first real starring role on radio
came when she was 23, switching
to CBS, she played Rebecca Lane,
in Beyond These Valleys
it featured her as a young girl
who yearns for happiness beyond
the valleys of the small Iowa in
which she lives.
The Playhouse has hit
on a novel idea, giving daytime
listeners adaptations of popular
movies, plays and books, each
episode running over four to
five weeks. 'Dark Victory'
starred Gertrude Warner.
Unknown until a year before our young Hartford actress, was heard as Lee Barker in The O'Neills, a popular daytime serial. (Nov 1940)
On Dec 15, 1940 an excellent Gertrude was a guest in Behind The Mike. A program intended to satisfy the curiosity of listeners who want to know more about what goes on behind their loudspeakers. Gertrude Warner demonstrated her versatility as a radio actress (click radio to hear fragment).
Starting January 2. 1941, Trudy appeared opposite Chester Stratton, Donald Briggs, James Meighan on the prime-time newspaper drama City Desk. A bit similar to Big Town, each weekly program was a complete story in itself, but the lead characters continued throughout.
(The Story of) Ellen Randolph, told the private life and personal
problems of Ellen, the young wife of missionary (George) as she struggles to
save her marriage, which is threatened by her husband's belief that he is a
On April 29, 1942
she was heard on an episode of
the Columbia Workshop
called 'Play Ball', the
human story of a local baseball
game in a small town.
By 1944 she'd been noticed and selected for both lead and co-starring support
roles in a wide array of straight dramas and mystery or detective dramas.
She was picked
up as the co-star in The Adventures of Ellery Queen
The Mercury Theatre on the
Air who produced live radio
dramas briefly reappeared in 1946
and on Jun 28,
1946 Trudy appeared in Jane
Eyre, the classic of
Sponsored by Proctor and Gamble, Joyce Jordan, M.D. was a radio soap opera that was broadcast from 1944 daily in 15-minute episodes. Starring Trudy Warner (1947-48), the program was about a young woman doctor and her interactions with her patients and other people in her work and personal life. Prone to daydreaming, Joyce’s thoughts were heard throughout the program.
From his very first broadcast in 1936, the banker-hero of New England, David Harum, became an on-the-air crusader "for love ... for happiness ... and the good way of life." Never married, he resided in the home of his sister, Polly Benson (called Aunt Polly on the show) and her husband, James, who operated the local hotel. This 15 minutes serial at one point (CBS, 1948) featured Gertrude Warner as Susan Wells opposite Cameron Prud'homme (David), Charme Allen (Aunt Polly) and Kenneth Williams (Brian Wells).
She was also appearing in several Cavalcade of Americas (1949-1952), as well as the now routine number of concurrent daytime soap operas. In Sep 1948 she appeared as Margot Lane [7th] in The Shadow, with Brett Morrison. Gertrude often contended that she was hired for her ability to scream. She held that role for more than 6 years until 1954. Sadly, because many of the Shadow’s adventures were being recorded on magnetic tape at that time and then erased to use the tape over and over again, not many of Warner’s broadcasts remain for new generations to hear.
Hosted by John Dickson Carr,
Gertrude played in Murder by
Experts 'The Dark Island"
where a woman marries a writer
when he rents a cottage on a
lonely island owned by her
father. Is he really, "The
(Aug 8, 1949)
Her off-the-air-waves activities include hospital tours for the Theatre Wing as well as courses in art and singing.
Learning about the lives of
great Americans can be hugely
entertaining as well as
educational. The NBC anthology
program American Portraits
made the most of this during the
programs lengthy run. 'A Storm
At Monticello' featured Gertrude
(July 17, 1951)
same year Dimension X
featured stories that
“out-of-this-world," had her
going to Mars.
Because radio kept the actress busy, Trudy expressed little to no interest in silver or small screen work save for television commercials and a brief appearance (January 1960 to September 1960) as Claire English in TV's As the World Turns.
Returning to radio in one of the longest-running detective series Yours Truly Johnny Dollar (1961), Suspense (1962) and Theater Five (1964-65) a radio series whose title was derived from the fact that it was aired everyday at 5pm. Hosted by Fred Foy it was ABC’s attempt to revive radio drama, so everything in the show was top notch.
Later in her life, she taught acting for television at Oberlin College and Weist Barron studios.
Gertrude Warner died in New York City on January 26, 1986 from cancer. Her successful radio career continued for 28 years and well over 4,000 performances. She was considered one of the queens of daytime radio.
(3) Old Time Radio Downloads
Additional video & audio sources
(1) Joyce Jordan MD
(2) Whispering Streets (look for Hope Winslow)
Page first published on Jul 17. 2016
Latest update Aug 21, 2016
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