Valiant Lady (radio series)

Valiant Lady is an American radio soap opera that was broadcast on ABC, CBS, and NBC at various times from March 7, 1938, through August 23, 1946, and later between October 8, 1951, and February 19, 1952.[1]

Valiant Lady
Other namesThe Valiant Lady
Running time15 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Home stationWGN
TV adaptationsValiant Lady
AnnouncerArt Millet
Dwight Weist
Written byRuth Borden
Basil Loughrane
Sandra Michael
Addy Richton
Lynn Stone
Lawrence Klee
Howard Teichman
Directed byTed Corday
Roy Lockwood
Ernest Ricca
Rikel Kent
Produced byBasil Loughrane
Wynn Orr
Dan Sutter
Original releaseJanuary 3, 1938 (1938-01-03) (WGN)
March 7, 1938 (1938-03-07) (CBS) – February 29, 1952 (1952-02-29)
Opening theme"Estrellita"


Episodes of Valiant Lady were introduced with the summary: "... the story of a woman and her brilliant but unstable husband -- the story of her struggle to keep his feet firmly planted on the pathway to success."[2] The main character was "an actress who relinquishes her career to marry Truman Scott, a noted plastic surgeon."[3] Because "Truman was extremely jealous and unstable," the story centered on "efforts to guide his life."[3]

A 1946 article in the trade publication Broadcasting noted:

General Mills' radio shows are beamed at all class levels and all age groups. But each character, from Valiant Lady to the Lone Ranger, has a common denominator: financially they are neither poor nor rich, but just right. They also belong to no one church and to no one segment of society. They are, in essence, the radio counterpart of "Everyman," with heavy accent on virtues that inspire listeners to become better mentally, morally and physically.[4]

Joan Blaine, the program's star for most of its time on the air, wrote in a 1942 Pittsburgh Press article:

We, in radio, are all specialty artists. Valiant Lady is content to deal with the stories of ordinary Americans, and not so ordinary when you get into their lives. We leave more complex drama treatment to other programs.[5]

In a 1943 article in The Milwaukee Journal, Blaine commented that Valiant Lady "deals with current issues — all substantial contemporary material."[6]


Valiant Lady was created by Frank and Anne Hummert.[7] General Mills test-marketed the program on WGN in Chicago, Illinois, beginning January 3, 1938. An article in a trade publication noted that the tentative title Magnificent Lady had been changed to the permanent title Valiant Lady. Initial cast members were Joan Blaine, Francis X. Bushman, Sally Agnes Smith and Olan Soule. The author was Sandra Michaels.[8]


Beginning March 7, 1938,[9] after two months of testing on WGN, Valiant Lady was moved to CBS to be broadcast "five mornings weekly," replacing Hollywood in Person[10] as part of the Gold Medal Hour.[9] The 15-minute program continued to originate in Chicago.[10]

On May 30, 1938, General Mills moved Valiant Lady and four other programs from CBS to NBC. By that time, Valiant Lady was originating from New York City.[11] General Mills ended its sponsorship of the Valiant Lady and Light of the World effective August 23, 1946, citing "government restrictions on wheat and labor difficulties"; the programs advertised Gold Medal Flour and Cheerios, respectively.[12] An article in a trade publication estimated, "Cancellation means a $1,000,000 loss in billing for CBS."[12]


Joan Blaine was the star, playing "an actress with a wide assortment of personal problems"[1] who gave up her acting career to care for her injured father.[13] The character's name is given in various old-time radio reference works as Joan Blake,[13][14] Joan Barrett,[1] Joan Scott,[15] and Joan Hargrave-Scott.[16] Blaine's importance to the program was such that she received "billing up front before the title."[17]

The program's characters and the actors and actresses who played them are as follows. (Source[16] except as noted.)

Character Actor/Actress
The Valiant Lady Joan Blaine
Joan Banks
Florence Freeman
Jim Barrett Richard Gordon
Bill Johnstone
Gene Leonard
Mike Hagen Teddy Bergman
Parker Fennelly
Bill Adams[1]
Mr. Wright Teddy Bergman
Paul Morrison Raymond Edward Johnson
Emma Stevens Judith Lowry
Agnes Westcott Linda Carlon
Estelle Cummings Elsie Mae Gordon
Clarissa Clarke Ethel Intropidi
Edward Curran Adelaide Klein
Mr. Collins Dwight Weist
Mr. Barclay Maurice Tarplin
Grace Wilson Jeannette McGrady
Norman Price Albert Hayes
Mr. Carson Bernard Lenrow
Judge Kruger Jerry Macy
Mr. Trent Sidney Slon
Lilienthal Milton Herman
Billy Kingsley Colton
Jackie Grimes
Abbey Trowbridge Ethel Owen
Dudley Trowbridge Shirling Oliver
Carla Scott Elsa Grsi
Emilio Luis van Rooten
Mrs. Scott Charme Allen
Dr. Lanson James Trantor
Oliver Jackie Kelk
Lafe Simms Lawson Zerbe
Thomas R. Clark Charles Webster
Jeffrey Clark Lawson Zerbe
Margie Cook Jean Ellyn
Mrs. Evans Kate McComb
Nelson, the butler A.T. Kaye
Eleanor Richards Elspeth Eric
Mr. Richards Everett Sloane
Lester Brennan Everett Sloane
Jolly Rogers Clifford Stork
Craig McDonnell
Pamela Stanley Ethel Intropidi
Dr. Abendroth William Shelley
Dr. Alec Gordon Eric Dressler
Myra Gordon Irene Winston
Mrs. Scott Charlotte Garrity
Dr. Truman "Tubby" Scott Charles Carroll
Bartlett Robinson
Martin Blaine
Monica Brewster Cathleen Cordell
Colin Kirby Ned Wever
Amy Bingham Elaine Kent
Pixie Jefferys Joan Lazer
Dr. Christopher Ellerbe Frank Lovejoy
Norman Price, Sr. John Brewster
Edward Curran Santos Ortega[1]
Ivy Lane Joan Vitez[1]
Dr. Malcolm Donaldson Julian Noa[1]
Jack Eastman Ralph Bell[1]
Mrs. Hunter Blanche Yurka[18]
Mrs. Selby Eleanore Audley[19]

Others who acted in the program over the years included Vivian Holt, Sue Reed,[20] Richard Sanders,[21] Florence Malone,[22] Barbara Lee,[22] Arthur Elmer, Gilbert Mack,[23] Roy Fant, Ray Morgan, Louise Larabee, Jackson Beck, Howard St. John, George Herman, and Aileen Poe.[24]

Announcers were Art Millet[22] and Dwight Weist,[25] and the organists were Jesse Crawford[15] and Theodore Wick.[26]

Directors were Ted Corday,[27] Basil Loughrane,[28] Roy Lockwood, Ernest Ricca, and Rikel Kent. Writers were Sandra Michael,[29] Ruth Borden,[1] Addy Richton, Lynn Stone, Lawrence Klee, and Howard Teichman.[16] Laughrane was also the producer for part of the program's run.[30] Other producers were Dan Sutter[31] and Wynn Orr.[32]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Pp. 692-694.
  2. ^ Nachman, Gerald (2000). Raised on Radio. University of California Press. p. 375. ISBN 9780520223035. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4. P. 346.
  4. ^ "General Mills" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 4, 1946. p. 70. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  5. ^ "'Radio Drama Is Improving,' Says Leading Lady". Pittsburgh Press. June 24, 1942. p. 29. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  6. ^ Meegan, Jean (February 7, 1943). "She's Queen of Daytime Soap Operas". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 10. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Egan, Sean (2015). Ponies & Rainbows: The Life of James Kirkwood. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-680-8. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Gen. Mills Show Titled" (PDF). Radio Daily. December 30, 1937. p. 2. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Joan Blaine Opens New Drama Series On CBS This Week". The Lincoln Star. March 6, 1938. p. 38. Retrieved September 22, 2015 – via  
  10. ^ a b "General Mills Shifts" (PDF). Broadcasting. February 15, 1938. p. 63. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  11. ^ "General Mills Arranges Transfer of Hour Show" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 1, 1938. p. 23. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  12. ^ a b "CBS Programs Cut by General Mills" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 29, 1946. p. 103. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  13. ^ a b Reinehr, Robert C. and Swartz, Jon D. (2008). The A to Z of Old-Time Radio. Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8108-7616-3. P. 269.
  14. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 714.
  15. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (1981), Radio's Golden Years: The Encyclopedia of Radio Programs 1930-1960. A.S. Barnes & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-498-02393-1. Pp. 277-278.
  16. ^ a b c Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920-1950. The Viking Press. SBN 670-16240-x. P. 249.
  17. ^ Dunning, John. (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-932616-2. P. 628.
  18. ^ "Related by Radio". Harrisburg Telegraph. February 2, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved September 22, 2015 – via  
  19. ^ Lesser, Jerry (February 28, 1942). "New York". Billboard. p. 7. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  20. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1943). The 1943 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. Pp. 721, 732.
  21. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1942). The 1942 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 759.
  22. ^ a b c Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1940). The 1940 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. Pp. 712, 740, 764.
  23. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1941). The 1941 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. Pp. 715, 717.
  24. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1944). The 1944 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. Pp. 731, 737, 739, 742, 747, 753.
  25. ^ "(untitled brief)" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 30, 1942. p. 34. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Agencies" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 24, 1941. p. 37. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  27. ^ "Main Street" (PDF). Radio Daily. March 20, 1946. p. 8. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  28. ^ Lesser, Jerry (August 29, 1942). "New York". Billboard. p. 7. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  29. ^ "General Mills Serial" (PDF). Broadcasting. March 15, 1938. p. 17. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  30. ^ "N.Y. Radio Talent". Billboard. October 24, 1942. p. 7. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  31. ^ Thompson, Edgar A. (August 20, 1941). "Riding the Airwaves". The Milwaukee Journal. p. 2. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  32. ^ Lesser, Jerry (August 15, 1942). "Radio Talent: New York". Billboard. p. 7. Retrieved 26 September 2015.

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