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Family Skeleton

Family Skeleton is an American old-time radio serial drama, "the story of a girl with a dark past and highly uncertain future."[1] It was broadcast on CBS from June 8, 1953, to March 5, 1954.[2]

Family Skeleton
Studio publicity Mercedes McCambridge.JPG
Mercedes McCambridge,
star of Family Skeleton
Genre Serial drama
Running time 15 minutes
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
Syndicates CBS
Starring Mercedes McCambridge
Announcer Charles Lyon
Created by Carlton E. Morse
Written by Carlton E. Morse
Sidney Marshall
Directed by Jack Johnstone
Produced by Carlton E. Morse
Original release June 8, 1953 (1953-06-08) – March 5, 1954 (1954-03-05)
Sponsored by Sweetheart Soap
Prom Home Permanent
Toni Creme Rinse

Family Skeleton focused on Sara Ann Spence[2] (or Sarah Ann Spencer)[3] and her problems. She became the "family skeleton" because she arrived at her home pregnant "with her marriage license obliterated by bloodstains" and could not prove her marital status.[2] The sponsors were Sweetheart Soap,[4] Prom Home Permanent and Toni Creme Rinse.[5]


Mercedes McCambridge starred in the program. Others in the cast included Parley Baer, Michael Ann Barrett, Tony Barrett, Mary Jane Croft, Dix Davis, John Dehner, Sam Edwards, Eddie Firestone, Frank Gerstle, Robert Griffin, Bill Idelson, Byron Kane, Lou Krugman, Earl Lee, Forrest Lewis, James McCallion, Kate McKenna, Howard McNear, Marvin Miller, George Neise, Jeanette Nolan, Jay Novello, Ruth Perrott, Ken Peters, George Pirrone, Alice Reinheart, Janet Scott, Marilyn Steiner, Russell Thorson, Les Tremayne, David Vail, and Ben Wright. Charles Lyon was the announcer.[5]

Carlton E. Morse, who created Family Skeleton specifically for McCambridge, produced the program and wrote its scripts. Ron Lackmann, in his biography of McCambridge, described the show as being "loosely based on Morse's immensely successful One Man's Family program."[6] Sidney Marshall also wrote for the show. Jack Johnstone was the director.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American radio, 1920-1960 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4.
  2. ^ a b c Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
  3. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 114. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  4. ^ Cox, Jim (2008). Sold on radio advertisers in the golden age of broadcasting. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. pp. 262–263. ISBN 9780786451760. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Berard, Jeanette; Englund, Klaudia (2006). Radio Series Scripts, 1930–2001: A Catalog of the American Radio Archives Collection. McFarland. pp. 152–155. ISBN 9781476606705. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  6. ^ Lackmann, Ron (2005). Mercedes McCambridge: A Biography and Career Record. McFarland. p. 82. ISBN 9780786419791. Retrieved 27 October 2017.