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Arthur Anderson; Actor, Author, Friend

Filed under: Old-Time Radio, Radio Today, Bob Edwards Archives — Charlie Summers @ 1:52 pm
Arthur Anderson, taken October 24th, 2002

I suppose I knew that one day I would be sitting in front of this keyboard trying to put into words what Arthur meant to us, but I suspect I put it off because I didn’t want to think about a world that didn’t have him in it. Anyone who met him knows exactly what I mean…the guy was such a…gentleman…in every sense of that word that somehow the world seems a little less cultured, a bit less civil with him passing on.

I’m sure we’ll use all of the platitudes when talking about him; he’s gone to a better place, he lived a great life, etc. But saying goodbye to a friend is d*mned difficult, and I’m finding as I get older I have to do this more and more often. Losing a direct connection to radio hurts…losing a direct connection to Orson Welles, Nila Mack, and even Lucky the Leprechaun is heartbreaking.

Still, we should celebrate the life while we mourn the passing, so that’s what we’re going to do here. Arthur spent his life acting, beginning his career at an age most of us are still learning to tie our shoelaces, so I’ve put together below a short video with examples of his skill demonstrated at the various Friends of Old-Time Radio Conventions (thank you Jay Hickerson for giving me the opportunity to know Arthur and so many other amazing people from the Golden Days of Radio) - these aren’t necessarily the best examples, but all of them brought a smile to my face.

I’ve also included below his 2010 appearance on The Bob Edwards Show; when his memoir was released, I pitched him as a guest to one of the producers (waves at Andy), but it wasn’t until I had access to the program’s paperwork and spreadsheet (thanks to Chad) that I realized a different producer was responsible for the piece (nods gratefully to Ed). While I was a huge fan of the program, I never pitched a guest I couldn’t provide contact information for…it always seemed a little unfair to say, “Have on the President!” without giving the producers his blackberry number. With Arthur, of course, I could.

Ok, before I start getting maudlin and morose, let me note here that Arthur always made me smile, even with something as simple as, “Hello, Charlie.” He was extraordinarily kind to my daughter Kate, even casting her in a recreation of Let’s Pretend at the final FOTR convention (in the last clip in the below montage, she’s the redhead on stage, looking so much older than her then-thirteen years). I have no idea what it means, but we both can say we performed with a member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre…but only Kate can say she was directed by the Lucky Charms leprechaun. So long as we are alive, Arthur’s memory will live on. All of you can enjoy his decades of performances, but we will remember the guy who always gave us a smile.

icon for podpress  The Bob Edwards Show for Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 [51:38m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

icon for podpress  Tribute to Arthur Anderson: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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One Response to “Arthur Anderson; Actor, Author, Friend” »


  1. The man who gave Lucky the Leprechaun his Irish accent has died - Says:

    […] Anderson’s friends and colleagues, including those at The Friends of Old Time Radio Convention Facebook page, have been paying their respects and sharing their memories of Anderson since his death. […]

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