Time is scarce these days and for a moment I thought I’d forego commemorating the centennial of William Holden. But how could I? I’m simply mad about the boy.
William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O’Fallon, Illinois a century ago. At every turn during his six-decades-long career Holden demonstrated he was an actor of substance, a smart actor who brought intensity and a touch of the sardonic to every role he played. Mr. Holden starred in some of my favorite movies all of which were made better by his presence. Devastatingly handsome and – by all accounts – a great guy. I wish I’d known him.
Before you get to the meat and potatoes of this tribute, which is a collection of radio shows featuring William holden, please pause and enjoy a gallery of his (partial) filmography:
If you enjoyed the William Holden visuals, I know you’ll love what’s in store below. As I’ve explained in previous radio-centric posts, listening to the Holden’s of Hollywood’s golden age on the radio is how I celebrate their talent while not in front of a television. Through the years I’ve come to love radio shows as much as I love the movies and if you’re a fan of William Holden you’re sure to be entertained by this collection, which includes all of his appearances on Lux Radio Theatre and – as a special treat – all four of his appearances on Suspense.
Let’s stop and consider William Holden’s voice for a moment – what a voice! It is as memorable as his look and style of acting. It thrills me just to think of the movies that begin with Holden’s narration, which illustrates that our greatest directors recognized the power in all aspects of the man. William Holden was one of the greats. Truly. I hope you enjoy these shows as much as I will enjoy spending the day with William Holden on the radio.
Lux Radio Theatre
- From May 6, 1940, “Our Town” with a cast too extraordinary to name:
- From September 17, 1945 here’s Loretta Young, William Holden and David Bruce in “Christmas Holiday”:
- From October 21, 1946 William Holden stars alongside Joan Caulfield and Billy De Wolf in “Miss Susie Slagles” (Note the opening has been highjacked):
- From April 26, 1948 enjoy “Dear Ruth” in which Holden teams once again with Joan Caulfield and Billy De Wolf:
- Here’s “Apartment for Peggy” from February 28, 1949 starring Jeanne Crain, William Holden and Edmund Gwenn:
- From September 17, 1951, here is “Sunset Boulevard” starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Nancy Gates:
- From April 7, 1952 it’s “Union Station” with William Holden and Nancy Olson:
- Here’s “Submarine Command” starring Holden and Alexis Smith from November 17, 1952:
- Coleen Gray joins William Holden in “Appointment with Danger,” which aired on January 19, 1953:
- His final Lux appearance was on June 1, 1953 for a performance of the play, “High Tor” – I couldn’t find the list of the entire cast of this episode, but it’s an enjoyable entry.
- From November 9, 1950 here’s “Blood on the Trumpet”
- From August 27, 1951 here’s “Report on the Jolly Death Riders”
- From November 9, 1953 here’s “Needle in the Haystack”
- From February 15, 1954 here’s “The Outer Limit”
William Holden (April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981) shared my father’s birthday. That’s how I know he was a solid man of impeccable character.