Bill Goodwin

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For other people named Bill Goodwin, see William Goodwin (disambiguation).
Bill Goodwin
Bill Goodwin 1951.JPG
Goodwin in 1951
Born William Nettles Goodwin
(1910-07-28)July 28, 1910
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died May 9, 1958(1958-05-09) (aged 47)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California
Occupation Radio announcer and actor of film and television
Years active 1941-1958
Spouse(s) Philippa Hilber (b. 1918- d. 1996)
Children Bill Goodwin
Jill Goodwin
Lynn Goodwin
Sara Goodwin Mizen

William Nettles Goodwin, known as Bill Goodwin (July 28, 1910 - May 9, 1958),[1] was for many years the announcer and a recurring character of the Burns and Allen radio program, and subsequently The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show on television from 1950-1951. Upon his departure, he was replaced by Harry von Zell.

Early years[edit]

A native of San Francisco, California,[2] Goodwin attended the University of California.[3] He acted in stage productions on the West Coast before he began working in radio in 1930. His initial work on the air was at a station in Portland, Oregon. It was followed by stints at stations in Sacramento, California, and Los Angeles, California.[4]


Goodwin was known for frequently promoting the item sold by the sponsor of the show (Swan Soap or Maxwell House Coffee, among others, on radio; Carnation Evaporated Milk on television). He was effective on radio in doing "integrated commercials," (the first announcer to do so[4]) in which the advertisement was deftly woven into the show's storyline. Goodwin was best known for his amiable and fun-loving personality, for his persona on air as a 'ladies' man,' and for joking around about George Burns's appearance and age. Ironically, he died more than thirty-seven years before George Burns.

In 1945, Goodwin was the "featured comedian" as a regular on The Frank Sinatra Show.[5] In 1947, he had his own program.[6] The Bill Goodwin Show, a situation comedy, was also known as Leave It to Bill. It ran April 26-December 13, 1947.[7]

He was also the announcer for the Blondie radio program.[8]


Goodwin was the host of television shows, including Colgate Theatre,[9] It Pays to Be Married,[10] Penny to a Million[4] and Dollar a Minute. His last job as announcer was for NBC Radio's The Bob Hope Show (1953–1955). Not long before his death, Goodwin appeared as Ed Weston in two episodes of the short-lived CBS sitcom, The Eve Arden Show.


Goodwin acted in several movies, including The Stork Club (1945), The Jolson Story (1946), Jolson Sings Again (1949) and The Big Beat (1958) with fellow Burns and Allen regular Hans Conried.

He played the role of Sherman Billingsley in The Stork Club (1945) and that of the hotel detective in Hitchcock's Spellbound (also 1945) and appeared with Doris Day in Tea for Two (1950). His last major role was as the narrator for the animated television cartoon Gerald McBoing-Boing.

Walk of Fame[edit]

Goodwin was inducted into the radio portion of the Hollywood Walk of Fame February 8, 1960. His star is at 6810 Hollywood Boulevard.[11]


Goodwin was married to actress Phillippa Hilber. They had four children:[12] Jill, Lynn, Sally, and Bill Jr.[3] His son is jazz drummer Bill Goodwin.


Goodwin was found dead in his car on May 9, 1958, at the age of 47 after a heart attack in Palm Springs, California.[13] He is interred at the Desert Memorial Park[1] in Cathedral City, California.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b Palm Springs Cemetery District, "Interments of Interest"
  2. ^ Mann, May (August 27, 1942). "Going Hollywood". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. p. 13. Retrieved July 22, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  3. ^ a b "Radio Veteran Bill Goodwin Found Dead". Eugene Register-Guard. May 9, 1958. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Kleiner, Dick (June 11, 1955). "The Marquee". The La Crosse Tribune. p. 7. Retrieved July 22, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  5. ^ "Y&R Seeks Dana Andrews" (PDF). Radio Daily. January 12, 1945. p. 5. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Ackerman, Paul (May 10, 1947). "Bill Goodwin". Billboard. p. 11. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 89.
  8. ^ Rathbun, Joe (October 6, 1940). "Joe's Radio Parade". The Times Recorder. p. 8. Retrieved July 22, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  9. ^ "Bill Goodwin, 47, Announcer on Radio, Dies". Chicago Tribune. May 10, 1958. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Witte, Lawrence (June 29, 1955). "TV-Radio News Bits". The Evening Independent. p. 15. Retrieved July 22, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read
  11. ^ "Bill Goodwin". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  12. ^ Wilk, Ralph (February 18, 1945). "Los Angeles" (PDF). Radio Daily. p. 4. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Bill Goodwin Dies of Heart Attack". Desert Sun. May 9, 1958. 

External links[edit]