Wendell Niles

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Wendell Niles
Publicity Photo of Wendell Niles
BornDecember 29, 1904
DiedMarch 28, 1994 (aged 89)
EducationNew York University, University of Montana
Occupation(s)Radio and TV announcer

Wendell Niles (December 29, 1904[citation needed] – March 28, 1994) was an announcer during the American golden age of radio and later in television.

Early years[edit]

Niles was born in Livingston, Montana and grew up there. He attended New York University and the University of Montana.[1]


Niles worked on such radio shows as The Charlotte Greenwood Show, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood,[2] The Adventures of Philip Marlowe,[3] The Man Called X,[4] The Bob Hope Show, The Burns & Allen Show, The Milton Berle Show and The Chase and Sanborn Hour. On February 15, 1950, Wendell starred in the radio pilot for The Adventures of the Scarlet Cloak along with Gerald Mohr.

He began in entertainment by touring in the 1920s with his own orchestra,[5] playing with the Dorsey Brothers and Bix Beiderbecke.

In the early 1930s, Niles was an announcer at radio station KOL in Seattle. He moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1935 to join George Burns and Gracie Allen.[5]

He and his brother, Ken Niles, developed one of the first radio dramas, which eventually became Theatre of the Mind.[6]

He toured with Bob Hope during World War II and narrated a 1936 Academy Award-winning short film on the life of tennis great Bill Tilden. Niles and Don Pridle were co-hosts of the ABC radio program Icebox Follies in 1945.[7]

Among his film credits are Knute Rockne, All American (1940) with Ronald Reagan and Hollywood or Bust (the last Martin & Lewis comedy, 1956) as himself.[8]

Wendell Niles was the announcer for TV's "America's Show Of Surprises"... It Could Be You, and for the Hatos-Hall production Your First Impression. Niles was also the original announcer for Let's Make a Deal during that show's first season in 1963 and 1964; he was later replaced by Jay Stewart.[9]

Niles and his brother, Ken, are the first brothers to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[citation needed]


Niles died of Parkinson's disease in his Toluca Lake, California home at the age of 89.[8]

Selected filmography[edit]



  1. ^ Golden, Luther (March 18, 1968). "Familiar Voice To Play Golf". The Pensacola News. Florida, Pensacola. p. 11. Retrieved 16 August 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ West, Virginia (November 4, 1945). "KECA mike memos" (PDF). Radio Life. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  3. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-10-16.
  4. ^ Wilk, Ralph (January 2, 1948). "Los Angeles" (PDF). Radio Daily. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 27, 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  5. ^ a b Brady, David E. (March 31, 1994). "Wendell Niles, Veteran of Radio and TV, Dies". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. p. B 5. Retrieved 16 August 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Wendell Niles". latimes.com. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  7. ^ "'Icebox Follies' Shifts To Sunday". The Jackson Sun. June 17, 1945. p. 24. Retrieved October 21, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b T. H. R. Staff (2019-02-08). "Wendell Niles Jr., Producer for Film and Television, Dies at 88". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  9. ^ "Wendell Niles". Phi Delta Theta Museum. Retrieved 2023-11-12.

External links[edit]