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Charlotte Keane in a reprise of her role of Nikki Porter in 1948, when Ford Theatre re-ran a first season (one hour long) episode "Bad Boy"Charlotte Keane (Mar 8. 1920  -  May 13. 2017)
Marriages:
(1)
Theodore Anders Pearson/Pehrson (aka Ted Pearson) announcer (August 30. 1950 - October 5. 1961, his death)
Children: Jonathan Joseph (Oct 22. 1951) and
                Dinah Josephine (Aug 29.1953)
Sisters: Ruth Lucille W. (Sep 19. 1924 - Aug 15. 2000),  Dolores (Laurie) (Nov 30. 1926 -  Feb 1986)
Charlotte Keane played Nikki Porter in the sixth, the full seventh and eight radio season of "Ellery Queen" (1946-1947).
Above right: Charlotte Keane played Nikki Porter in the sixth, the full seventh and eight radio season of Ellery Queen (1946-1947).
Charlotte Grace Patiky was born on March 8, 1920 in Smithtown, New York City (Kings Park) as daughter of Joseph George and Agnes (Miriam/Margaret) E. Crooke. Her mother of Irish and her father, born in N.Y. was of Jewish Ukrainian descent. A skilled surgeon and an adept student of forensic medicine, Dr. Joseph George Patiky of Huntington Station was chief of the surgical staff of Huntington Hospital as well as surgeon to two fire departments in Suffolk County; later in life coroner of Suffolk County. Charlotte's only forbear in show business was an uncle Johnny Cook, who was a comedian and eccentric dancer in the vaudeville team of Hawthorne and Cook. Her mother was an amateur pianist.

Charlotte wanted to be an actress from the age of seven. She performed in all the plays at Huntington's Roosevelt elementary school and played the leads in high school shows.  
As Charlotte Patiky she was an honor student and valedictorian at Huntington High School and started her acting studies in the High School Masque productions. The stage was a strong attraction, so she went to Chicago, enrolling at Northwestern University's School of  Speech. Modern dancing was an added subject. She earned a scholarship at The Juilliard School of Music in New York and also took up fencing with Sandor Nagy, Hungarian fencing master. She bypassed the scholarship to continue piano studies in order to satisfy a dramatic inclination. On her return from Northwestern she modeled for John Powers.
Miss Keane encountered the "iron curtain" which all newcomers to the Broadway stage must penetrate to get a part in a New York show. She knew no one, had no connections, no introductions. She made hundreds and hundreds of calls at theatrical booking offices. It was desperate, nerve-wracking. The road was hard, but not so rough as for stage-stuck girls who come from great distances to New York. Charlotte commuted to her family's Long Island home; she had meals every day, clothes and spending money. But she hated to be supported by her father and was determined to earn her own way as an actress.
It was a year and a half before Charlotte was making what she describes as a decent living. Her first chance came in radio from Bill Robson, who gave her a commercial to read on the Parker Family show.
In 1935 she was confined to her home with a severe attack of influenza.
She was first noticed in 1940-41 whilst she performed in a (barn) theatre, in Westport Conn. With performances in Mary's Little Lamb, Petticoat Fever and The Importance of Being Earnest where she played the role of Cecily Cardew, and reportedly won everyone over "... wholesomely divine and scored heavily with a capacity house. .... Gorgeous presence, beauty, lovely eyes, and posture are a few of the attributes of this brilliant young actress. More must be heard of later."
Other reviews included: "This actress has ability, a good, flexible voice, and her newest specialty seem to be doubling in brass. On a recent show we discovered that Charlotte had convincingly been both the sweet adolescent and the "other woman." Once on "Men, Machines and Victory," she depicted six different characters in a half an hour." (Aug 1943)
By December 1943 Charlotte completed an Army Signal Corps film as typical American wife.
As a Powers model she won a network contest and entered radio to begin her professional acting career as Charlotte Keane. She started playing leads on such daytime programs as The Goldbergs (1944), Lorenzo Jones, Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories, Backstage Wife and Our Gal Sunday (from May 1945).
Backstage Wife
(1935-1955) told of the trials and tribulations of an Iowa stenographer who fell in love with and married Larry Noble, a Broadway matinee idol. Originating from Chicago it was first heard over Mutual in 1935, it aired on NBC from Monday to Friday at 4:15 PM. in 1936. Charlotte guested as Bea(trice).
Packaged for the part, and with everything it takes, Charlotte Keane plays the brilliantly successful Blues chanteuse, Dora, in "The Goldbergs", popular daytime serial heard at 3:45 p.m. on KMBC, Mondays through Fridays for Proctor & Gamble's Duz.Charlotte Keane, played the part of the brilliantly successful Blues chanteuse, Dora, on the Goldberg radio program, in August of 1944 it was reported she seldom had the chance to answer to her own name.
In the course of her work she visited soldiers recuperating in several nearby hospitals and there she was always referred to as 'Dora'. When 'Dora' became the air bride of Sammy Goldberg and the next evening she was making her usual rounds at Halloran Hospital she found ample proof that the Goldberg Program had a large and loyal following among the men. No sooner had she stepped into the hospital corridor than half a dozen friends and fans note her changed "marital" status with loud cries of "Hy Mrs. Goldberg!"

Above right: Packaged for the part, and with everything it takes, Charlotte Keane plays the brilliantly successful Blues chanteuse, Dora, in The Goldbergs, popular daytime serial heard at 3:45 p.m. on KMBC, Mondays through Fridays for Proctor & Gamble's Duz.
Her stage debut on Broadway was a small acting-singing part in Shakespeare's The Tempest at the Alvin Theater from January to February 1945. Philip Gordon, who was "Sammy" in The Goldbergs had auditioned for the same play and turned in her name to producer Margaret Webster, who called Charlotte on the phone, after which she fainted.

Charlotte's piano training at Juilliard School was responsible for an off-stage job as concert pianist in George Kelly's play The Deep Mrs.Sykes. Although one source clearly states Miss Charlotte Keane as May was part of the first performance on any stage at the Wilbur Theatre, Boston, Ma. on the night of Tuesday, Feb 27. 1945. She appeared carrying a pair of heavily rimmed spectacles and had only a few lines in the play. (Gwen Anderson appeared as Ethel)
She achieved her first New York notices when Gwen Anderson, whom she was understudying, fell ill and Miss Keane in May 1945 was allowed to substitute in the young lead of "Mrs. Ethel Sykes."
With the signing of Vera Allen, Frank Tweddell, Juano Hernandez and Charlotte Keane (as Tracy's sister, Laura Deen) for four of the key roles, Jose Ferrer has completed casting of his production for Strange Fruit, Lillian Smith's dramatization of her best-selling novel, which Ferrer directed. It began its prior-to-Broadway tour in October 1945 in Montreal, Boston,... . In NYC it ran in the "Royale" for more than 50 nights.
Charlotte had auditioned with 43 other girls for the Nikki Porter role, a permanent character on the Ellery Queen show, after Gertrude Warner announced her marriage and  "THIS LOVELY ITEM is Charlotte Keane, who is secretary Nikki Porter in C.B.S.' "Adventures of Ellery Queen" on the air tonight at 9:30 via KNX"retirement in June 1946. Eight went into the final round of script reading. Miss Keane forgot about Ellery Queen and left town when she was offered the stage job. She arrived at the Deertree Theatre, Harrison, Maine, on Monday, July 8. A long-distance telephone message was waiting from Ellery, summoning her for a final audition. She turned around, boarded the next train back to New York, and with her excitement at high pitch won the role!
Charlotte had just what Ellery Queen and his director, Bob Steel, were searching for in a girl to play Nikki Porter - a low, young voice. In technical terms, it's a 16-30 range. Her voice doesn't belie her age; she is young, a shapely, pretty Irish-Russian brunette.
This leading role on a coast-to-coast CBS radio program was her first starring role in an evening radio program. Charlotte Keane played Nikki Porter starting in its sixth and for the full seventh radio season of Ellery Queen (1946-1947). She played opposite three Ellery Queen actors: Sydney Smith, Richard Coogan and Lawrence Dobkin. And she reprised her role both, in 1948, when Ford Theatre re-ran a first season (one hour long) episode "Bad Boy", and again in the 1954-56 television series. This time Hugh Marlowe played Ellery.
Above right: "THIS LOVELY ITEM is Charlotte Keane, who is secretary Nikki Porter in C.B.S.' "Adventures of Ellery Queen" on the air tonight at 9:30 via KNX"
 
 "Incognito" Larry Dobkin as Ellery Queen playing opposite Charlotte Keane (Nikki Porter) in front of the CBS microphone."Incognito" Larry Dobkin as Ellery Queen playing opposite Charlotte Keane (Nikki Porter) in front of the CBS microphone.
Above:  "Incognito" Larry Dobkin as Ellery Queen playing opposite Charlotte Keane (Nikki Porter) in front of the CBS microphone.
Warren Hull, Parks Johnson (When the Vox Poppers were armchair detectives) and Charlotte Keane before the CBS mike, (August 21 1946).From Left to Right: Ellery Queen, Charlotte Keane, Parks Johnson and Warren Null.
Above left: Warren Hull, Parks Johnson (When the Vox Poppers were armchair detectives) and Charlotte Keane before the CBS mike, (August 21 1946).
Above right: From Left to Right: Ellery Queen, Charlotte Keane, Parks Johnson and Warren Null.
In August 1946 she shared a New York apartment with her sister, Laurie, who was a pre-medical student and now studied singing. Weekends during the Summer the sisters go to the family cottage on Fire Island. Charlotte liked swimming and tennis.

Charlotte played "Clia", the raven-haired beauty on NBC's Light of the World (March 1947) Between 1947 and 1956 she appeared in several TV-series.

In 1948 she appeared on 'The Alerting of Mr.Pomeranz' a radio episode of Cavalcade of America (Ted Pearson was the announcer).
On TV Charlotte made appearances in Program Playhouse: Hands of Murder (Aug 31. 1949) with Stephen Elliott, Milton Herman and again in Time to Die (Dec 9. 1949) opposite Dave Karman and John Randolph.

Studio One, at the time the N°1 rated CBS TV program had the highest audience rating of any dramatic show on television, only topped by the Milton Berle Show. Jan 16. 1950 it presented a dramatization of "Give us Our Dream," (S2.E19) a novel by Arthemise Goertz. Josephine Hull starred and the extensive cast also included Margaret Hillias, Charlotte Keane, Butterfly McQueen, Marie Powers, Dan Appell and Leslie Nielsen.

"I'm No Hero," CBS Suspense program was shown on TV June 20. 1950. Hume Cronyn, Mark Roberts and Charlotte Keane played the principal roles.
On June 26. 1950 TV's Chevrolet Tele-Theater broadcasted "The Veranda" an episode with Leslie Nielsen, Victor Sutherland, Jonathan Harris and Charlotte Keane.
At 28 she married Ted Pearson, 47 a former singer and announcer on August 30. 1950 in Beverly Hills, California. Ted, who's parents were Swedish, had been previously married. She continued working (also under the name Charlotte Pearson) until the late Fifties.

The portrayals in The Adventures of Ellery Queen (Mystery is My Business) (1954-56) were given a certain degree of authenticity since Ames was familiar with his role and both Charlotte Keane and Hugh Marlowe had played their role on radio. Furthermore both actors came physically close to the image of the characters described in the books.

She reappeared on Studio One on March 15. 1954 when the episode "Thunder on Sycamore Street" was aired. Neighbors attempt to run a respected citizen out of town when they learn he is a former convict. Charlotte played Anna Blake.
Her father died on September 12. 1954 after a heart attack at the age of sixty. In Dec 1957 the family name was changed from Peterson/Pearson to Pehrson.

Ted died of a heart attack October 5, 1961 at his home in Eastchester, N.Y.

Charlotte Pehrson passed away in New York on May 13. 2017 aged  97!

 

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References
(1) IMDb and IMDb (only last credit is correct)
(2) Old Time Radio Downloads
(3) IBDB
(4) OTRRpedia
(5) Radiogoldindex

Additional video & audio sources
(1) The Adventure of the Bad Boy Ford Theatre, Jan 4. 1948
    (Full radio episode)
(2) The Alerting of Mr.Pomeranz full radio episode of Cavalcade of America

                                         
This actor profile is a part of Ellery Queen a website on deduction. The actor above played Nikki Porter in an Ellery Queen radio en TV series. Click on Uncle Sam if you think you can help out...!
Many of the profiles on this site have been compiled after very careful research of various sources. Please quote and cite ethically!


Page first published on Feb 12, 2017  
Latest update Aug 24, 2022  

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