Alan Coe Bunce (June 28, 1900[1] – April 27, 1965) was an American radio and television actor.

Alan Bunce
Bunce with Peg Lynch as Ethel and Albert, 1954.
Alan Coe Bunce

(1900-06-28)June 28, 1900
DiedApril 27, 1965(1965-04-27) (aged 64)
New York City, U.S.
Years active1930–1963
Ruth Elizabeth Nugent
(m. 1924)

Bunce was best remembered for playing the role of Albert Arbuckle alongside Peg Lynch on the sitcom Ethel and Albert from 1944 to 1950 on radio and from 1953 to 1956 on television. Bunce was also remembered as the first actor to portray physician Jerry Malone on radio's Young Doctor Malone in the early 1940s.

Early life edit

Alan Coe Bunce was born on June 28, 1900, in Westfield, New Jersey.[2] His year of birth had been the subject of dispute, with varying sources citing 1902,[3] 1903, and 1908.[4] However, according to the Bunce family papers which were published publicly in 2008 by Bunce's grandson Andrew Bunce, the Bunce family has found evidence and have accepted Bunce's birth date to be June 28, 1900.[5]

Bunce's year of birth is given as 1900 on his U.S. World War I Draft Registration Card (1917–18)[6] Bunce's age is given as 39 in the United States Census of 1940 (enumerated on April 27, 1940).[7]

Bunce the youngest of three children born to Theodore Dwight Bunce, an inventor, and Alice Edwards Bunce. His mother died when Bunce was a young boy. He graduated from a high school in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 1918.

Career edit

Bunce's career began in the early 1930s with small roles in several films and guest appearances on several radio programs. Bunce did not get household recognition until 1939 when he began playing the role of Dr. Jerry Malone, the young physician who dispensed prescriptions and advice to the folks of Three Oaks on the medical drama Young Doctor Malone. He left the program in 1944.[citation needed]

The same year Bunce left Young Doctor Malone, he replaced film star Richard Widmark in the role of working-class man Albert Arbuckle, the male lead on Peg Lynch's Ethel and Albert.[8] Lynch played the female lead and Albert's wife Ethel Arbuckle. Bunce remained with the radio show for its entire six year run.

Bunce played New York State Governor Al Smith in "Sunrise at Campobello" about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's early battle with polio and return to public life during the 1924 Democratic convention where Roosevelt walked ten steps to the podium and stood for 45 minutes to nominate the Governor for president.[citation needed]

Bunce broke into television in 1950 with a guest star appearance of the ABC anthology series The Clock. Bunce's "Albert Arbuckle" character also moved to television starting with appearances on The Kate Smith Hour beginning in 1952. This led to the premiere of the televised version of Ethel and Albert on NBC April 25, 1953. The show stayed on NBC until Christmas Day, 1954. It moved to CBS on June 20, 1955, and stayed there until September 26, 1955, serving as a summer replacement for December Bride and ended its television life on ABC where it aired from October 14, 1955 – July 6, 1956.[9]

Bunce was a ranking officer in the American Federation of Radio Artists, formed in 1937, and in 1952 was elected the first president of the newly formed, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists, after merging that same year with the Television Authority, until 1954.[10][11]

In his later career, Bunce appeared on episodes of Perry Mason,[12] The United States Steel Hour, The Patty Duke Show and The Nurses. His last appearance on television was on a 1965 episode of The Defenders.

Family edit

Bunce married Ruth Elizabeth Nugent, an actress, in 1924. Nugent was born in Ohio and was the daughter of John Charles "J.C." Nugent and Grace Mary (née Fertig). J.C. Nugent was the father of actor Elliott Nugent. Her father was an actor, as well as a playwright and commentator for Variety.[13]

Death edit

Bunce died at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center on April 27, 1965, from an undisclosed cause at age 64.[14] He is interred in Long Ridge Union Cemetery, Stamford, Connecticut.[citation needed]

Filmography edit

Year Title Role Notes
1930 She's My Weakness Bernard Norton
1959 The Last Mile Warden Stone
1960 Sunrise at Campobello Gov. Alfred E. Smith
1961 Homicidal Doctor Jonas

References edit

  1. ^ "Alan Bunce Profile". Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Actors, Screenwriters, Directors, Producers and other film and television Artists from Westfield". Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "SUNDAY in Broadcast History .. June 28th". Puget Radio Sound. 2015-06-28. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Cox, Jim. The Great Radio Soap Operas", p. 281. McFarland & Company (1999); ISBN 9781476604145; accessed October 26, 2015. "Born on June 28, 1908, (sic) at Westfield, New Jersey, Bunce appeared in 35 stock productions and on Broadway."
  5. ^ "Bunce Family and Nugent Family Papers, 1891-1978: Guide". Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  6. ^ U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.
  7. ^ 1940 United States Census, enumerated April 27, 1940, Greenwich City, Fairfield County, Connecticut,; accessed December 5, 2015.
  8. ^ Weber, Bruce (July 27, 2015). "Peg Lynch, Writer and Star of Early Situation Comedy, Dies at 98". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  9. ^ Terrace, Vincent (2008). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). McFarland. p. 311. ISBN 978-0-7864-8641-0. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  10. ^ "The importance of the Lambs Club in the entertainment industry". 15 October 2015.
  11. ^ Morley Harvey, Rita (1996). Those Wonderful, Terrible Years: George Heller and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SIU Press. ISBN 9780809320226.
  12. ^ "Perry Mason Episode #123: The Case of the Guilty Clients". The Perry Mason Database. Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  13. ^ J.C. Nugent profile,; accessed December 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "Alan Bunce, Radio, TV, Stage Actor Dies". The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento, California. April 28, 1965. p. 5 – via

External links edit