"The Golden Age of Radio"
(As originally broadcast on WTIC, Hartford, CT)

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Program 37 - April, 1973 - Mason Adams

Mason Adams was well known for playing Pepper Young on the popular radio soap opera series Pepper Young's Family throuout the 1940 and 1950s. He was also heard on most of the successful radio programs during radio's "Golden Age." In the 1970s, Adams was frequently heard on Himan Brown's CBS Mystery Theater radio series. He had a regular running role on the Lou Grant TV series for several seasons and appeared in hundreds of other television series throughout the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s and '90s and can still can be seen playing featured roles in films and on TV.

Mason Adams' biggest asset was his voice. He was a very good actor but his voice was something special. It is definitely one of the most memorable voices ever in show business ranking with those of Mel Blanc, Eugene Pallette, Sterling Holloway, Andy Devine and others. Even above that, his voice, like Ed Herlihy's, had the power to create a hunger or desire for whatever product they were ‘pushing’ in ads and commercials. Mason was probably best known for his role as Managing Editor Charlie Hume on TV’s “Lou Grant” series.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 26, 1919. He attended the University of Wisconsin where he received an MA in Theater Arts and Speech. From there he moved back to New York where he taught speech at New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse. He began his acting career in radio in 1940. His voice was perfect for radio. In addition to Pepper Young, he worked on such shows as  “Superman” with Bud Collyer and Jackson Beck, and “Gangbusters.” His film credits include: “The Happy Hooker” (1975) with Lynn Redgrave, his film debut and a film loaded with great character actors;  “Omen III: The Final Conflict” (1981) as The President; “Annie” (1982) as Bert Heley’s Sound Effects Man; “F/X” (1986) as Colonel Mason; “Toy Soldiers” (1991) as Deputy Director Brown; “Son in Law” (1993) as Walter Sr.; “Houseguest” (1995) as Mr. Pike; and “The Lesser Evil” (1998) as Father.

On TV in addition to “Lou Grant” (1977-82), he was featured in “Morningstar/Eveningstar” (1986); “Knight & Daye” (1989); “Murder One: Diary of a Serial Killer” (1997), and “From the Earth to the Moon” (1998) . He also starred in TV movies. He has guested on such shows as” “The Love Boat”; “Family Ties”; “Matlock”; “Murder, She Wrote”; “Family Matters” and “The West Wing.” He married his wife Margot in 1958 and had two stepchildren.

Mr. Adams, who had received three Emmy nominations for his TV role, was also the voice over pitchman for the J. M. Smucker Company with his signature line, "With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good." His warm, grandfatherly, Rockwellian voice and screen presence, won the actor recognition as an embodiment of Americana. Adams, who began his career in radio, was also a stage actor. His last play was the Roundabout Theater's production of Arthur Miller's "The Man Who Had All the Luck" in 2002. He died in April, 2005.

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Program 37 - April, 1973 - Mason Adams

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