Richard Kollmar has been described as an exuberant comedian unspoiled by cleverness. He was married to talk-show hostess and actress, Dorothy Kilgallen and the couple had three children.
Kollmar was best known in radio for his title character on the syndicated show, Boston Blackie, which was broadcast from 1944 until 1949. Boston Blackie was a detective drama which originally featured Chester Morris in the title role. Kollmar took over the role in 1945, which cast him as Blackie, who was an enemy to those who make him an enemy and friend to those who have no friend.
Richard also appeared on the radio soap opera, Big Sister, which chronicled the life of Ruth Evans (played by Alice Frost). Ruth’s life was centered on her sister, Sue, and a crippled brother, Neddie. Kollmar played the part of Michael West on the show.
Another popular radio show that Kollmar appeared in with his wife, Dorothy Killgallen, was Breakfast With Dorothy and Dick, a morning talk show which was broadcast from 1945 until 1963. The show was locally broadcast in New York, but became nationally recognized. They were billed as one of America’s most charming couples.
The soap opera, Pretty Kitty Kelly, broadcast in 1937, was the story of the heroine, Kitty, who came to Ellis Island with a case of amnesia, remembering nothing except her childhood experiences in an orphanage in Dublin, Ireland. Richard played the part of Jackie Van Orpington, a rival for Kitty’s affection.
Radio soap operas loved Richard Kollmar and his versatile performance talents. He was cast in 1938 soap opera, Life Can Be Beautiful, where he played the part of Barry Markham, a boyfriend of Chichi. Chichi was a fiery and impetuous character played by Alice Reinheart and Teri Keane.
John’s Other Wife was a soap opera, first broadcast in 1936. Kollmar played the part of John Perry, originally played by Hanley Stafford. Perry was the owner of a department store in New York and the show centered on he and his wife Elizabeth, played by Adele Ronson and Erin O’Brien-Moore.
Richard Kollmar can be heard on RUSC in two episodes of Theater of Romance entitled Stage Door and Bachelor Mother as well as in 191 episodes of Boston Blackie.
In 1959, he owned a nightclub in New York City called “The Left Bank,” and displayed objects collected for his hobby, models of hands. Kollmar was also interested in art and even opened a small gallery.
Richard Kollmar was married to Dorothy Killgallen from 1940 until her death in 1965. They had three children together. In June of 1967, Kollmar married Anne Fogarty and they were married until his death in 1971.
Kollmar was plagued by chronic alcoholism for much of his career, and his death was ruled a suicide-overdose.