Frank Readick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frank Readick
Frank Marvin Readick Jr.

(1896-11-06)November 6, 1896
DiedDecember 27, 1965(1965-12-27) (aged 69)
ChildrenRobert Readick

Frank Marvin Readick Jr. (November 6, 1896 — December 27, 1965)[1] was an American radio and film actor.[citation needed]

Born in Seattle, Washington, Readick was well known for his evil laughter that followed the introduction from The Shadow radio drama: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!". Readick replaced James La Curto to be the narrator in the Detective Story Hour (the precursor of The Shadow) in 1930, four months after the launch of the series when La Curto went for a Broadway role.[2] This signature line remained intact in The Shadow even after Orson Welles succeeded Readick.[3][4]

He later played the doomed CBS reporter Carl Phillips in the 1938 radio production of The War of the Worlds. Readick modeled his performance on WLS reporter Herbert Morrison's coverage of the Hindenburg disaster the previous year.[5]

Readick later appeared alongside his War of the Worlds co-star and Mercury Theatre director Orson Welles in Citizen Kane (1941) and Journey into Fear (1943).

On old-time radio, Readick was a member of the casts of The FBI in Peace and War[6]: 116  and The Campbell Playhouse.[6] He had the title roles in The Adventures of Smilin' Jack[6]: 307  and Meet Mr. Meek,[6]: 224  and portrayed Knobby Walsh on Joe Palooka.[6]: 177  He was also known for House of Mystery (1931) and A Burglar to the Rescue (1931).

He died in 1965 in the USA.


  1. ^ Frank Readick at[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ The Concise Encyclopedia of American Radio, Routledge, 2010, ISBN 1135176833, p. 257
  3. ^ "Stalking the Silverscreen Shadow!", by Anthony Tollin
  4. ^ Mott, Robert L. (2014). The Audio Theater Guide: Vocal Acting, Writing, Sound Effects and Directing for a Listening Audience. McFarland. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7864-5699-4. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  5. ^ Jarrow, Gail (2018). Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America. Boyds Mills Press. ISBN 978-1-68437-143-3. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.