Alexander Scourby

The possessor of one of stage, screen, radio and audio cassette’s most distinguished vocal instruments, actor Alexander Scourby received his training via Shakespearean roles in the 1930s and perfected his trade on dramatic radio serials in the 1940’s. The noted actor/narrator was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 13, 1913 to Greek immigrants and attended public and private schools in Brooklyn. Interested in writing, he was a co-editor of his high school magazine and yearbook and studied journalism briefly at West Virginia University at Morgantown. A passion for acting was sparked after joining a campus theater group. He apprenticed at Eva Le Gallienne’s Civic Repertory Theatre and made his professional debut in a walk-on in “Liliom”. Scourby’s first role on Broadway was in Leslie Howard’s production of “Hamlet” in which he took the part of the Player King. In 1937, he began making use of his vocal prowess working with the American Foundation for the Blind’s Talking Book program. He played Rosencrantz in Maurice Evans’ presentation of “Hamlet” in 1937 and went on to appear with Evans in “Henry IV, Part I” and “Richard II”. Scourby began working in radio in 1939 and, by the early 1940’s, he was playing running parts in five of the serial dramas. Included was the voice of Superman’s father on that popular radio show. Other Broadway plays included “A Flag Is Born”, “Crime and Punishment”, “Detective Story”, “Darkness at Noon”, “Saint Joan” with Uta Hagen, “A Month in the County” and “Tovarich” with Vivien Leigh, in which he ably displayed his flair for urbane villainy. Thoughout the 1950’s, Scourby worked in television drama. As a narrator, he had few peers. He would voice many popular Bible stories. Classical novel audio cassettes such as “Ship of Fools” and “War and Peace” were acclaimed due to his vocal accompaniments. Long married to stage and soap opera actress Lori March, he appeared with her as husband and wife during the 1970’s in The Secret Storm (1954). They had a daughter, Alexandra, born in 1944. Scourby died in 1985 at age 71.

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