Expected in the next couple of days is an array of remembrances and tributes honoring Tyrone Power in celebration of his centennial on May 5. Special among those is the one-day blogathon, Power-Mad hosted by Lady Eve’s Reel Life and They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To, which will feature commentaries and retrospectives covering Power’s life and work. Be on the look-out for those entries on Monday. In the meantime I thought it would be fun to share a few examples of Ty Power’s radio appearances.
As was the case for most Hollywood stars during the golden age, Tyrone Power did extensive work on radio. He not only appeared as a guest star on popular variety and comedy programs and as a featured player in anthology series that presented adaptations of his films, but he also played host on Hollywood Playhouse, when it debuted in October 1937. Hollywood Playhouse was an anthology drama series in the same vein as many other shows at the time except it usually featured adaptation of plays and short stories, rather than feature films. Power hosted the show during its first season with Charles Boyer taking over in 1938.
What follows in this post is a random selection of Tyrone’s Power radio work – episodes I am familiar with and have enjoyed through time – that I hope you enjoy as well. So, without further ado, here is Tyrone Power on Old-Time Radio…
Hollywood Premier presentation of “Blood and Sand” from January 27, 1941
Note: Power starred in a longer version of “Blood and Sand” later that year, on October 20, for Lux Radio Theatre with then wife, Annabella. You can listen to that version here.
Lux Radio Theatre presentation of “This Above All” starring Ty Power and Barbara Stanwyck from 1942, just before Power joined the service as he mentions in the show.
Tyrone as the guest on “The Jack Benny Program,” which aired on December 4, 1949
From 1952 as a featured guest on “Freedom USA Radio”
Finally, a Suspense Radio presentation of “The Guilty Always Run” from March 22, 1954
It goes without saying that Tyrone Power was one of the greatest matinée idols who ever lived by virtue of his looks alone.
“He was the most beautiful man I ever saw. No question.” – Anne Baxter
But, by all accounts Power was much more than a pretty face. That fact is illustrated by way of his radio work, which allowed his talent and dedication to many causes to be showcased without the distraction of his beauty. And his beauty was distracting – noted on many occasions by both men and women.
“There was one absolutely gorgeous man in Hollywood I had admired from afar for several years. When I saw him in a nightclub or at a motion picture function, I would just stare. And when I was told that Twentieth Century-Fox wanted to borrow me for a film with this dream man, I nearly fainted. At last I was going to work with — and more than likely, be kissed by — Tyrone Power. Of course I tried to be very sophisticated, but privately, on the inside, I was very excited. As I began to know Ty, I decided the word “devil” certainly suited him. Not only was he more handsome off-screen than on (and that took some doing), but he was one of the funniest men I ever met.” – Dorothy Lamour
It should also be noted that there has – to my knowledge – never been a negative word written about Tyrone Power as a person. Perhaps his greatest gift, it seems, was the fact that he was the real deal on-screen as well as in life.
“Ty was everybody’s favorite person, and all agreed that he was that great rarity — a man who was just as nice as he seemed to be. With his flashing good looks, graceful carriage, and easy laughter, it was no surprise that he was a Pied Piper to women — they followed him in droves wherever he went — but Ty was a simple person, with a great down-to-earthness and modesty about himself.” – David Niven
“I hope my own boys will grow up to be like him.” – Henry King, director of 11 of Power’s films
A beautiful man both inside and out, gone far too soon.
“There’s never been anybody else like him — that’s what makes stars — he was unique” – Roddy McDowall
Thanks. The programs, and those telling quotes say a lot about Tyrone Power. I recall when he was featured on A&E’s old “Biography”, never had someone felt so alive to me as did that Power episode.
Yes! I saw the Power “biography” some time ago and it is one of my favorites. When I read the Lana Turner book my favorite part was when she discussed Tyrone because of the sincere way she describe how special he was. Her book is so-so otherwise.
I own some CD compilations of Tyrone Power’s radio performances and special appearances – with adaptations of A Yank in the RAF, Seventh Heaven, Arrowsmith, The Bishop’s Wife, This Above All and others. Enjoyable stuff – and interesting, too, to note how film scripts were adapted and streamlined to fit into the time constraints of radio. Thanks for sharing these links, Aurora.
On the subject of Tyrone Power’s unique charms, Billy Wilder once talked about working with him on Witness for the Prosecution. He said that Marlene Dietrich developed – and acted upon – a huge crush on Power during filming. Wilder added that everyone, including himself, developed a crush on Power. He said, “no one could be impervious to that kind of charm.” The two became friends, spent some time together vacationing in Europe and planned to work together again. But Power would die soon after. One can only wish he had lived longer and possibly been cast in the Fred MacMurray role in The Apartment.
As much as I love OTR I really should purchase some compilations. Instead, I download them from itunes or listen via one contraption or another while driving. They’re so entertaining and I always find it interesting how some actors didn’t translate well on radio vs. screen. That wasn’t the case for Tyrone whose voice I love listening to.
Thanks for sharing the Billy Wilder story. Just reinforces the fact I wish I’d met Power!
Thanks for all the radio links. Look forward to listening.
Such fun! Hope you enjoy them.
How cool! I’m familiar with a bunch of those radio shows, thanks to the wonder of internet radio, and I’ll be listening to these Power-full selections throughout the week. Thanks so much for sharing them! What a great and unique way to honor Tyrone Power.
Thanks so much and have fun listening. I’m addicted to these shows and wish more people knew of them.
After suffering through Rusell Crowe’s mumbling in his last two films, Tryone Power’s beautiful speaking voice, with clear diction, is a joy to listen to. Unlike a lot of stars from that era, I doubt many impressionists could do him, but his voice is very impressive.
I agree! And don’t me started on Crowe. 🙂 Thanks for the visit.