Walter ScanlanShow Count: 0
Series Count: 1
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: April 22, 1892
Died: April 11, 1971
Walter Van Brunt (April 22, 1892 – April 11, 1971) was an American tenor known initially for his recordings on Thomas Alva Edison's Blue Amberol Records and later for his rôle in a scandal involving a stage name and case of adultery.
Van Brunt began his singing career at age 17 as an imitator of singer Billy Murray. He was soon performing with Ada Jones and John Bieling as well as the American Quartet. He worked invaudeville and on Broadway, including in the musical Eileen. Van Brunt had 40 hits on pop charts, including his 1914 duet "When the Green Leaves Turn to Gold" with Elizabeth Spencer.
In the late 1910s, Van Brunt began embroiling himself in a scandal which shook Broadway and put his career into decline. The difficulties started in 1917 when Van Brunt began using the name "Walter J. Scanlan" (the scandal was further confused by newspapers which rendered the name as "Scanlon") to assume the identity of Irish tenor Walter J. Scanlan who had had an established career before dying without making a recording. Allegations were raised, but never proved, that Eileen's Irish-American conductor, Victor Herbert, had encouraged the subterfuge.
The scandal became overlapped with Van Brunt's bigamy with a woman known as Ruth Scanlan, siring a child with her and prompting his wife Lillian to sue for divorce, which was granted in 1925 by an Irish-American judge who, in announcing his decision that Van Brunt should pay alimony, stated that Van Brunt had besmirched the reputation of the Irish.
From 1929 to 1933, Van Brunt's career was partially rescued by Murray's use of Van Brunt on various radio programs.
|Death Valley Days|
Show Count: 4
Broadcast History: 30 September 1930 to 11 August 1931, 17 August 1931 to 3 June 1938, 10 June 1938 to 27 June 1941, 3 July 1941 to 3 August 1944, 10 August 1944 to 21 June 1945 and 29 June 1945 to 14 September 1951
Cast: Jack MacBryde, Tim Daniel Frawley, George Rand, Harry Humphrey, Harvey Hays, John White, Jean King, Edwin Bruce, Frank Butler, Geoffrey Bryant, Milton Herman, Paul Nugent, Rosemarie Broncato, Helen Claire, Robert Haag, Bob Warren, Donald Briggs, Olyn Landick
Director: Walter Scanlan, Florence Ortman
Producer: Dorothy McCann