Arlene Harris

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This article is about the actress. For the inventor, see Arlene Harris (inventor).
Arlene Harris
Born (1896-07-07)July 7, 1896
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died June 12, 1976(1976-06-12) (aged 79)
Woodland Hills, California
Occupation actress

Arlene Harris (July 7, 1896 - June 12, 1976) was a Canadian-born American radio, film, and television actress. (Another source gives her date of birth as July 7, 1898.)[1] She was perhaps best known for her role as "the human chatterbox" on Al Pearce's radio program.[1]

Early years[edit]

Harris was born in Toronto, Canada, and was educated primarily in England.[2] During the first three years of Harris's life, she was unable to hear.[3] At age 5, she was entertaining her family with comedy sketches. When she was older, she "branched out into the art of impersonating."[4]

Vaudeville[edit]

Harris "toured in vaudeville as Arlene Francis in the 1920s.[1] She had to retire after being injured in an automobile accident, but the Great Depression in the United States caused her to return to entertaining -- this time in radio.[1]

Radio[edit]

Before her career in film, Harris was well known as a comic actress on the radio program, The Chatterbox.

She first appeared on radio on KFWB in Hollywood, California.[1] She was a regular on Al Pearce and His Gang,[5] where she was known as "The Human Chatterbox" in monologues that involved telephone conversations with an un-heard friend."[6] A CBS statistician once calculated that she averaged four words per second during one of her rapid-fire monologues.[3] She also co-starred with Pearce in Here Comes Elmer.[7]

Harris played Mummy Higgins on The Baby Snooks Show[1] and was heard on Ina Ray Hutton's program[6] and Fare for Ladies.[8]

Television[edit]

Harris played herself in an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in 1964,[9] as did Bert Gordon, another old-time radio star (the "Mad Russian" from The Eddie Cantor Show).[10] She also appeared on Panorama Pacific and made guest appearances on several TV programs.[11]

Recognition[edit]

Harris has a star at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard in the Radio section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated February 8, 1960.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Harris was married to Dr. Harry G. Harris.[4]

Death[edit]

Harris died June 12. 1976, at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 121.
  2. ^ Dache, Dorothy (February 16, 1937). "What About Arlene, the Chatterbox of 'Al Pearce's Gang'?". Harrisburg Telegraph. Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. p. 23. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  3. ^ a b Nicoll, Bruce (February 28, 1937). "Behind the Mike". The Lincoln Star. Nebraska, Lincoln. p. 38. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  4. ^ a b "Radio Riddle Answer". Washington Court House Record-Herald. Ohio, Washington Court House. January 19, 1938. p. 7. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  5. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 15.
  6. ^ a b c "Arlene Harris Tribute Sunday; Willson In Anaheim Friday". Santa Ana Register. California, Santa Ana. June 17, 1976. p. 28. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  7. ^ ""Here Comes Elmer"". Harrisburg Telegraph. Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. December 23, 1944. p. 23. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  8. ^ "Arlene Harris to Present 'Talk of the Town' for Club". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. April 6, 1969. p. 39. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  9. ^ "(TV listing)". Independent Press-Telegram. California, Long Beach. March 29, 1964. p. 118. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  10. ^ The Return of Edwin Carp - Season 3  : Ep. 27 of the Dick Van Dyke Show
  11. ^ "Woman's Club Monday Meeting Time Advanced". Redlands Daily Facts. California, Redlands. November 18, 1961. p. 3. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  12. ^ "Arlene Harris". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 

External links[edit]