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Showing posts from July, 2013

Radio's Top Secret and actress, Ilona Massey

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lona Massey was born in Budapest in 1910, while it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Trained as an opera singer, she worked as a dress maker and theater singer to save money for the trip to Vienna where she joined an Opera Company. Eventually she landed a screen test in London and was offered a Hollywood contract. She appeared in a couple Nelson Eddy operettas, and was billed as "the new Dietrich ." Her acting talent was not quite strong enough, and her soprano voice too light to live up to the hype. She would be called upon to play the alluring sophisticated beauty in Thriller pictures. Notable are  Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman  (1943) with Lon Chaney Jr. and  Love Happy  (1949) with the Marx Brothers. Ilona's character in  Love Happy , the spy Madame Egelichi, was the inspiration for the  Steve Canyon  comic character Madame Lynx.  Steve Canyon   artist Milton Caniff went so far as to hire Massey to model for him. Madame Egelichi/Madame Lynx may

The Best Lone Ranger Costume was on the Radio

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One of the great things about radio was that costumes somehow didn't mean that much. Other than the mask, we are left to our own imagination to decide what the Lone Ranger is wearing. We are pretty sure that he is wearing spurs because we can sometimes hear them when he walks. Sometimes we are told that he is wearing a disguise, often make-up that includes a beard. It is hard to imagine that the bad guys cannot recognize his voice. Listeners usually did. When the Lone Ranger made the move to the small screen, he had to have a costume we could identify. The mask and the obligatory White Hat were not going to be enough. Creator George W. Trendle personally selected actor Clayton Moore to portray the Masked Man, even though Moore had to work hard to sound like the Lone Ranger from the radio , At least seven different actors played the Ranger on the radio. There were several more credited with the role in movies and serials, but the actor most closely identified with the role wil