Richard Gordon (actor)

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Ken Lynch and Gordon (right) in the radio program The Bishop and the Gargoyle

Richard Gordon was an American actor in vaudeville and films and on stage and radio. He was perhaps best known for portraying the title role in the radio version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Early years[edit]

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Gordon worked as a reporter on a newspaper there before he moved to New York City and became a reporter for the New York World. His earnings paid for his studies at Yale and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[1]


In addition to his work in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes[2] from 1931 to 1933,[3] Gordon's roles on old-time radio included those shown in the table below:

Program Role
The Bishop and the Gargoyle The Bishop[4]:43
Follow the Moon Tetlow[5]
Hilda Hope, M.D. Dr. Boros[6]
Jane Arden Jane's father[4]:172
Orphans of Divorce Cyril Worthington[7]
Our Gal Sunday Dr. Abbott[8]
Pepper Young's Family Mr. Jerome[5]
Reginald Fortune Reginald Fortune[9]
Stella Dallas Morgan Ford[6]:225
Thatcher Colt Mysteries Thatcher Colt[5]
Valiant Lady Jim Barrett[4]:346

Gordon also was heard on The Biblical Hour and in Shakespearean productions.[4]

Stage and film[edit]

After he turned down a producer's offer of $35 per week for a minor part in a play, Gordon spent 10 years with a theatrical touring company.[8] Films in which Gordon appeared included Birth of a Baby, 13 Rue Madeleine, Saint Benny the Dip,[8] and Things to Come.[10]

Professional organizations[edit]

Gordon was involved in founding the Actors' Equity Association. Not long after it was formed, however, he encountered conflicts with officers of the organization as he advocated for inclusion of actors from film and radio. Those efforts apparently led to his leaving the group's council after five years. As continued growth of radio led to the formation of another group to represent that medium's actors, Gordon served as an advisor to the new American Federation of Radio Artists.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Gordon was married to Emily Ann Wellman, an actress and playwright[11] with whom he performed in vaudeville.[12] To help her promote her works to producers, Gordon built a miniature theater using a scale of one-half inch to one foot. The couple prepared miniature props to enable creation of sets to help producers visualize the production of a play.[11] Gordon, whom one newspaper reporter described as an "actor-carpenter", used his workshop, which was equipped with saws, drill press, planer, and lathe.[13] He later married actress Rachel Crown. They had two children.[1]


  1. ^ a b Steinhauser, Si (January 28, 1940). "Master Sleuth of Radio to Play Joe Jefferson's 'Rip Van Winkle'". The Pittsburgh Press. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. p. 17. Retrieved November 8, 2019 – via
  2. ^ "Noted sleuths live again in radio feature". The Tampa Tribune. Florida, Tampa. Associated Press. April 5, 1931. p. 28. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 610. ISBN 9780195076783. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  5. ^ a b c "What do you want to know?". Radio Mirror. 9 (1): 56. November 1937. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Buxton, Frank; Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920-1950. New York: The Viking Press. p. 111.
  7. ^ "Wednesday's Highlights". Radio and Television Mirror. 13 (4): 46. February 1940. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Randolph, Leonard (November 24, 1951). "Actor Richard Gordon's First Big Chance Came In Play That Flopped In Three Weeks". The Pocono Record. Pennsylvania, Stroudsburg. p. 22. Retrieved November 8, 2019 – via
  9. ^ "Highlights for Friday, Dec. 17". Radio Mirror. 9 (3): 47. January 1938. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "(untitled brief)". Photoplay Magazine. XLIX (5). June 1936. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "She tells Broadway how to do it". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. December 26, 1926. p. 45. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  12. ^ "Emily Wellman to appear at Liberty". The Dayton Herald. Ohio, Dayton. November 12, 1921. p. 9. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  13. ^ Lewis, Al (November 15, 1936). "Sherlock Holmes Turns Host". The Atlanta Constitution. Georgia, Atlanta. p. Screen & Radio Weekly 7. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via