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Radio Soap Opera Discussion

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Has anyone else heard of a radio soap opera called Martha Tobias in the early 1980s? Apparently, it starred Lisa Wilkinson[AMC], Natalie Ross[AMC], Val Dufour[EON, AW, SFT,among others], and Frances Foster[AMC, GL, and others].

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dc11786   

Never heard of it. All I could find was the one article you probably stumbled upon about it being about a visually impaired woman.

If you ever find that folder, feel free to post information on the radio soaps. I've spent the past weekend looking up some and was surprised what is showing up in the past few months. I was trying to piece together a cast list for "Road of Life" and came across tons of names I haven't seen listed in books for the lead roles. What was most surprising was that Patricia Wheel, who was the lead on "Doctor's Wife" not only originated the role of Jocelyn MacLeod Brent, but Wheel returned to the show in its finals days to resume the role.

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I'll post what I have for Road of Life in a couple days, I'm caught up on two projects and I've got my nieces for the day tomorrow. I found the radio files a few weeks ago, and have been scouring Radio Mirror Issues for info. I checked out the 30s and 50s... 1940-50 later this week, but I'll probably post what I already have Wednesday or Thursday[RoL] with more shows to follow. Between us, we could probably fill in most blanks. My local libraries have many books about radio shows, and that's where found most of my information.

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dc11786   

This fills in some blanks about names and story details about some of the show's early plots:

Movie and Radio Guide (February 21, 1941)

The First Families of Radio “Right to Happiness”

Almost everybody wants happiness; almost nobody knows quite what happiness really is. And the struggle to achieve this elusive state of bliss oftenhas the strange effect of creating a great deal of unhappiness. For instance, in Irna Phillips’ serial show “Right to Happiness” (heard Monday through Friday over CBS). Here the struggle results in a muddle of love triangles which would confound the wisest adviser to the lovelorn. First, Bill Walker (Reese Taylor) an advertising executive, falls for widow Doris Cameron (Connie Crowder), a woman’s magazine editor- until he meets her daughter, Carolyn (Eloise Kummer), whom he marries while Doris is away on business. Carolyn is ignorant of her mother’s love for Bill, later finds life with him – he is twenty years older than she – quite incompatible. Her real heart interest is Bill’s young business associate, Dwight Kramer (Frank Behrens). She threatens divorce, but Bill refuses to leave her. Another triangle develops as Louise Sims (Sarajane Wells), comes to live with Doris, meets Lyle Anders (Karl Weber), a young writer, to whom she becomes engaged out of pity on learning that he has only six months to live. But his recovery places her on a spot, for she really is in love with a young lawyer named Dick Gordon (Monty Mohn). A third trend is introduced when Fred Minturn (Art Kohl), who loves Doris, is spurned because she still carries a torch for Bill Walker. All of these men and women search for one possession- happiness.

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Here's the characters and actors I've found for Road of Life radio:

Marion Baxter.. Barbara Fuller

Morton Blair...Ray Suber

Miss Boyle..Ethel Everett

Miss Bradley..Gladys Heen

"Butch" John Brent..Donald Krantz

..Roland Butterfield

..Lawson Zerbe

...Jack Lemmon

.. David Ellis

...Bill Lipton

Carol Evans Martin Brent....Lesley Woods

...Barbara Luddy

.. Louise Fitch

..Maybelle Prindaville

...Marion Shockley

Francie Brent..Eileen Palmer

Elizabeth Lawrence

Fred Brent.. Lawson Zerbe

..Frank Dane

Janey Brent.. Patricia Bruder

Dr. James Brent...Ken Griffin

...Matt Crowley

..Paul McGrath

....Don MacLaughlin

..David Ellis

..Vinton Hayworth

Howard Teichman

Jocelyn McLeod Brent..Patricia Wheel

. ...Ann Sargent

....Teri Keane

..Barbara Becker

..Virginia Dwyer

Julia Brent..Olive Parker

Mr. Brent...Joe Lathan

Miss Bronson..

Joe Buckley..Arthur Hern

Dr. Burke..Ralph Camargo

Mrs. Chapman.. Dorothy Francis

Ed Cochran..

Adele Corlis..Betty Arnold

Eloise Cummings..Ethel Wilson

Irwin Daley..John Briggs

Isobel Daley..Mary Patton

Frank Dana..Lyle Sudrow

...John Larkin

..Bernard Grant

Maggie Lowell Dana..Julia Stevens

...Helen Lewis

Aunt Reggie Overton Ellis..Evelyn Varden

..Dorothy Sands

Dr. Bill Evans...Harry Elders

..Lee Young

...William Griffis

Mrs. Evans..Hope Summers

... Doris Rich

Jack Felzer...Russell Thorson

Ted Fenton..Marvin Miller

Clifford Foster..Dick Post

Dr Carson McVicker Fowler..Charlotte Manson

...Grace Matthews

...Louise Barclay

Harry Fowler..

Dr. Grant Frasier...Dick Post

...Willard Waterman

..Robert Duane

Constance Fuller..

Gordon Fuller....Paul Potter

Newt Geiger...Carl Frank

Paula Harwood...Mary Marcen

Mary Holt..Dale Burch

...Vivian Friddell

Bob Hughes...

Fay Hughes..

Fred Hughes..

Tony Hughes....

Dale Humphreys..Bob Bailey

George Hurley..Arthur Kohl

Mrs. Hurley..Hellen Van Tuyl

Alice Jamison..Angeline Orr

George Jefferies..Marvin Miller

Hartley Knowlton..Stanley Gordon

Beth LambertJan Miner

Nurse Lanier..Grace Lenard

Mickey Lawler..

Mr.[brother] Lawler....

Mrs. Lee...

More to come...

Edited by slick jones

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Dr. Miller..Sam Wanamaker

Armand Monet..Michael Kane

Lil Monet..Elspeth Eric

Janet Murcer..Eloise Kummer

Randy Ogden..Ernest Graves

..Alan Hewitt

Sybil Overton Fuller Ogden ______________..Barbara Becker

Ada Overton..Abby Lewis

Augusta Creel Overton...

Conrad Overton..Charles Dingle

Hugh Overton..Douglas Parkhirst

Malcolm Overton...Harry Holcombe

....Craig McDonnell

Reid Overton...

Dr.Reginald Parsons..Reese Taylor

..Jack Petruzzi

Sylvia Bertram Parsons..Joan Winters

...Lois Zarley

...Ireene Wicker

Miss Radcliffe..Eva Parnell

Alice Randall...Terry Rice

Arthur Reads..Carlton Kadell

Dorothy Reads..Lillian White

Elizabeth Richards..Nanette Sargent

Faith Richards..Vicki Vola

..Beryl Vaughn

Frank Roberts..Leslie Spears

Verna Roberts..Barbara Fuller

Kurt Rockwell..

Dr. Rowland..Nina Welch

Ray Sawyer..Frank Behrens

AJ Simpson..

Lottie Simpson..

Eddie Snow..

Pearl Scudder Snow..Hollis Irving

Helen Gowan Parsons Stephenson..Peggy Allenby

...Betty Lou Gerson

..Muriel Bremmer

. ..Janet Logan

Junior Stephenson..Dick Holland

..Cornelius Peeples

..Jack Bivens

Tom Stephenson...Robert Griffin\

Barney Stern..Ralph Camargo

Grandpa Sutter..Hugh Studebaker

Dr. Ralph Thompson..Sidney Breese

Sally Barnett Thompson...Doris Mead

..Nanette Sargent

..Vi Berwick

Miss Todd..Mary Patton

Linden Wake..Bret Morrison

Audrey Walsh..

Dr. David Wells..Mason Adams

Brent Wheelock..

Claudia Wilson..Sarajane Wells

Dr. Winslow..Jack Roseleigh

...Percy Hemus

Dr. Yates..Guy Sorel

Nicole..Lesley Woods

Wanda[accomplice Gordon]..

Announcer..George Bryan

..Clayton Bud Collyer

..Ron Rawson

..Gene Baker

..Nelson Case

..James Fleming

..Dick Joy

..Sam Metz

Boy..Richard Holland

Night Nurse..Peggy Allenby

Nurse.."Paging Dr. Brent"..Jeannette Dowling

..Angel Casey

Society Doctor..John Anthony

If I come across any more info on Road of Life, I'll post it. Any other shows you want info on? I have lots of radio soap casts.

Edited by slick jones

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dc11786   

Thanks!

Bernard Grant was listed as a late run Frank Dana (March 1958).

Sally Barnett was married to Dr. Ralph Thompson.

Dick Post played Clifford Foster. I have him listed playing him during the time period I've seen "Dick Foster" listed. I think Foster is a typo. Post was also a recast.

Paul Potter was the original actor to play Gordon Fuller. He appeared no later than January 1951. He may or may not have been the only actor in the role.

Some things I've seen, but I've questioned.

I don't think Barbara Becker played Jocelyn, but Anne Sargent definitely did.

Howard Teichman wrote the show in the late 1940s. I've also seen him listed as Dr. Brent, but I'm not sure if that is accurate.

Charles Dingle played Conrad on the television version. I don't think he played his son, Hugh. Doug Parkinhurst was in the role at least five years.

David Ellis is listed as both Jim Brent and Butch Brent. I don't think he played Jim, but I could be wrong. I do think Jack Lemmon played Butch Brent in the early 1950s.

I'll add more later.

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I believe I found Charles Dingle as Mr. Overton and put him as Hugh..Should've been Conrad, who I forgot to add to my listof characters.

I think Barbara Becker was a fill in for the Jocelyn role. I had Anne Sargent down on my list, but must have overlooked her while typing.

Ellis may have filled in for Jim briefly, but I know that one came from several radio books. They could be wrong, though.

I probably read "Howard Teichman, who created the role of Jim Brent" to mean he played him, rather than created him.

Thanks for the other information, I'm going to edit those into the list accordingly.

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dc11786   

I've seen Barbara Becker listed in radio books as Jocelyn. I only questioned it because the same text overlook Becker as Sybil. Then again, you could be absolutely right about Becker filling in. I hadn't considered the possibility that she had filled in before taking the role of Sybil.

Teichman's another who has been listed in radio books, but I questioned it because he was a writer. It's entirely possible he, too, filled in or even briefly played the role. When "Road of Life" moved from Chicago to New York, the show had to re-cast the entire show. Vinton Hayworth and Maybelle Prindaville played Dr. Jim and Carol Brent when the show started in New York. Both were re-cast within the year with Matt Crowley (who originated the role in Chicago) and Marion Shockley. Shockley was married to one of the show's directors George Zachary. Shockley had initially auditioned for the show in Chicago, but Zachary didn't think she was right.

I think Teichman replaced Irna Phillips as writer for "Road of Life."

Randy Ogden was played by Ernest Graves. One book I read says Alan Hewitt played the role as well. The same book states Sybil was married to Randy Ogden and to a third husband. Sybil was around until the show ended, but I'm not sure if Barbara Becker was there until the end.

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dc11786   

The Daytime Diary section is always a treat to read.

The "Portia Faces Life" article was intriguing, but I've never been overly fond of legal predicaments.

I love the pics from "Right to Happiness." Thanks

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