Lux Radio Theatre
Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS (1935-54) and NBC (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. It became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.
Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934 on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922-24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show's fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors. Anthony appeared as Garrick from the premiere 1934 episode until June 30, 1935. Garrick was portrayed by Albert Hayes from July 29, 1935 to May 25, 1936, when the show moved to the West Coast.
Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.
Lux Radio Theater strove to feature as many of the original stars of the original stage and film productions as possible, usually paying them $5,000 an appearance. In 1936, when sponsor Lever Brothers (who made Lux soap and detergent) moved the show from New York City to Hollywood, the program began to emphasize adaptations of films rather than plays. The first Lux film adaptation was The Legionnaire and the Lady, with Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, based on the film Morocco. That was followed by a Lux adaptation of The Thin Man, featuring the movie's stars, Myrna Loy and William Powell.
Many of leading names in stage and film appeared in the series, most in the roles they made famous on the screen, including Abbott and Costello, Jean Arthur, Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Ethel Barrymore, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Charles Boyer, James Cagney, Claudette Colbert, Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, Joseph Cotten, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, Bette Davis, Dan Duryea, Frances Farmer, Errol Flynn, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Greer Garson, Janet Gaynor, Cary Grant, Lillian Gish, Charlton Heston, Bob Hope, Vivien Leigh, Ida Lupino, Fredric March, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Muni, Vincent Price, Donna Reed, Ginger Rogers, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Ann Sothern, Barbara Stanwyck, James Stewart, Shirley Temple, Gene Tierney, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, John Wayne, Jane Wyman, Orson Welles, Loretta Young and Robert Young.