Les Tremayne

Les Tremayne

Birthday: April 16, 1913
Born Place: Balham, London, England, UK
Birth Name: Lester Tremayne
Height: 5' 10½" (1.79 m)


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Born in Balham, England, and best known for his voice work on radio, actor Les Tremayne moved to Chicago with his family at the age of 4 (his mother was actress Dolly Tremayne), disguising his British accent while growing up. He began his career with community theater, dancing in vaudeville shows and even served as a barker in amusement parks. Landing his first radio job in 1930, he went on to appear in scores of serials and shows using a variety of voices and accents. In 1936, he earned fame after replacing actor Don Ameche as the leading man on “The First Nighter,” a weekly program of radio dramas. In 1943, he finally left the Chicago area and moved to Los Angeles and later to New York. There he starred with Bob Crosby on the “Old Gold Show” before serving in the military service. Back in New York, he starred for a short period of time in both the popular “Thin Man” and “Falcon” mystery series. Divorced from first wife, Lenore Kingston, he co-starred with second wife, Alice Reinhardt, on “The Tremaynes” breakfast talk show. He later appeared on stage with “Heads or Tails” in 1947 and for 18 months on Broadway with “Detective Story” starting in 1949. In the 1950s, he was a character actor in both film and TV dramas. Films included The Racket (1951), the sci-fi classic The War of the Worlds (1953), A Man Called Peter (1955), and North by Northwest (1959). Typically playing shifty execs, errant husbands, and authoritative, no-nonsense professionals in teams of TV dramas, he appeared in numerous shows (Perry Mason (1957), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), 77 Sunset Strip (1958), etc.) along with a few sitcoms for good measure. In the 1960s, he starred in several low-budget horror films.

In later years, when speaking to radio enthusiasts, he often exaggerated the number of his radio appearances, claiming that he appeared in more than 30,000 radio broadcasts, which is untrue as well as mathematically impossible

After a six-decade-plus career in radio, television, and films, Les was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. He died of heart failure at the age of 90, survived by his third wife, Joan.

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