Here is a calendar of births and deaths of Canadians who were involved in old-time radio, whether they were associated with Canadian or U.S. productions. The links connected to each name in this calendar will take you to their relevant page on Wikipedia, if there is one. Remember though, that Wikipedia is editable by any user who registers, and thus may have errors. Users of Wikipedia who have thoroughly researched the life of performers may use the External Links section of a particular Wikipedia page to point you towards archival material or official pages of interest.

 

Periodically on this COTRA calendar, you'll find links to other info below a performer's entry, and they'll veer off in other directions. For those cases where an entry appears more than once, only its first ocurrence will be linked.

 

Should this calendar become out of date with the death of a performer on this page, other links here become broken, or should something jog your memory about a performer, please e-mail the web site and let me know, especially if you find links to interesting pages about these performers.

 

 

Sid Abel

born on February 22, 1918 in Melville, Saskatchewan

died two weeks before his 82nd birthday on February 8, 2000

hockey player and team coach, as well as sportscaster for the Detroit Tigers

 

Jean Adair

born on June 13, 1873 in Hamilton, Ontario

died on May 11, 1953

actress on The Radio Guild and Theatre Guild On The Air

 

George Atkins

born on July 1, 1917 in Maplewood, New Jersey

died on November 30, 2009 in Wiarton, Ontario

CBC radio and television broadcaster, creator of Farm Radio International

Note the interviews with George, one text and one audio, found when clicking on his name.

 

Georgie Auld

born on May 19, 1919 in Toronto, Ontario

died on January 8, 1990 in Palm Springs, California

bandleader: Saturday Night Swing Session

 

Robert Beatty

born on October 19, 1909 in Hamilton, Ontario

died on March 3, 1992 in London, England

announcer: BBC Radio Newsreel, London Column

 

Court Benson

born on November 4, 1914 in Vancouver, Brittish Columbia

died on February 5, 1995 in Mount Kisco, New York

announcer: Tennessee Jed. Also appeared many times on The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

 

Ben Blue

born on September 12, 1901 in Montreal, Quebec

died on March 7, 1975 in Hollywood, California

actor/comedian: Hollywood Hotel

 

Lloyd Bochner

born on July 29, 1924 in Toronto, Ontario

died of cancer on October 29, 2005 in Santa Monica, California

actor: The Chase and The CBS Radio Mystery Theater

 

The Reverend Doctor John Sutherland Bonnell

born on January 10, 1892 in Prince Edward Island

died on February 23, 1992

hosted National Vespers, and starred on Our Spiritual Life, as well as Your Life Today

founder of the concept of pastoral psychology, and author of several books on the subject

 

Rosario Bourdon

born on March 8, 1889 in Montreal, Quebec

died on April 24, 1961

conductor of Cities Service concert and Great Personalities

 

Bernard Braden

born on May 16, 1916 in Vancouver, Brittish Columbia

died on February 2, 1993 in London, England

actor on The Gracie Fields Show

 

Bobby Breen

born on November 4, 1927 in Toronto, Ontario

still alive

singer and actor on The Eddie Cantor Show

 

Donald Brian

born on February 17, 1871 in St. John's, Newfoundland

died on December 22, 1948 in Long Island, New York

singer and actor on The Philco Hour

 

Norman Brokenshire

born on June 10, 1898 in Murcheson, Ontario

died on May 4, 1965 in Long Island, New York

announcer on Music That Satisfies and Theatre Guild On The Air

 

Henry Burr

born on January 15, 1882 in St. Stephen, New Brunswick

died of throat cancer on April 4, 1941

singer on Uncle Ezra and The National Barn Dance, as well as a popular recording artist

 

Raymond Burr

born on May 21, 1917 in New Westminster, Brittish Columbia

died of liver cancer in Sonoma, CA on September 12, 1993

acted the leading role on Fort Laramie, as well as Chief Ed Backstrand in the early episodes of Dragnet, among other radio

 

Rod Cameron

born on December 7, 1910 in Calgary, Alberta

died of cancer on December 21, 1983 in Gainesville, Georgia

actor on The Screen Guild Theatre

 

William J. Cameron

born sometime in 1879 in Hamilton, Ontario

died August 1, 1955

commentator for The Philosophy Of Henry Ford, and Ford Sunday Evening Hour

 

Len Cariou

born on September 30, 1939 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

still alive

Shakespearean actor, audio book narrator, and actor on two episodes of The CBS Radio Mystery Theater

 

Jack Carson

born on October 27, 1910 in Carman, Manitoba

died of stomach cancer on January 2, 1963 in Encino, California

comedian on The Jack Carson Show, as well as The New Sealtest Village Store

 

Dorothy Collins

born on November 18, 1926 in Windsor, Ontario

died of heart failure on July 21, 1994 in New York City

singer on Your Hit Parade

 

Father Charles Coughlin

born on October 25, 1891 in Hamilton, Ontario

died two days after his 88th birthday on October 27, 1979 in Birmingham, Michigan

Catholic priest who was very controversial in his radio broadcasts

 

The Reverend Percy B. Crawford

born October 2, 1902 in Minnedosa, Manitoba

died suddenly on October 31, 1960

pioneering religious broadcaster, starred in Young People's Church Of The Air

 

Hume Cronyn

born on July 18, 1911 in London, Ontario

died of prostate cancer on June 15, 2003 in Fairfield, Connecticut

starred as Ben in The Marriage on radio from 1953 to 1954

 

Stu Davis

born on July 1, 1921 in Boggy Creek, Saskatchewan

died on March 25, 2007 in Edmonton, Alberta

had his own radio show with his brother Fred, calling themselves The Harmony Boys, and also appeared on The National Barn Dance and The Grand Ole' Oprey. He was known as Canada's Cowboy Troubador

 

Dr. Allan Roy Defoe

born on May 29, 1883

died on June 2, 1943

delivered the Dionne quintuplets, giving monthly reports on their progress: a major news event carried by radio

 

Yvonne De Carlo

born on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, Brittish Columbia

died on January 8, 2007

actress on The Screen Guild Theater and The MGM Musical Comedy Theater

 

Gogo De Lys

born on August 17, 1908 in Edmonton, Alberta

died on February 19, 2003

singer on Carefree Carnival, Little Ol' Hollywood, and Stoopnagle And Budd

 

Colleen Dewhurst

born on June 3, 1924 in Montreal, Quebec

died on August 22, 1991

actress on Will Cather: A Look Of Remembrence

 

Selma Diamond
born on August 5, 1920 in London, Ontario

died on May 14, 1985

writer for The Big Show, starring Tallulah Bankhead

 

Jean Dickenson

born on December 10, 1914 in Montreal, Quebec

died on January 31, 1989

singer: (Nightingale of the Airwaves) "American Album of Familiar Music"

Gordon R. Dickson
born on November 1, 1923 in Edmonton, Alberta

died on January 31, 2001

science fiction writer for X Minus One and Exploring Tomorrow

 

Ed Dmytryk
born on September 4, 1908 in Grand Forks, Brittish Columbia

died on July 1, 1999

film director: "George Fisher Interviews the Stars"

James Doohan
born on March 20, 1920 in Vancouver, Brittish Columbia

died on July 20, 2005

actor on You Never Had It So Good and The Investigator

 

Fifi D'Orsay

born on April 16, 1904 in Montreal, Quebec

died on December 2, 1983

singer on Folies De Paris and This Is Your Life

 

Douglass Dumbrille
born on October 13, 1889 in Hamilton, Ontario

died on April 2, 1974

actor on The Screen Guild Theatre and The Lux Radio Theatre

 

Deanna Durbin
born on December 4, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manatoba

still alive

singer on The Eddie Cantor Show

 

Anita Ellis
born on April 12, 1920 in Montreal, Quebec

still alive

singer on The Edgar Bergen Show, The Jack Carson Show, and The Red Skelton Show

 

Percy Faith
born on April 7, 1908 in Toronto, Ontario

died on February 9, 1976

conductor for The Carnation Hour and Pause That Refreshes On The Air

 

Maynard Ferguson

born on May 28, 1928 in Montreal, Quebec

died on August 23, 2006

trumpeter on Bud's Bandwagon

 

Reginald Aubrey Fessenden
born on October 6, 1866 in Sherbrooke, Quebec

died on July 22, 1932

credited as the father of broadcasting

 

Norman Field

born on January 4, 1881 in Montreal, Quebec

died on September 11, 1956

actor on One Man's Family

 

Glenn Ford

born on May 1, 1916 in Quebec City, Quebec

died on August 30, 2006 in Los Angeles, California

actor on The Adventures Of Christopher London

 

Ivor Francis

born on October 26, 1918 in Toronto, Ontario

died four days before his 68th birthday on October 22, 1986

actor on Secret Missions and The Chase

 

John Kenneth Galbraith
born on October 15, 1908 in Iona Station, Ontario

died on April 28, 2006

economist on Meet The Press and The University Of Chicago Round Table

 

Chris Gampel

born on February 19, 1921 in Montreal, Quebec

still alive

actor on The CBS Radio Mystery Theater and The Eternal Light

 

King Ganam

born on August 9, 1914 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan

died on April 26, 1994 in Carlsbad, California

Canada's king of the fiddle

 

Clyde Gilmour

born on June 8, 1912 in Calgary, Alberta

died on November 7, 1997 in Toronto, Ontario

host of the longest-running CBC music program, Gilmour's Albums

 

Earle Graser

born sometime in 1909 in Kitchener, Ontario

died on April 8, 1941 after falling asleep at the wheel, and crashing into a parked trailer

one of the voices of The Lone Ranger

 

Lorne Greene

born Lorne Hyman Greene on February 12, 1915 in Ottawa, Ontario

died on September 11, 1987

CBC news reader, called The Voice Of Canada, or The Voice Of Doom, for his reading of war news

Monty Hall

born on August 25, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manatoba

still alive

host of Let's Make A Deal

 

 

Arlene Harris
born on July 7, 1898 in Toronto, Ontario

died on June 12, 1976

actress: Mrs. Higgins “Baby Snooks”; Human Chatterbox “Al Pearce and His Gang”

Stacy Harris

born on July 26, 1918 in Big Timber, Quebec

died on March 13, 1973

actor: Jim Taylor “This is Your F.B.I.”; Carter Trent “Pepper Young’s Family”

 

Joy Hathaway

born sometime in 1913 in British Columbia

died on November 4, 1954

actress: Amanda Dyke Leighton “Amanda of Honeymoon Hill”

 

June Havoc

born on November 8, 1913

still alive

actress on The Adventure Of Sam Spade and Theatre Guild On The Air

 

Walter Huston

born on April 6, 1884 in Toronto, Ontario

died one day after his 66th birthday on April 7, 1950

actor: “Theatre Guild On the Air”; “Cavalcade of America”

 

John Ireland

born on January 30, 1914 in Vancouver, British Columbia

died on March 21, 1992

actor: “MGM Theatre of the Air”; “U.S. Steel Hour”

 

May Irwin

born on June 27, 1862 in Whitby, Ontario

died on October 22, 1938

actress: “The Eveready Hour”

 

Lou Jacobi

born on December 28, 1913 in Toronto, Ontario

died on October 23, 2009

actor: “Adventures In Judaism”; “Earplay”; “CBS Radio Mystery Theatre”

 

Al Jarvis

born on July 4, 1909 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

died on May 6, 1970

disc jockey, songwriter, Make Believe Ballroom

 

 

Peter Jennings

born on July 29, 1938 in Toronto, Ontario

died on August 7, 2005 of lung cancer

ABC news anchor, known in later life for his 17-hour coverage of the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

 

Edward Johnson

born on August 22, 1879 in Guelph, Ontario

died on April 20, 1959

operatic tenor

 

Frank Knight

born on May 10, 1894 in St. Johns, Newfoundland

died on October 18, 1973

actor, announcer: Dr. Billbert “Arabesque”; “Literary Digest”

 

Alexander Knox

born on January 16, 1907 in Strathroy, Ontario

died on April 25, 1995

actor: “Document A/777”, BBC

 

Jack Kruschen

born on March 20, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

died on April 2, 2002

actor: Sergeant Muggowen “ Broadway is My Beat”

 

Maurice LaMarche

born on March 30, 1958 in Toronto, Ontario

still alive

actor: “Empire of the Air”

 

Canada Lee

born on March 3, 1907 in New York City

died on May 9, 1952

actor: “New World A’ Coming”; “Lest We Forger”; “The Free Company”

 

Beatrice Lillie

born on May 29, 1894 in Toronto, Ontario

died on January 20, 1989

commedienne: “Beatrice Lillie Show”

 

Art Linkletter

born on July 17, 1912 in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

still alive

host of House Party and People Are Funny

 

 

Mary Livingstone

born on June 23, 1905 in Seattle, Washington, but raised in Vancouver, British Columbia

died a week after her 78th birthday on June 30, 1983

wife and performing partner of Jack Benny

 

Gene Lockhart

born on July 18, 1891 in London, Ontario

died on March 21, 1957

actor: “Nebbs”; “Doctor Fights”; “Abroad with the Lockharts”

 

Carmen Lombardo

born on July 16, 1903 in London, Ontario

died on April 17, 1971

saxophonist: (Guy’s brother) “Guy Lombardo and His Orchestra”; “Esso Marketer”

 

Guy Lombardo

born on June 19, 1902 in London, Ontario

died on November 5, 1977

bandleader: (The Sweetest Music This Side of Heaven) “Lombardoland USA”

 

Lebert Lombardo

born on February 11, 1905 in London, Ontario

died on June 16, 1993

musician: (Guy Lombardo’s Orchestra) “Lady Esther Serenade”

 

Victor Lombardo

born on April 10, 1911 in London, Ontario

died on January 22, 1994

musician: (Guy Lombardo’s Orchestra) “Lady Esther Serenade”

 

George London

born on May 30, 1920 in Montreal, Quebec

died on March 24, 1985

operatic bass-baritone, The Voice Of Firestone

 

Paul Luther

born on December 19, 1908 in Aylesbury, Saskatchewan

died sometime in November of 1978

actor, announcer: “The Man Behind the Gun”; “Inside Story”

 

Gisele MacKenzie

born on January 10, 1927 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

died on September 5, 2003

singer: “F.W. Woolworth Hour”; “Mario Lanza Show”; ”Meet Giesele”

 

Robert MacNeil

born on January 19, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec

still alive

formerly a CBC newscaster, co-creator of The MacNeill/Lehrer Report, and currently a novelist

 

Paul Mann

born on December 2, 1913 in Toronto, Ontario

died on September 24, 1985 in Bronxville, New York

actor: George Kirby “Adventures Of Topper”; Perry “Quiz” Quisinberry “Passport for Adams”

 

Fletcher Markle

born on March 27, 1921 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

died on May 23, 1991 in Pasadena, California

actor, director, producer: “Columbia Workshop”; “Studio One”, The Sears and Mutual Radio Theater

 

Grace Matthews

born on September 3, 1910 in Toronto, Ontario

died on May 15, 1995

actress: Ruth Evans Wayne “Big Sister”; Margo Lane “The Shadow”

 

Guy Maufette

born sometime in 1915 in Montreal, Quebec

died on June 29, 2005

announcer: Worked with CBC radio, Canada’s French network

 

Lou Merrill

born on April 1, 1912

died a week after his 51st birthday on April 7, 1963

actor: Thomas Hyland “Crime Classics”; Aaron Saul “Point Sublime”, and also in The Lux Radio Theater.

 

Don Messer

born on May 9, 1909 in Tweedside, New Brunswick

died on March 26, 1973 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

popular fiddler and leader of Don Messer And His Islanders, playing Scottish and Irish tunes

 

Lee Millar

born on February 2, 1888 in Vancouver, British Columbia

died on December 24, 1941

radio actor and Disney animation voiceover artist, as well as husband of actress Verna Felton.

 

Alan Mills

born on September 7 in either 1912 or 1913, in Lachine, Quebec

died on June 14, 1977

host of Folk Songs For Young Folks, as well as the composer of I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. He was made a member of The Order Of Canada.

Listen to samples, and buy some Alan Mills music from The Amazon MP3 Music Store.

 

W.O. Mitchell

born on March 13, 1914 in Weyburne, Saskatchewan

died on February 25, 1998 in Calgary, Alberta

writer of the Jake And The Kid series

 

John Nesbitt

born on August 23, 1910 in in Victoria, British Columbia

died two weeks before his 50th birthday on August 10, 1960 in Carmel, California

producer, narrator, announcer. creator of The Passing Parade.

 

Richard Newton

born on July 5, 1911 in Vancouver, British Columbia

died on January 13, 2006

actor on Now Hear This

 

 

Leslie Nielsen

born on February 11, 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan

still alive

actor on Jive Patrol

 

Bob Nolan

born on April 13, 1908 in Winnipeg, Manitoba

died on June 16, 1980

singer: (The Sons of the Pioneers) “The Roy Rogers Show”

 

Geoffrey O'Hara

born on February 2, 1882 in Chatham, Ontario

died just before his 95th birthday on January 31, 1967

tenor: “Roxy and His Gang”

 

Marg Osborne

born sometime in 1927

died on July 18, 1977

female vocalist for Don Messer And His Islanders

 

Will Osborne

born on November 25, 1905 in Toronto, Ontario

died on October 22, 1981

bandleader, singer: “Abbott and Costello”

 

Oscar O'Shea

born on October 8, 1881 in Peterboro, Ontario

died on April 6, 1960

actor: John Marshall “Those We Love”

 

Cecilia Parker

born on April 26, 1914 in Fort William, Ontario, now known as Thunder Bay

died on July 25, 1993

actress: “Good News of 1939”; “Mail Call”; “Lux Radio Theatre”

 

Bert Pearl

born in Manitoba on February 2, 1913

died in Los Angeles, California on June 17, 1986

host of many CBC radio shows, most notably The Happy Gang and Share The Wealth.

 

Wilfred Pelletier

born on June 30, 1896 in Montreal, Quebec

died on April 9, 1982

conductor: “Roses and Drums”; “Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air”

 

Oscar Peterson
born on August 15, 1925 in Montreal, Quebec

died on December 23, 2007

jazz pianist on Oscar Peterson And Art Tatum

 

Mary Pickford
born on April 8, 1892 in Toronto, Ontario

died on May 29, 1979

actress on Parties At Pickfair and Mary Pickford Dramas

 

 

Walter Pidgeon
born on September 23, 1897 near St. John, New Brunswick

died two days after his 87th birthday on September 25, 1984

actor: “Hollywood Calling”; “Screen Guild Theatre”; “Lux Radio Theatre”

 

Doris Rich
born on May 3, 1919

died two weeks after her 52nd birthday on May 18, 1971

actress: Hannah O’Leary” Houseboat Hannah”; Miss Daisey “Portia Faces Life”

 

Harold Russell
born on January 14, 1914 in North Sydney, Nova Scotia

died two weeks after his 88th birthday on January 29, 2002

world war II hero, actor: “A Salute to the D.A.V.”; “NBC University Theatre”

See our Books Page to look at the two books Harold wrote.

 

Ann Rutherford
born on November 2, 1920 in Vancouver, British Columbia

still alive

actress: Blondie Bumstead “Blondie”; Connie Menihan “Eddie Bracken Show”

 

Mort Sahl
born on May 11, 1927 in Montreal, Quebec

still alive

The Mort Sahl Show

 

George Salverson
born on April 30, 1916 in St. Catherines, Ontario

died three weeks before his 89th birthday on April 9, 2005

script writer for the CBC

 

Joe Sawyer
born on August 29, 1906 in Guelph, Ontario

died on April 21, 1982

actor: Sergeant ‘Biff’ O’Hara “Rin-Tin-Tin”

 

Mack Sennett
born on January 17, 1880 in Richmond, Quebec

died on November 5, 1960

inventor of slapstick comedy, king of silent comedy: “Hear It Now”; “Biography In Sound”

Jane Seymour
born sometime in 1898 in Hamilton, Ontario

died on January 30, 1956

actress: Mrs. Brown “Claudia and David”

 

William Shatner

born on March 22, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec

still alive

actor: “The Curse”; “No Love Lost”; “The Secretariat”

 

Norma Shearer
born on August 10, 1902 in Montreal, Quebec

died on June 12, 1983

actress: “Everyman's Theatre”; “Louella Parsons”

 

Joe Shuster
born on July 10, 1914 in Toronto, Ontario

died on July 30, 1992 in Los Angeles, California

co-creator of Superman, with Jerry Siegel

 

Lister Sinclair
born on January 9, 1921

died on October 16, 2006

Writer, Host of CBC radio's Court of Public Opinion, and Ideas,

 

Alexis Smith
born on June 8, 1921 in Penticton, British Columbia

died one day after her 72nd birthday on June 9, 1993

actress: “Lux Radio Theatre”; “Stars in the Air”; “Screen Guild Theatre”

 

Hank Snow

born on May 9, 1914 in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia

died on December 20, 1999

country music recording artist, with regular appearances on The Grand Ole Opry

Pick up some Hank Snow music by visiting the Amazon MP3 Store.

 

Ned Sparks
born on November 19, 1883 in Guelph, Ontario

died on April 3, 1957

actor: “The Grouch Club”; “The Texaco Star Theatre”

 

Larry Thor
born on August 27, 1916

died on March 16, 1977 in Santa Monica, California

announcer, as well as played lead role as Danny Clover in Broadway's My Beat

 

Dick Todd
born on August 4, 1914 in Montreal, Quebec

died sometime in May of 1974

singer: “Avalon Time”; “Your Hit Parade”; “Rinso-Spry Vaudeville Theatre”, known as the Canadian Crosby

 

Louis Turenne
born on November 26, 1933 in Montreal, Quebec

still alive

actor: “CBS Radio Mystery Theatre”

 

Jack L. Warner
born on August 2, 1892 in London, Ontario

died on September 9, 1978 in Hollywood, California

film studio owner”, “Warner Brothers Academy Award Theatre”

Hear Jack Warner's appearance on The Jack Benny Program, a program which also featured Fletcher Markle

 

Johnny Wayne
born on May 28, 1918 in Toronto, Ontario

died on July 18, 1990

comedian: “Army Show”; “March of Time”, as well as Wayne And Shuster

Don't forget to visit our Wayne And Shuster page.

 

Jack Webster

born sometime in 1918 in Glasgow, Scotland

died on March 2, 1999

pioneer of talk radio before it came to the U.S., annual Jack Webster awards presented for excellence in journalism

 

Bernelda Wheeler
born on April 8, 1937 in Saskatchewan

died on September 10, 2005 in hospital at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

worked as a disc jockey in Churchill, Manitoba

The link above takes you to an obituary for Bernelda, as there's no Wikipedia entry.

 

Ken Williams
born on April 12, 1914

died on February 16, 1984

actor: Brian Wells “David Harum”

 

Joseph Wiseman
born on May 15, 1918 in Montreal, Quebec

died on October 19, 2009

actor: “Crime Does Not Pay”

 

Donald Woods
born on December 2, 1906 in Brandon, Manitoba

died on March 5, 1998

actor: Leslie Foster “Those We Love”; “Woolworth Hour”

 

Fay Wray
born on September 15, 1907 in Cardston, Alberta

died on August 8, 2004

actress: Rosemary “Keeping Up with Rosemary”

 

Alan Young

born on November 19, 1919 in Scotland, raised throughout Canada

still alive

started in show business in Canada. Played Wilbur, owner of the talking horse Mister Ed, and also starred in The Alan Young Show on radio