Paul Henning

Show Count: 1
Series Count: 1
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Old Time Radio
Born: September 16, 1911, Independence, Missouri, United States
Died: March 25, 2005, Burbank, California, United States

Paul William Henning (September 16, 1911 – March 25, 2005) was an American producer and writer. Most famous for the successful TV sitcomThe Beverly Hillbillies, he was crucial in the development of several "rural" comedies for CBS.

Early life

He was born and grew up on a farm in Independence, Missouri. While working in a drugstore as a teenager, he met future President Harry S. Truman, who advised him to become a lawyer. Although he did attend the Kansas City School of Law, his ambition was to be a singer on the radio. When the local radio station KMBZ (KMBC at the time) had no money for writers to create the "filler" between songs, he became a writer as well as a singer.

Television writer

Writing proved the more lucrative of the two and he abandoned singing, eventually writing for such series as Fibber McGee & Molly and the The Burns & Allen Show, and later such television series as The Dennis Day Show, The Real McCoys, and The Andy Griffith Show. Henning was also the creator, writer and producer of The Bob Cummings Show, where he first met many of the actors who were subsequently to appear in his later series. Another series produced by Henning was The Ray Bolger Show. He also wrote or co-wrote such feature films as Lover Come Back(1961), for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) but lost to William Inge and also wrote for Bedtime Story (1964).

Most popular television series

In 1962, Henning created the CBS series, The Beverly Hillbillies; a sitcom based on his past experiences while camping in the Ozarks near Branson, Missouri. He also wrote the music and lyrics for the popular theme song, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett".

The Beverly Hillbillies was one of the highest-rated series of all time, even becoming a feature film about three decades later. After the major success of Hillbillies, CBS gave Henning another half-hour timeslot on their schedule. In 1963, Petticoat Junction debuted on CBS and was a great success as well. This series had a starring role for Henning's daughter (who shared a September 16 birthday with her father), Linda Kaye Henning, who was simply billed as "Linda Kaye". In 1965, Henning and his colleague, Jay Sommers, created Green Acres, and once again found a hit.

All three programs were popular, achieving major ratings success during most of their runs. However, changing times led their parent network, CBS to look down on the so-called "ruralcoms" and move in a more "adult", sophisticated direction with series such as All in the Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Thus in 1971, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres were canceled as a result of the "rural purge", joining Petticoat Junction (which ended the year before) in syndicated reruns.

Personal life and death

He married Ruth Barth in 1939 and the couple had three children; Linda Kaye Henning on whom Paul partially based the character of Elly May Clampett, Carol Alice and Paul Anthony Henning.

Ruth Henning often told her husband about how she and her female cousins often visited her grandparents at the tiny hotel they owned near the Rock Island Railroad station located in Eldon, Missouri. This later became the concept for Petticoat Junction. Later in life Henning and his wife Ruth donated land to a conservation area near Branson, Missouri. The conservation area is 1,534-acres of oak and hickory forest, steep hills, and glades with four designated trails created by the Missouri Department of Conservation and one longer trail created largely by the members of Boy Scout Troop 2001. His wife Ruth Barth Henning died, aged 88 from a heart attack on January 15, 2002 at their home in Los Angeles, California.

Henning retired to Toluca Lake, California, dying in a Burbank hospital on March 25, 2005, aged 93.

Source: Wikipedia

Burns & AllenBurns & Allen
Show Count: 284
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