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Lester Tremayne (16 April 1913 – 19 December 2003) was a radio, film and television actor.
16 April 1913
|Died||19 December 2003 (aged 90)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lenore Kingston (?-?) |
Alice Reinheart (11 December 1945–?)
Joan Tremayne (1980–2003) (his death)
Born in England, he moved with his family at the age of four to Chicago, Illinois, United States, where he began in community theater. His mother was Dolly Tremayne, a British actress. He danced as a vaudeville performer and worked as an amusement-park barker. He began working in radio when he was 17 years old.
Tremayne studied Greek drama at Northwestern University, and studied anthropology at Columbia University and UCLA.
In 1974, Tremayne commented, "I've been in more than 30 motion pictures, but it's from radio ... that most people remember me."
His radio career began in 1931, and during the 1930s and 1940s, Tremayne was often heard in more than one show per week. Replacing Don Ameche, he starred in The First Nighter Program from 1936 to 1942. He starred in The Adventures of the Thin Man and The Romance of Helen Trent during the 1940s. He also starred in the title role in The Falcon, and played detective Pat Abbott in The Abbott Mysteries in 1946–47. Tremayne was once named one of the three most distinctive voices on American radio. The other two were Bing Crosby and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In his later years, Tremayne was active in Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters as the group's historian and archivist. Those roles included interviewing people who were active in early radio to provide source material for researchers.
His film credits include A Man Called Peter, The Racket, The Angry Red Planet, The War of The Worlds, Say One for Me, North by Northwest, The Monolith Monsters, The Monster of Piedras Blancas and The Fortune Cookie.
In 1963, Tremayne appeared in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of Constant Doyle", along with special guest attorney Bette Davis. He appeared in seven other episodes as various characters, such as Deputy District Attorney Stewart Linn in the 1960 episode, "The Case of the Madcap Modiste". In 1961 he played the title role of murder victim Willard Nesbitt in "The Case of the Angry Dead Man." In 1966 he played murderer Harry Lannon in "The Case of the Unwelcome Well." In 1964, he played Ed Pierce in "The Case of the Ruinous Road".
In 1962, Tremayne portrayed the part of C.J. Hasler, a known thief in The Andy Griffith Show episode entitled, "Andy and Barney in the Big City" aired on 26 March 1962. In that show, he played the part of a cunning opportunist who happens onto off-duty Barney Fife who himself believes that he is stalking a jewel thief (Allan Melvin) who is in fact the house detective of the hotel where the story takes place.
In 1969, he lent his vocal talents to the Walt Kelly/Chuck Jones animated television special The Pogo Special Birthday Special. Other voice contributors were June Foray and both Chuck Jones and Walt Kelly themselves.
Between 1974 and 1977, Tremayne appeared on the Saturday morning Shazam! television series based on the DC Comics superhero Captain Marvel. In the role of Mentor, Tremayne served as the literal mentor of the program's protagonist, young Billy Batson.:956
In 1987, Tremayne appeared on General Hospital as Edward Quartermaine for six months, the oldest character in that series, as a temporary replacement for David Lewis. He played the deceased Victor Lord for one month on One Life to Live during the 1987 Heaven storyline in which daughter Vicki Lord Buchanan (Erika Slezak) was reunited with most every character that had died on the show after a heart attack left her in purgatory.
Tremayne was married four times and had one child. He did an afternoon talk show on WOR New York in 1949, The Tremaynes, with his second wife, Alice Reinhart, whom he married 11 December 1945. When Tremayne died in 2003, he was married to his fourth wife, Joan.
- The Racket (1951) as Harry Craig (Crime Commission chief investigator)
- The Blue Veil (1951) as Joplin
- Francis Goes to West Point (1952) as Col. Daniels
- It Grows on Trees (1952) as Finlay Murchison
- I Love Melvin (1953) as Mr. Henneman
- Dream Wife (1953) as Ken Landwell
- Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953) as Opening Off-Screen Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- The War of the Worlds (1953) as Maj. Gen. Mann
- Susan Slept Here (1954) as Harvey Butterworth, Mark's Lawyer
- A Man Called Peter (1955) as Sen. Willis K. Harvey
- The Lieutenant Wore Skirts (1956) as Henry 'Hank' Gaxton
- Forbidden Planet (1956) as Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- Bhowani Junction (1956) as Trailer Narrator (uncredited)
- The Iron Petticoat (1956) as Trailer Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- The Unguarded Moment (1956) as Mr. Pendleton
- Everything but the Truth (1956) as Lawrence 'Larry' Everett
- The Monolith Monsters (1957) as Martin Cochrane
- The Perfect Furlough (1958) as Col. Leland
- From the Earth to the Moon (1958) as Countdown Announcer (uncredited)
- The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959) as Dr. Sam Jorgenson
- Count Your Blessings (1959) as Trailer Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- Say One for Me (1959) as Harry LaMaise
- North by Northwest (1959) as Auctioneer
- The Angry Red Planet (1959) as Prof. Theodore Gettell
- The Gallant Hours (1960) as Capt. Frank Enright
- The Story of Ruth (1960) as Elimelech
- Shoot Out at Big Sag (1962) as Chan Bartholomew
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) as Commander Roberts / General Shinzo / Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) as Trailer Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- The Slime People (1963) as Norman Tolliver
- Goldfinger (1964) as Radio Newsman (voice, uncredited)
- Strange Bedfellows (1965) as Opening Off-Screen Narrator (uncredited)
- Girl Happy (1965) as Opening Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- Harum Scarum (1965) as Trailer Co-Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- Il pianeta errante (1966) as Gen. Norton (English version, voice, uncredited)
- The Fortune Cookie (1966) as Thompson
- The Phantom Tollbooth (1970) as Humbug (voice)
- Strawberries Need Rain (1970) as The Reaper
- Oliver Twist (1974) as Fagin (voice)
- Snakes (1974) as Snakey Bender
- Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island (1983) as The Well (voice)
- Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985) as Arthur (voice)
- The Naked Monster (2005) as General Mann (final film role)
- "Tremayne Recalls Old Radio Shows". The Naples Daily News. 10 November 1974. p. 56. Retrieved 15 March 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- McLellan, Dennis (23 December 2003). "Les Tremayne, 90; Radio Icon’s Acting Career Ran 6 Decades", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
- Sterling, Christopher H.; Keith, Michael (2004). The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio (PDF) (1st ed.). New York [etc.]: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 1415. ISBN 1-57958-249-4. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920–1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 13.
- Sterling, Christopher H. (2011). The Biographical Encyclopedia of American Radio. Routledge. p. 393. ISBN 978-0-415-99549-8.
- "Les Tremayne". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
- "Les Tremayne". National Radio Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
- Morse, Leon (7 May 1949). "Program Reviews: The Tremaynes" (PDF). Billboard. p. 10. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
- "From the Production Centres: In New York City ..." Variety. 5 December 1945. p. 34. Retrieved 10 December 2015.