Dick Orkin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dick Orkin
Richard Alan Orkin

(1933-07-09)July 9, 1933
DiedDecember 24, 2017(2017-12-24) (aged 84)
EducationFranklin and Marshall College (BA)
Phillips Graduate University (MS)
Yale University (MFA)
  • Blanche "Bunny" Grosky
    (m. 1954; died 2007)
  • Diane Lantz
    (m. 2009)

Richard Alan Orkin (July 9, 1933 – December 24, 2017) was an American voice actor and commercial radio producer who created the Chickenman radio series[1] and The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy. His voice was used in many radio advertisements and public-service announcements.[2]


Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, Orkin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and theater from Franklin & Marshall College. He received a master's degree in clinical psychology from the Phillips Graduate Institute, and attended Yale Drama School, studying for a Master of Fine Arts degree in theater.[3]

Orkin began working in advertising in Chicago in 1963. He gained acclaim with his comedy radio commercials (until 1982 in collaboration with Bert Berdis) for Time magazine, GMAC, the Gap and other clients. His radio spots, mini dramas dubbed by Newsweek as "The Advertising Theater of the Absurd", won many awards.

Orkin and Christine Coyle co-wrote two animated specials for CBS, Christmas Every Day and The Canterville Ghost. Orkin and Coyle are the founders of Radio Ranch.[4][5]

Orkin died of a hemorrhagic stroke in Thousand Oaks, California, at the age of 84.[6][7]

Honors and awards[edit]

Orkin was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame,[8] the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame,[2] the Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Broadcasters Hall of Fame[9] and the Radio Advertising Bureau Hall of Fame.[10][11]

On January 21, 2010, Orkin wrote to the National Association of Broadcasters, requesting them to remove his name from the Hall of Fame, because he did not wish to share the honor with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. According to Orkin, Limbaugh showed "reckless insensitivity" with his remarks regarding the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Orkin referred to Limbaugh as a "dangerous hate-monger" and a "perfidious human being".[12]


  1. ^ "Radio: It's a Bird! It's a Plane! Whoops, It's a Bird". Time. June 9, 1967. Archived from the original on December 15, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  2. ^ a b RadioRanch-How the Radio Serials, Chickenman and Toothfairy Were Born Archived July 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Henderson, Harold (March 5, 1992). "He's Everywhere! He's Everywhere!". Chicago Reader.
  4. ^ "We Create Ads for Radio and Podcasts". Radio Ranch. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Feder, Robert (April 28, 2015). "'Chickenman' Dick Orkin to fly in for a day". Robertfeder.com. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Goldsborough, Bob (December 27, 2017). "Dick Orkin, ad man remembered in Chicago for 'Chickenman' spoof, dies". Chicago Tribune.
  7. ^ "Radio veteran Dick Orkin, creator of 'Chickenman,' has died at 84". Chicago Sun-Times. December 26, 2017.
  8. ^ National Radio Hall of Fame - Dick Orkin
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters - Dick Orkin Archived July 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "The Head Honchos". The Radio Ranch. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "NAB Hall of Fame". National Association of Broadcasters. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
  12. ^ "Dick Orkin Refuses To Be In Hall Of Fame With Limbaugh". chicagomedia.org. January 24, 2010.

External links[edit]