This post is part of the Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon hosted by Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. On Friday, 01-July-2016, Miss de Haviland will be 100 years old.
Commercial radio had begun in the United States in the 1920s. The first national network, NBC, the National Broadcasting Company, began operating in 1926. The national networks and sponsors developed many types of programs, dramas, comedies and variety shows. Recordings of radio shows from before the mid-1930s are very rare. In part because of union contracts, shows on the national networks, NBC, CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) and MBS (the Mutual Broadcasting System) were broadcast live. National shows were performed twice, once for the Eastern and Central time zones and once three hours later for the Pacific time zone.
Hollywood, after a short period of being worried about competition from the radio, embraced it as a mechanism to promote their movies and their stars. Warner Brothers even started its own Los Angeles radio station, which is still called KFWB. Warner Brothers star Olivia De Havilland made many appearances on the radio.
|Radio Mirror, October, 1937|
On 22-February-1937, an anthology show, The Lux Radio Theatre, which did weekly adaptions of popular movies, presented Captain Blood, with Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Henry Stephenson and Basil Rathbone. The host was usually director Cecil B De Mille, but this week, he was away working on The Buccaneer. Actor Herbert Marshall served as the temporary host.
In many cases, the original stars of a movie were not all available. In 1934 Alexander Korda produced an adaption of Baroness Emma Orczy's novel The Scarlet Pimpernel. Leslie Howard played Sir Percy Blakeney, the Scarlet Pimpernel and Merle Oberon played his wife, Lady Blakeney. Raymond Massey played the bad guy, Chauvelin.
On 12-December-1938, The Lux Radio Theatre presented The Scarlet Pimpernel. Leslie Howard reprised his role as Sir Percy. Olivia de Havilland played Lady Blakeney. Howard and de Havilland worked together again in Gone With the Wind. I could not catch the name of the guy who played Chauvelin. Cecil B De Mille was the host.
On 18-September-1944, The Lux Radio Theatre repeated Suspicion. Since network shows had to be broadcast live, they had to create a new production. This time, Olivia de Havilland played her sister's role and William Powell played Johnny. I wonder if this added to the friction between the sisters.
Olivia de Havilland appeared on other types of shows as well. On 04-October-1938, she appeared on the Bob Hope Show, a comedy-variety show.
Suspense was a drama anthology known as "radio's outstanding theater of thrills." On 07-September-1944 Olivia De Havilland appeared in "Voyage Through Darkness" with Reginald Gardiner. I always like the series opening: "We hope to keep you in ... suspense."
Search on the internet and you will find many more Old Time Radio shows featuring Olivia de Havilland.
We are lucky that she is still with us. I hope she has a wonderful 100th birthday.
This post is part of the Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon hosted by Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Thank you to Crystal and Phyllis for all the hard work. Thank you to everyone who visited and I encourage you to read and comment on as many posts as you can. Bloggers love comments.
This post is my third blogathon post of 2016 and my 43rd since 2007. This is my 25th blogathon. This page has a list of all my blogathon posts.