Bret Morrison

Bret Morrison (5 May 1912 – 25 September 1978)[1][2] was an American actor best known as the voice of the mysterious crusader for law and order on radio's The Shadow.[3] He was also a popular cabaret singer.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Morrison entered radio during the 1930s while he was still in Chicago High School. He began with The First Nighter Program.[4] In 1937, he was in the cast of Lucky Girl, a Monday-Friday drama broadcast on WGN in Chicago.[5]

Morrison portrayed the Shadow longer than any other actor, spending 10 years in the role in two separate runs. Bill Johnstone played the Shadow until early 1943. Morrison replaced Johnstone in April, 1943, continuing until 1944. John Archer (1944–45) was followed by Steve Courtleigh (1945). Morrison then returned from 1945 until 1954. For many, he was the definitive voice of the Shadow, though his delivery was much less sinister than Orson Welles, who also portrayed the Shadow during its first full year run.

Morrison's other roles in radio programs included those shown in the table below.

Program Role
Best Seller Host-narrator[6]
Chicago Theater of the Air Csst member[6]:74
Great Gunns Chris Gunn[6]:138
Guiding Light Clifford Foster[6]:140
Listening Post Host-narrator[6]:202
Melody Theater Master of ceremonies[7]
Musical Bouquet Host[6]:243
The Romance of Helen Trent Jonathan Howard[6]:289

In 1974 Morrison was living in Palm Springs, California.[8] At age 66, Morrison died of a heart attack. He was found slumped over the steering wheel of his parked car on a Hollywood street where he had stopped for shopping after taping an episode of Heartbeat Theater. It was believed 107-degree temperatures in a Southern California heat wave may have prompted Morrison's heart attack.[9]

Bret Morrison
Bret Morrison and Grace Matthews as Lamont Cranston and Margot Lane
Born5 May 1912
Chicago, Illinois
Died25 September 1978, age 66
Hollywood, California


  1. ^ "Bret Morrison". Voice Chasers.
  2. ^ DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 197.
  3. ^ Bertel, Dick; Corcoran; Ed (January 1972). "Bret Morrison". The Golden Age of Radio. Season 2. Episode 10. Broadcast Plaza, Inc.. WTIC Hartford, Conn.
  4. ^ Radio Hall of Fame Archived April 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Today's Features". Chicago Daily Tribune. May 17, 1937. p. 17. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  7. ^ "Melody Theater". Billboard. July 12, 1947. p. 12. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Palm Springs Home To Radio Veterans: Stars of 'Golden Era'". Pittsburg Post-Gazette. AP. December 18, 1974. Retrieved September 30, 2012. Brett Morrison, who was radio's Shadow from 1944 to 1956, is just one of many from radio's golden era who live in this desert resort.
  9. ^ "People,"Daily Herald, September 27, 1978.
1975 in comics

Notable events of 1975 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

This is a list of comics-related events in 1975.

Bret (given name)

Bret is a male given name, which derives from Breton, a person from Brittany in France.

People so named include:

Bret Anderson (born 1974), Canadian football player

Bret Baier (born 1970), American journalist

Bret Bergmark (born 1973), American mixed martial artist

Bret Bielema (born 1970), American football coach

Bret Blevins (born 1960), American comic book artist

Bret Boone (born 1969), American baseball player

Bret Cooper (born 1970), American football player

Bret Easton Ellis (born 1964), American writer

Bret Gilliam, American diver

Bret Haaland (born 1959), American animator

Bret Harrison (born 1982), American actor

Bret Hart (born 1957), Canadian-American wrestler

Bret Harte (1836-1902), American author

Bret Hedican (born 1970), American ice hockey player

Bret Iwan (born 1982), American voice actor

Bret Anthony Johnston (born 1972), American writer

Bret Loehr (born 1993), American actor

Bret McKenzie (born 1976), New Zealand musician and actor

Bret Michaels (born 1963), American singer

Bret Morrison (1912-1978), American actor

Bret Saberhagen (born 1964), American baseball player

Bret Schundler (born 1959), American politician

Bret Stephens (born 1973), American journalist

Bret Thornton (born 1983), Australian football playerFictional characters with the given name include:

Bret Leather, in the comic book series Planetary

Bret Maverick, in the television series Maverick and subsequent movies

Bret Rensselaer, in several spy novels by Len Deighton

Charlotte Sheffield

Charlotte Sheffield (September 1, 1936 - April 15, 2016) was an American actress and model, best known as Miss USA 1957.

After winning the Miss Utah USA crown, Sheffield, from Salt Lake City, Utah was first runner-up in the Miss USA competition. Weeks later, the winner, Mary Leona Gage was stripped of her title when it emerged that she was not only too young to compete (18 years old; the age limit was 21), but was also married with two children. Sheffield ascended as Miss USA, but was not allowed to compete for the Miss Universe 1957 crown. By the time Gage's deceit was discovered, Sheffield had already missed the preliminary competition. Sheffield went on to compete at the 1957 Miss World pageant, but failed to place.

Charlotte then married Richard Maxfield and had 8 children, four boys and four girls. She was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for ten years and acted in many plays and movies. She was a special guest at the Miss USA pageant several times through the years. She was most recently seen as a special guest in Las Vegas at the 2011 Miss USA pageant.

In 1958, Sheffield starred alongside Bret Morrison in a science fiction radio drama The Adventure of the Beauty Queen, as a part of the Exploring Tomorrow radio series. Her most recent film was released in 2011 and is titled Stand Strong. The trailer is featured on YouTube under that title. She is seen in the trailer several times.

Charlotte died in 2016 due to Legionnaires' disease.

Exploring Tomorrow

Exploring Tomorrow was an American old-time radio series which ran on the Mutual Broadcasting System from December 4, 1957, until June 13, 1958. An advertisement described it as "the first science-fiction show of science-fictioneers, by science-fictioneers and for science-fictioneers - real science fiction for a change!"Exploring Tomorrow was narrated by John W. Campbell, editor of Astounding Magazine. Campbell guided the career of many of the great science fiction writers of the era.

Green Magic

Green Magic (Italian: Magia verde) is a 1953 Italian documentary film directed by Gian Gaspare Napolitano.

Les Crane

Les Crane (born Lesley Stein; December 3, 1933 – July 13, 2008) was a radio announcer and television talk show host, a pioneer in interactive broadcasting who also scored a spoken word hit with his 1971 recording of the poem Desiderata, winning a "Best Spoken Word" Grammy. He was the first network television personality to compete with Johnny Carson after Carson became a fixture of late-night television.

List of CBS Radio Mystery Theater episodes (1974 season)

This is an episode list for the 1974 season of the radio drama series CBS Radio Mystery Theater. The series premiered on CBS on January 6, 1974 and ended on December 31, 1982. A set of 1,399 original episodes aired between January 1974 and December 1982. The series was broadcast every day of the week for the first six years with re-runs filling in empty slots starting in February 1974. All episodes are available free at the Internet Archive.

List of The Shadow episodes

This is an episode list for the adventure radio drama The Shadow. The series, inspired by an announcer character on earlier anthology series, premiered on the Mutual Network on September 26, 1937, and ended on December 26, 1954. The 677 episodes aired over 18 seasons, including an additional summer series in the first season.

The seasons were of variable length: Season 1 through Season 8 were of 26-30 episodes, Season 9 through Season 12 were of 38-39 episodes, Season 13 through Season 17 were of 47-52 episodes, and the final Season 18 was of 22 episodes.

There are a number of lost episodes, over 60% of the total: 153 episodes are missing and six episodes are incomplete from seasons one through 12, and seasons 13 through 18 are entirely missing except for two episodes.

Radio scripts are available for the series including the missing episodes, except for the season one summer series, which is complete in recordings. Some of the missing episodes are available in preserved recordings of a 1940s Australian adaptation and in recordings of recreated stage readings collected by old-time radio enthusiasts.

List of old-time American radio people

Listed below are actors and personalities heard on vintage radio programs, plus writers and others associated with Radio's Golden Age.

List of people from Palm Springs, California

This list of people from Palm Springs, California describes notable residents who have had homes in the city and nearby resort communities of the Coachella Valley. These communities, which include Palm Springs, Bermuda Dunes, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Thermal are in the Coachella Valley of Riverside County, southern California.

Morrison (surname)

The surname Morrison is commonly found throughout Scotland, England and Ireland. It is most likely of Anglo-Norman origin, traditionally believed to be a patronymic of Maurice/Morris. [1]

In Scotland there is strong evidence that surnames such as Moir, Muir and More were equally influential as potential multiple origin points for the derivative of the modern spelling of Morrison, particularly in the light of evidence that suggests many early surnames in Scotland were nuanced and altered by such simple devices as phonetic interpretations by scribes or rebranding inventions for convenience, for example, McCoinnich describes the adoption of the name Morrison on the Isle of Lewis around 1640 by families formerly known as "McBrief" or "mac a’ Bhritheimh".[2]

The spelling of surnames, including Morrison, Morison and Muirson, became more regular after 1854 when Lord Elcho (Francis Richard Charteris, 10th Earl of Wemyss) finally succeeded in framing An Act to Provide for the Better Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Scotland, 31 May 1854.[3]

Scottish records from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries, including The Register of the Great Seal of Scotland, Birth and Marriage records, Burgh records for Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow and records of the Cistercian Monks in the Cupar Angus area all reference various spellings of Morrison including Mauricius, Maurieson, Marrson, Maryson, Merson, Mirryson, Mirrison, Molleson, Monson, Morrison, Morison, Morisson, Morissone, Morcion, Morisone, Morsion, Moryson, Morrieson, Morriceson, Morishon, Morason, Morzon, Moorison, Morisoun, Moresoun, Moressoune, Morrowson, Murrion, Murison, Muirison, Murieson, Murrison, Muresoun, Muirsoun, Murson, Murescun, Murysone, Mwryson, Makmurisoun, M’Mursoun, and MacMaurice.

The argument for multiple surname origins is supported by the association of Moor or Saracen head(s) on some Moor, Moore, More, Mores, Morrison, Mure and Muir family crests [4],[5]. The Clan Morrison Society of Scotland registered arms featuring three Moor heads in 1919.

Perhaps the earliest recording of the surname Morrison is found in the English Yorkshire Poll Tax records in 1379 for "Ricardus Morisson".[6] Later in Scotland the name Morrison is recorded as "Arthuro Morison domino de Darleith" being a witness to the "Resignation by John MacRoger of Gleane MacKerne, in favour of John of Culquoune of Luss, of Gleane Mackecherne, etc. 7th February 1429".[7] Morrison families today are widely distributed across Scotland, England and Ireland with little or no common genetic or family ancestry.

The name Morrison is associated with a number of Scottish myths and legends which are inventions. At the time of King George IV state visit to Scotland in 1822 Sir Walter Scott encouraged Scottish clans and families to once again wear tartan, and along with this fervour of Scottish romanticism came the invention of many myths to add glamour to family origins.

Two prominent falsehoods have become popular to Morrison clan followers. One relates to the Gaelic translation of Morrison and the other concerns Viking origins. Firstly, the commonly quoted proposition that the Gaelic spelling of Morrison is a translation of MacGilliemhuire is "baseless". Black makes the observation that "Equally baseless is the modern idea that "Morison" interpreted as "Mary’s son," represents Gaelic Mac Gille Mhuire".[8]

Secondly, there is the commercially promoted myth that the origin of the name Morrison in Scotland somehow involves Vikings. The myth suggests the Morrisons came from the Isle of Lewis and are of Viking origin.[9] This myth joins other Scottish fabrications such as Hector Boece’s (c1465-c1536) Historia Gentis Scotorum (History of the Scottish People), James Macpherson’s (1736-1796) Ossian "discovery" and the imposter Sobieski brothers (really John and Charles Allen) Vestiarium Scoticum who passed themselves off as grandsons of Bonnie Prince Charlie.[10]. Not only is the viking association an invention, so also is the proposition the name originated in Lewis.[11] The name Morrison as shown in the historical records was already in northern England and the Scottish lowlands two hundred years before some families on Lewis saw the opportunity to adopt a new name.

The First Nighter Program

The First Nighter Program was a long-running radio anthology comedy-drama series broadcast from November 27, 1930, to September 27, 1953. The host was Mr. First Nighter (Charles P. Hughes, Macdonald Carey, Bret Morrison, Marvin Miller, Don Briggs and Rye Billsbury [later known as Michael Rye]).

An article in a 1939 newspaper observed, "First Nighter was the first show to present complete and separate original plays each week."The show's opening recreated the aural atmosphere of a Broadway opening. Before each week's drama began, Mr. First Nighter was first heard walking on Broadway, emerging from the noise of people and street traffic into the crowded lobby of "the Little Theater Off Times Square" and then taking his seat in the third row center, where he gave the whispered introduction:

The house lights have dimmed, and the curtain is about to go up on tonight's production.Romantic comedies were the specialty of the series, and the principal roles were played by the teams of Don Ameche and June Meredith (1930–36), Ameche and Betty Lou Gerson (1935–36), Les Tremayne and Barbara Luddy (1936–43) and

Olan Soule and Luddy (1943 and after).

Joseph T. Ainley produced and directed the series. The announcers were Larry Keating and Vincent Pelletier. Music was provided by "The Famous First Nighter Orchestra", under the direction of Eric Sagerquist (1930–44), Caesar Petrillo (1945–46) and Frank Worth (1947–53).

The most popular episode may have been the annual Christmas episode, "Little Town of Bethlehem," which was first performed in 1937 and every year afterwards at the request of the listening audience.Performing before a studio audience, the actors wore formal attire, with Luddy in a gown and Tremayne clad in evening clothes and top hat. Commercial breaks were signalled with the usher's cry "Smoking downstairs and in the outer lobby only, please!", with the action resuming with a buzzer and the usher's curtain call.

The series ran on four radio networks in the following timeline:

NBC Blue Network: 11/27/30 to 09/29/33

NBC Red Network: 10/06/33 to 02/12/37

CBS: 02/19/37 to 12/21/37

NBC Red Network: 01/07/38 to 08/26/38

CBS: 09/02/38 to 05/29/42

Mutual: 10/04/42 to 10/25/44

CBS: 10/20/45 to 04/13/46 and 10/04/47 to 10/20/49

NBC (reruns): 04/27/52 to 09/27/53The show was sponsored by The Campana Company and solely featured commercials for their products. Due largely in part to this exposure, their Italian Balm became the best-selling hand lotion in the United States in the 1930s.

The Shadow

The Shadow is the name of a collection of serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp novels, and then in a wide variety of Shadow media. One of the most famous adventure heroes of 20th century North America, the Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in American comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five feature films. The radio drama included episodes voiced by Orson Welles.

Originally a mysterious radio show narrator, The Shadow was developed into a distinctive literary character in 1931, later to become a pop culture icon, by writer Walter B. Gibson. The character has been cited as a major influence on the subsequent evolution of comic book superheroes, particularly Batman.The Shadow debuted on July 31, 1930, as the mysterious narrator of the radio program Detective Story Hour, which was developed to boost sales of Street and Smith's monthly pulp Detective Story Magazine. When listeners of the program began asking at newsstands for copies of "That Shadow detective magazine", Street & Smith decided to create a magazine based on The Shadow and hired Gibson to create a character concept to fit the name and voice and write a story featuring him. The first issue of The Shadow Magazine went on sale on April 1, 1931, a pulp series.

On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama, a new radio series based on the character as created by Gibson for the pulp magazine, premiered with the story "The Death House Rescue", in which The Shadow was characterized as having "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him". As in the magazine stories, The Shadow was not given the literal ability to become invisible.

The introduction from The Shadow radio program "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!", spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr, has earned a place in the American idiom. These words were accompanied by an ominous laugh and a musical theme, Camille Saint-Saëns' Le Rouet d'Omphale ("Omphale's Spinning Wheel", composed in 1872). At the end of each episode The Shadow reminded listeners that, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! Crime does not pay... The Shadow knows!" (Some early episodes, however, used the alternate statement, "As you sow evil, so shall you reap evil! Crime does not pay... The Shadow knows!")

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