Wendell Niles

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Wendell Niles (December 29, 1904 – March 28, 1994) was one of the great announcers of the American golden age of radio. He was an announcer on such shows as The Charlotte Greenwood Show, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood,[1] The Adventures of Philip Marlowe,[2] The Man Called X,[3] 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, playing with the Dorsey Brothers and Bix Beiderbecke.

Niles moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1935 to join George Burns and Gracie Allen.

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

-Los Angeles Magazine- How the intersection got its claim to fame

Q: Why is the intersection of Hollywood and Vine famous? There’s nothing there.

A: In May 1936, Wendell Niles from radio station KFWB brought a microphone to the corner and started a man-on-the-street program. “Niles was a big announcer on radio shows for Bob Hope and George Burns,” says L.A. vocal legend Gary Owens. Niles’s popularization of the corner as shorthand for Hollywood was copied by newspaper reporters and gossip columnists alike and even led to the (terrible) feature film Hollywood and Vine, which was released in 1945. The radio show is gone, but you can still watch celebrities through the glass at the online entertainment network BiteSize TV, whose studios are located in the W Hotel.

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.

Among his film credits is Knute Rockne, All American with Ronald Reagan.

Wendell Niles was the announcer for "America's Show Of Surprises"..."It Could Be You", and 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.

Wendell and his brother Ken Niles are the first brothers to have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He died of cancer in his Toluca Lake home at the age of 89.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ West, Virginia (November 4, 1945). "KECA mike memos" (PDF). Radio Life. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 12.
  3. ^ Wilk, Ralph (January 2, 1948). "Los Angeles" (PDF). Radio Daily. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 

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