Radio Works of Howard McNear & Parley Baer
Hello MPIR Fans,
The mystery stream is featuring the radio works of Howard McNear and Parley Baer.
Howard Terbell McNear (January 27, 1905 – January 3, 1969) was an American stage, screen and radio character actor. McNear is best remembered as Floyd Lawson, the barber in The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968), and as Doc Charles Adams in CBS Radio's Gunsmoke (1952–1961).
He studied at the Oatman School of Theater and later joined a stock company in San Diego. McNear also worked in radio from the late 1930s, distinguishing himself in the 1937–1940 radio serial Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police as ace operator Clint Barlow. McNear could be effective in such authoritative roles, but he gravitated more toward character roles, often comic.
He created the role of Doc Charles Adams in CBS Radio's Gunsmoke (1952–1961). McNear was under contract to CBS for many years and was featured in many of the network's radio and TV programs. From 1955 to 1960 he appeared frequently, in various quirky roles, in the popular radio detective series Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
Parley Edward Baer (August 5, 1914 – November 22, 2002) was an American actor in radio and later in television and film. Baer was director of special events at KSL in the 1930s. His first network show was The Whistler which was soon followed by appearances on Escape (notably narrating "Wild Jack Rhett" and as the title patriot in an adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's "A Tooth for Paul Revere"), Suspense, Tales of the Texas Rangers (as various local sheriffs), Dragnet, The CBS Radio Workshop, Lux Radio Theater, The Six Shooter, and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, to name a few.
In 1952, he began playing Chester, the unofficial deputy to Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, eventually ad-libbing the character's full name, “Chester Wesley Proudfoot”. Baer's portrayal of Chester was generally considered his finest and most memorable role and, as he often said, the one he found most fulfilling. Baer worked on several other radio shows produced by Norman MacDonnell, including the situation comedy The Harold Peary Show (aka Honest Harold) as Pete the Marshal, Rogers of the Gazette (loosely based on the early life of Will Rogers) as Doc Clemens, Fort Laramie, and The Adventures of Philip Marlowe.
Both radio actors voices are very distinct and I'm sure you'll recognize them as very talented. They appear in some of my personal favorite old time radio programs.
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