Lawrence Dobkin

Show Count: 365
Series Count: 10
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: September 16, 1919, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: October 28, 2002, Los Angeles, California

Lawrence Dobkin (September 16, 1919 – October 28, 2002) was an American television director, actor and screenwriter whose career spanned seven decades.

Dobkin was a prolific performer during the Golden Age of Radio. His voice was used to narrate the classic western Broken Arrow (1950). His film performances include Never Fear (1949), Sweet Smell of Success (1957) and North by Northwest (1959). He announced the landmark television seriesNaked City (1958–1963), closing each episode with the statement, "There are eight million stories in the naked city, and this has been one of them."


A former child actor, Dobkin began working in radio to pay for his studies at the Yale University School of Drama. He understudied onBroadway before serving with a radio propaganda unit of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. When he returned to network radio he was one of five actors who played the detective Ellery Queen. In The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe (1950–1951), Dobkin played detective Archie Goodwin opposite Sydney Greenstreet's Nero Wolfe.

While playing Louie, The Saint's cab-driving sidekick on NBC Radio in 1951, he was asked to step into the lead role of Simon Templar to replace Tom Conway for a single episode — making Dobkin one of the few actors to portray Leslie Charteris' literary creation.

His other radio work included Escape (1947–1954), Gunsmoke (1952–1961), Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (1956–1960), and the anthology series Lux Radio Theater. "The few of us who are left," Dobkin said of his radio days not long before he died, "keep telling each other that we never had it so good."

Continuing to work as a voice actor throughout his career, Dobkin contributed to the video game Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear (1999).


Dobkin began a prolific career in television in 1946, having worked as an actor, narrator and director. In 1953, he guest starred on Alan Hale, Jr.'s short-lived CBS espionage series set in the Cold War, Biff Baker, U.S.A.. He was cast in an episode of the early syndicated series The Silent Service, based on true stories of the submarine section of the United States Navy. He appeared too in the religion anthology series, Crossroads, based on experiences of American clergymen, and later on the ABC religion drama, Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly.

In the 1957-1958 television season, Dobkin played a director on the CBS sitcom, Mr. Adams and Eve, starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino as fictitious married actors residing in Beverly Hills,California. He guest starred in 1958 in the first season of ABC's The Donna Reed Show. In 1960, Dobkin appeared as Kurt Reynolds in "So Dim the Light" of the CBS anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. He also appeared in the David Janssen crime drama series, Richard Diamond, Private Detective.

Often otherwise cast as the villain, Dobkin portrayed gangster Dutch Schultz on ABC's The Untouchables. He appeared on the ABC/Warner Brothers crime drama, The Roaring 20s and in theNBC western with a modern setting, Empire. He was cast as a mass murderer in the 1972 pilot for ABC's The Streets of San Francisco, starring Karl Malden. He guest starred on ABC's The Big Valley, starring Barbara Stanwyck. He received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama for his work in the CBS Playhouse program, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" (1967). In 1991, Dobkin appeared on an episode of the television series Night Court as State Supreme Court Justice Welch.

As writer, Dobkin created the title character for the 1974 film and the 1977–1978 NBC series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams. He began directing for television in 1960, and his work in this area included the pilot and episodes of The Munsters (1964) and 16 episodes of The Waltons (1972–1981).

Dobkin also appeared in several episodes of I Love Lucy: ("Equal Rights" and "Paris at Last".)


Dobkin's notable supporting film roles include Twelve O'Clock High (1949), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Julius Caesar (1953), The Ten Commandments (1956), The Defiant Ones (1958) and Patton (1970). He had a cameo appearance in the 1954 sci-fi thriller Them. In an uncredited performance in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Dobkin has a memorable line as an intelligence official who remarks on the plight of the hapless protagonist, on the run for murder after being mistaken for a person who doesn't exist: "It's so horribly sad. Why is it I feel like laughing?"

Work within the Star Trek franchise

Dobkin directed the original series episode "Charlie X" and later portrayed the traitorous Klingon ambassador Kell on Star Trek:The Next Generation in the fourth season episode "The Mind's Eye".

Theme parks

From 1971 to 1993, Dobkin served as the narrator of The Hall of Presidents show, returning to re-record the presidential roll call each time a new U.S. President was elected.

From 1982 to 1986, the Epcot Center attraction Spaceship Earth featured Dobkin as the narrator along with a very simple and quiet orchestral composition throughout the attraction. Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar did an interview saying that he didn't understand why everyone said the narrator was Vic Perrin.

Personal life

On June 24, 1962, Dobkin married actress Joanna Barnes; they had no children, but he had one daughter by his first wife. Dobkin married actress Anne Collings in 1970 and had three children: identical twin daughters, Kristy and Kaela, and a son named Laird. His identical-twin daughters followed him into the business — Kristy Dobkin as a writer, and Kaela Dobkin as an actress.

He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered at sea.


Source: Wikipedia

Man Called X, TheMan Called X, The
Show Count: 96
Broadcast History: July 1944 to Sept 1948 and Oct 1950 to May 1952
Sponsor: General Motors, Frigidaire
Cast: Herbert Marshall, William Conrad, Lawrence Dobkin, Cathy Lewis, Harry Lang, Peter Leeds, Leon Belasco
Director: Jack Johnstone
Broadcast: 30th September 1954
Added: Oct 22 2009
Broadcast: 24th August 1953
Added: Sep 07 2013
Broadcast: 13th November 1950
Added: Nov 07 2008
Broadcast: February 24, 1950
Added: Feb 23 2018
Broadcast: 20th January 1952
Added: Jan 16 2011
Broadcast: 5th July 1959
Added: Jul 21 2011
Broadcast: 9th July 1949
Added: Aug 28 2008
Broadcast: 5th May 1952
Added: Jun 29 2010
Broadcast: 3rd August 1952
Added: Feb 28 2012
Broadcast: 30th October 1949
Added: Oct 30 2007
Broadcast: 23rd October 1949
Added: Sep 07 2008
Broadcast: February 13, 1954
Added: Feb 20 2015
Broadcast: 14th December 1952
Added: Dec 14 2010
Broadcast: 19th November 1951
Added: Nov 19 2009
Broadcast: 3rd June 1956
Added: Jun 25 2005
Broadcast: February 13, 1955
Added: Jan 28 2018
Broadcast: 9th August 1959
Added: Aug 19 2011
Broadcast: 19th December 1949
Added: Dec 24 2007
Broadcast: 6th October 1952
Added: Oct 05 2010
Broadcast: 21st May 1951
Added: May 29 2009
Broadcast: 7th October 1956
Added: Oct 27 2009
Broadcast: 16th March 1958
Added: Feb 24 2011
Broadcast: 24th March 1952
Added: Mar 23 2010
Broadcast: 13th January 1954
Added: Jan 05 2014
Broadcast: February 9, 1954
Added: Mar 26 2021
Broadcast: 27th August 1950
Added: Aug 27 2007
Broadcast: 6th December 1959
Added: Dec 06 2011
Broadcast: 30th April 1951
Added: Sep 08 2009
Broadcast: 15th September 1952
Added: Sep 14 2010
Broadcast: October 21, 1956
Added: Nov 04 2005
Broadcast: 12th May 1952
Added: Aug 03 2010
Broadcast: November 5, 1949
Added: Mar 27 2018
Broadcast: 20th July 1958
Added: Jun 18 2011
Broadcast: 21st September 1958
Added: Sep 20 2011
Broadcast: 2nd March 1950
Added: Mar 07 2008
Broadcast: 2nd April 1950
Added: Nov 07 2010
Broadcast: 2nd October 1953
Added: Dec 02 2011
Broadcast: 17th October 1954
Added: Jan 21 2013
Broadcast: 14th January 1951
Added: Jan 15 2006
Broadcast: 1st April 1951
Added: Apr 09 2007
Broadcast: 8th June 1952
Added: Mar 06 2011
Broadcast: 16th March 1952
Added: Mar 06 2012
Broadcast: 5th June 1952
Added: Jun 08 2012
Broadcast: 26th November 1951
Added: Nov 24 2009
Broadcast: 16th April 1950
Added: Nov 15 2010
Broadcast: 4th February 1951
Added: Apr 09 2006
Broadcast: 26th March 1952
Added: Apr 13 2012
Broadcast: 16th June 1952
Added: Aug 23 2010
Broadcast: 2nd March 1958
Added: Mar 14 2009
Broadcast: 10th August 1954
Added: Sep 05 2009
Broadcast: 26th July 1959
Added: Aug 12 2011
Broadcast: 21st September 1958
Added: Sep 15 2011
Broadcast: 12th October 1952
Added: Nov 05 2012
Broadcast: 10th October 1952
Added: Aug 18 2009
Broadcast: 28th April 1952
Added: Apr 13 2010
Broadcast: 22nd June 1951
Added: Sep 19 2010
Broadcast: 16th February 1951
Added: May 23 2010
Broadcast: 2nd October 1949
Added: Oct 02 2007
Broadcast: 2nd September 1951
Added: Sep 02 2007
Broadcast: 2nd August 1959
Added: Aug 13 2011
Broadcast: 1st February 1959
Added: Jul 07 2011
Broadcast: 25th November 1956
Added: Nov 15 2010
Broadcast: 14th November 1949
Added: Nov 26 2007
Broadcast: 23rd December 1953
Added: Dec 25 2011
Broadcast: 25th December 1950
Added: Dec 26 2008
Broadcast: 15th October 1950
Added: Oct 15 2006
Broadcast: December 3, 1949
Added: Nov 27 2017
Broadcast: November 26, 1949
Added: Nov 20 2017
Broadcast: 8th December 1957
Added: Dec 10 2010
Broadcast: 30th December 1956
Added: Jan 01 2011
Broadcast: 13th December 1959
Added: Dec 13 2009
Broadcast: 27th March 1950
Added: Apr 25 2008
Broadcast: 11th November 1956
Added: Jan 19 2007
Broadcast: 6th July 1954
Added: Apr 25 2011
Broadcast: 16th June 1957
Added: Sep 18 2010
Broadcast: 13th October 1954
Added: Oct 13 2013
Broadcast: 9th April 1951
Added: May 05 2009
Broadcast: 27th August 1950
Added: Jul 22 2007
Broadcast: 31st July 1950
Added: Aug 04 2009
Broadcast: 4th June 1951
Added: Dec 01 2009
Broadcast: 21st April 1952
Added: Apr 06 2010
Broadcast: 14th June 1959
Added: Sep 19 2011
Broadcast: 6th February 1955
Added: Jan 28 2013
Broadcast: 11th September 1950
Added: Sep 27 2009
Broadcast: 28th February 1949
Added: Mar 10 2008