Dick Lane (TV announcer)
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May 28, 1899
Rice Lake, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Died||September 5, 1982
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
Richard "Dick" Lane (May 28, 1899 – September 5, 1982) was an American television announcer and actor who made his mark broadcasting wrestling and roller derby shows on KTLA-TV, mainly from the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
Lane was born in 1899 in Rice Lake, Wisconsin to a farm family. Early in life he developed talents for reciting poetry and doing various song-and-dance acts.
By his teenage years, he was doing an "iron jaw" routine in circuses around Europe and worked as a drummer touring with a band in Australia. After the decline of vaudeville, Lane obtained extensive work in motion pictures and was best known at the time for playing Inspector John or William Faraday or Farraday (depending on the film) in all fourteen Boston Blackie Columbia Pictures features starring Chester Morris, starting with Meet Boston Blackie in 1941. During World War II, he appeared as emcee with USO troops entertaining G.I.s. His unit appeared at Fort MacArthur in September 1944. Lane also announced for the Jalopy Derby and Destruction Derby at Ascot Park, Gardena California.
Work with KTLA
Due to his work at Paramount Pictures, Lane was able to obtain work at KTLA, which was owned by the studio at the time. When the station went commercial for the first time in 1947, Lane started work as a news presenter. One of the early highlights of his career was reporting on the first atomic explosion covered by a television newscast.
When KTLA agreed to broadcast wrestling matches from the Olympic Auditorium in 1946, Lane was hired to comment on the action. He started announcing for Roller Derby in 1951, and for Roller Games in the 1960s. His broadcasts featured such personalities as Gorgeous George, Mr. Moto and Doc Grable. Contrary to popular opinion, it was Lane and not former ABC sports announcer Keith Jackson who coined the exclamatory expression "Whoa, Nellie!" when something "bad" happened in the ring or on the track. Lane was also the character "Leather Britches" on the Spade Cooley show on KTLA.
One of his wrestling calls was 'meat on the table' when one wrestler pretended to bite the ear of another wrestler. Another call familiar to viewers was "Wow, what action!" which invariably preceded a commercial break.
After Lane retired from television full-time in 1972, he accepted few offers for work, but did make a notable cameo appearance in Raquel Welch's film Kansas City Bomber. Lane died in Newport Beach, California on September 5, 1982. In 1996, he was posthumously inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
- Flight From Glory (1937)
- Should Wives Work? (1937)
- Radio City Revels (1938)
- I'm from the City (1938)
- Mr. Doodle Kicks Off (1938)
- Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1938)
- Union Pacific (1939)
- Drunk Driving (1939)
- The Biscuit Eater (1940)
- Brother Orchid (1940)
- Boom Town (1940)
- Hired Wife (1940)
- Meet Boston Blackie (1941) Inspector Faraday
- Sunny (1941)
- Time Out for Rhythm (1941)
- Hellzapoppin' (1941)
- Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941) Inspector Farraday
- Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
- To the Shores of Tripoli (1942)
- Alias Boston Blackie (1942) Inspector Farraday
- A-Haunting We Will Go (1942)
- Arabian Nights (1942)
- Boston Blackie Goes Hollywood (1942) Inspector Farraday
- Air Force (1943)
- It Ain't Hay (1943)
- After Midnight with Boston Blackie (1943) Inspector Farraday
- Corvette K-225 (1943)
- Crazy House (1943)
- The Chance of a Lifetime (1943) Inspector John Farraday
- Gung Ho! (1943)
- Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944)
- Bowery to Broadway (1944)
- Louisiana Hayride (1944)
- A Wave, a WAC and a Marine (1944)
- One Mysterious Night (1944) Inspector Farraday
- Here Come the Co-Eds (1945)
- Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion (1945) Inspector Farraday
- The Bullfighters (1945)
- Wonder Man (1945)
- A Close Call for Boston Blackie (1946) Inspector Farraday
- Pardon My Terror (1946 short)
- Sioux City Sue (1946)
- Boston Blackie and the Law (1946) Inspector Farraday
- Devil Ship (1947)
- The Phantom Thief (1946)
- The Return of the Whistler (1948)
- The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
- Take Me Out To the Ball Game (1949)
- He's in Again (1949)
- Mighty Joe Young (1949)
- That Midnight Kiss (1949)
- The Big Wheel (1949)
- The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) Clay Hopper, Montreal Manager
- I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1951)
- Visit to a Small Planet (1960)
- The Killers (1964)
- Dear Brigitte(1965)
- Kansas City Bomber (1972)
- The Shaggy D.A. (1976)
- The One and Only (1978) (uncredited)
- "Dick Lane, Pioneer TV Announcer, Dead at 83", Los Angeles Times, September 6, 1982.
- http://www.tvparty.com/nitro.html Rare online clips of Dick Lane calling wrestling matches.
- “Whoah, Nellie!” Happy Birthday, Richard “Dick” Lane
- Dick Lane at the Internet Movie Database