Bill Goodwin

Active - 1940 - 2017  |   Born - Jul 10, 1910   |   Died - May 9, 1958   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

It is misleading to label film-actor Bill Goodwin as a "former radio announcer," since he never truly left announcing. Signed on the basis of his radio credentials to a Paramount movie contract in 1942, Goodwin seldom rose above "hero's best friend" roles, though he was allowed to play the nominal hero in the Universal scarefest House of Horrors (1946). The biggest movie success with which Goodwin was associated was The Jolson Story (1946), in which he played Al Jolson's (fictional) agent Tom Baron; he repeated the characterization in the 1949 sequel, Jolson Sings Again. Even while pursuing his film career, Goodwin remained a familiar radio presence. For many years, he was the announcer on The Burns and Allen Show, his fictional persona being that of a skirt-chasing bachelor. He remained with Burns and Allen during their first season on television, leaving the series in 1951 to host his own local New York TV program. Later, Goodwin emceed the 1955 summer-replacement quiz show Penny to a Million, and in 1956 he was the announcer for the first prime-time network cartoon series, Gerald McBoing Boing. Bill Goodwin died of a heart attack in 1958 at the age of 47.

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