raeburn, Joseph Julian, Ian Martin, Mary Jane Higby, William Redfield, Mandel Kramer, Paul McGrath, Amzie Strickland, Joan Lorring, Joan Banks, Elspeth Eric, Santos Ortega, Arnold Moss, Grace Matthews, Bret Morrison, Berry Kroeger, Jim Jordan, Les Tremayne
Director: Himan Brown
Producer: Himan Brown
Host: E G Marshall, Tammy Grimes
CBS Radio Mystery Theater wasn't initiated until the 1970's – long after so many radio broadcasts had failed in the intense competition with television.
Cisco Kid, TheCisco Kid, The
Show Count: 337
Broadcast History: 2 October 1942 to 14 February 1945, and 1946-1956
Cast: Vicki Vola, Jackson Beck, Louis Sorin, Bryna Raeburn, Jack Mather, Harry Lang
Director: Jock MacGregor
Producer: J C Lewis
Western Drama mainly for the young ones or maybe just the young at heart. I say the young at heart, because The Cisco Kid and his likeable but simple partner Pancho were a couple of lovable rogues and because there was usually a lovely senorita around in every episode who fell madly in love with Cisco, there may well have been an element of lady listeners included in the audience rating figures.
Creeps By NightCreeps By Night
Show Count: 5
Broadcast History: 15 February 1944 to 15 August 1944
Cast: Edmund Gwenn, Abby Lewis, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Everett Sloane, Jackson Beck, Ed Begley, Mary Patton, Juano Hernandez
Director: Dave Drummond
Producer: Robert Maxwell
Hop HarriganHop Harrigan
Show Count: 188
Broadcast History:
Cast: Charles Stratton, Ken Lynch, Jackson Beck, King Leonardo, Perry White, Mitzi Gould
Hop Harrigan was created by Jon Blummer, and is recognized as one of the first successful aviation heroes in comic history.
Philo VancePhilo Vance
Show Count: 90
Broadcast History: 1948 to 1950
Cast: Jackson Beck, George Petrie, Joan Alexander
You Are The JuryYou Are The Jury
Show Count: 8
Broadcast History:
Cast: Jay Jostyn
The famous criminologist Roy Post devised this series. Here you are given your chance to actually take part in the jury trial without leaving your own living room, the chance to find out what kind of juror you’d make.
Broadcast: 13th December 1959
Added: Dec 18 2011
Broadcast: July 14, 1948
Added: May 12 2020
Broadcast: June 16, 1948
Added: May 07 2020
Broadcast: June 25, 1934
Added: Jan 16 2003
Broadcast: April 21, 1948
Added: Apr 23 2020
Broadcast: 13th May 1962
Added: Jun 03 2011
Broadcast: 20th August 1944
Added: Mar 10 2012
Broadcast: 7th February 1960
Added: Feb 03 2012
Broadcast: 25th August 1949
Starring: Jackson Beck
Added: Oct 20 2002
Broadcast: November 24, 1953
Added: Jul 27 2023
Broadcast: 15th January 1952
Added: Apr 06 2006
Broadcast: 19th October 1956
Added: Nov 18 2008