The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Old-time Radio Show 1939-46

Supporting Cast

Original newspaper advert

The supporting cast in the radio series were essential in creating the right atmosphere for the shows, and they supplied plenty of comic relief.. A lot of them were also film actors as well as performers on the radio, with some being particularly talented character actors.

Other members of the crew such as sound-effect technicians and musicians were also instrumental in making The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes such a successful and enduring series.

The actor's roles are listed below for each member of the supporting cast. They have been inferred through repeated listening to the episodes, along with other OTR shows and watching old films to get an ear for the faces and names behind the characters. I have garnered some of the information myself but most of the credit goes to Cameron Estep, and a huge thanks goes to him for all his help.

This is not a definitive list, I expect it to be updated and expanded as time goes by.

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Newspaper Advert
Mary Gordon

Mary Gordon
(1882-1963)

Well known Scottish actress who lived in the United States for a long time. Gordon specialised in portraying housekeepers and mothers, most notably the landlady Mrs. Hudson in the Sherlock Holmes series. She appeared in almost 300 films between 1925 and 1950.

 

Played Mrs Hudson in:

  • The Paradol Chamber
  • The Tell Tale Pigeon Feathers
  • The Eyes of Mr. Leyton
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • The Headless Monk
Frederick Worlock

Frederic Worlock
(1886–1973)

British stage actor Frederick Worlock came to Hollywood in 1938. During the war years, he played many professorial roles, some benign and some villainous. Worlock was a semi-regular in Universal's Sherlock Holmes series, and appeared in 81 films and 37 television series/shows. His final role was a voice-over in the Disney's 101 Dalmatians.

 

Played:

  • General Sir Stanley in Morris Flanders Fields
  • Prof. Evan Whitnall in The Case of the Out of Date Murder
  • Hugh Boone / Neville St. Clair in The Man With The Twisted Lip
  • Insp. Lestrade / Peregrine Irvine in The Strange Case of the Uneasy Easy Chair
  • Geoffrey Norton in A Scandal in Bohemia
  • Quilter / Davis, Quilter's gardener in The Baconian Cipher
  • Sir Henry in The Girl With The Gazelle
Rex Evans

Rex Evans
(1903–1969)

British character actor Rex Evans came to Broadway in the 1930s. After making a strong impression as the family butler in The Philadelphia Story, he found himself typecast as a dignified manservant. Occasionally he broke this stereotype by adopting a moustache and playing such roles as the grumpy landlord in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and the leader of a trio of villains trying to assassinate a king in Pursuit to Algiers.

 

Played:

  • Mycroft Holmes in The Great Gandolfo
  • Col. Sebastian Moran in The Tankerville Club
  • Mycroft Holmes in The Tell Tale Pigeon Feathers
Lou Merrill

Lou Merrill
(1912–1963)

American actor, primarily in radio from the 1930s through the 1950s, and appeared in scores of programs from radio's Golden Age, such as Suspense and the Lux Radio Theatre. Merrill was a versatile voice actor who could play everything from heavies to comic roles, excelling at dialects.

 

Played:

  • Colonel Warburton in Colonel Warburton's Madness
  • Railway porter in Colonel Warburton's Madness
Norma Varden

Norma Varden
(1898–1989)

A piano prodigy, Norma Varden studied in Paris and appeared in concert in England as a teenager. As well as a radio actor, Varden played the Von Trapps' housekeeper in The Sound Of Music.

 

Played:

  • Mrs. Olive Tredgold in The Guileless Gypsy
  • Mrs. Mary Watson in Colonel Warburton's Madness
Paul-Frees

Paul Frees
(1919–1986)

American voice actor and character actor, with a four-octave voice range. Frees was a prolific performer, and in one role he provided much of the falsetto voice for Tony Curtis' female character Josephine in Some Like It Hot.

 

Played:

  • Thomas the butler in The Case of the Limping Ghost
  • Dr. Hendricks in The Tell Tale Pigeon Feathers
Eric Snowden

Eric Snowden
(1888–1979)

Radio actor who made occasional films, but only received a screen credit in two films - one role as as the sailor who tries to play the piano and ends up cutting his hand in Sherlock Holmes Faces Death.

 

Played:

  • Dr. Watson in The Terrifying Cats
  • Major Arthur Tredgold in The Guileless Gypsy
  • Hacker in Colonel Warburton's Madness
  • Inspector Gregson in The Strange Case of the Demon Barber

Raymond Laurence
(1888–1976)

Once played Marley's Ghost in Rathbone's first recording of “A Christmas Carol”, and starred in a 1947 radio adaptation of Kipling's “The Man Who Would Be King”.

 

Played:

  • Captain Maxwell in In Flanders Fields
  • Hargraves the butler in The Night Before Christmas
  • Dr. MacDonald in The Disappearing Scientists
  • Trevors the butler in The Strange Adventure of the Uneasy Easy Chair
Theodore von Eltz

Theodore von Eltz
(1893–1964)

Von Eltz was silent screen lead and a polished radio actor who matured into a dark and dashingly handsome film actor. At the advent of sound, Von Eltz was comfortably playing character parts and was often called on to play a menacing supporting role. By the late 1930's his billing had fallen to the point he was often uncredited, but he did have a small but integral role in the classic film noir The Big Sleep.

 

Played:

  • Dr. Grimsby Roylott in The Speckled Band
  • Graf Otto Von Hendelstein in The Manor House Case
  • Jasper Hearn in The Guileless Gypsy
  • King of Bohemia in A Scandal in Bohemia

Antony Ellis

Ellis started in Hollywood as an actor and writer, and counted episodes of Escape in his extensive writing career. He also directed Escape episodes and later directed Romance, Suspense, The CBS Radio Workshop, and Frontier Gentleman.

 

Played:

  • Irish painter in The Book of Tobit

Jeff Corey

 

Played:

  • Prof. Jean Boulain in the Disappearing Scientists
  • Carlton Hotel porter in The Girl With the Gazelle
Harry Bartell

Harry Bartell
(1913–2004)

A youthful sounding voice helped Bartell become one of the busiest character actors from the 1940s until the end of network radio drama in the 1960s. Appeared on shows like Gunsmoke, Johnny Dollar, and Frontier Gentleman among others. His final appearance on radio was was on Jim French's series The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 2003.

 

Played:

  • Robert Binyon in The Strange Adventure of the Uneasy Easy Chair
  • Walter McMorris in The Case of the Limping Ghost
  • Alfred Smith in The Strange Case of the Murderer in Wax
  • Wayne J. Leyton in The Eyes of Mr. Leyton
  • German Colonel in The Manor House Case
  • Frumer the Poison tester in Murder by Moonlight
  • German Doctor in The Submarine Caves
  • Heinrich Schamann in The Case of the Double Zero
Paula Winslowe

Paula Winslowe
(1910–1996)

Radio and television actress who is best known for her role as Bambi's mother in the 1942 film Bambi. When actress Jean Harlow died during the filming of Saratoga in 1937, the film was finished using Winslowe as a voice double.

 

Played:

  • Helen Stoner in The Speckled Band
  • Mrs. Molly Hankin in The Blarney Stone
  • Florine la Sur's twin sister in The Great Gandolfo
  • Mrs. Campbell (Cynthia Browning as an adult) in The Adventure of the Living Doll
Carl Harbord

Carl Harbord
(1908–1958)

British film actor who entered the film industry during the final stage of the silent era. Harbord later went to Hollywood where he played supporting and minor roles, including a Scotland Yard Inspector in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Code.

 

Played:

  • David Harkness in The Tankerville Club
  • Edmund Lovelace in The Camberwell Poisoners
  • Christopher Horne in The Submarine Caves
  • Guy Falconby in The Gunpowder Plot
  • Deavers the butler in The Second Generation
  • Silverschwartz the antique dealer in The Strange Adventure of The Uneasy Easy Chair
  • Mortimer Harley in The Headless Monk
  • Mark Humphries in The Demon Barber
  • Dr. Harris in Murder by Moonlight
  • Geoffrey Markham in The Accidental Murderess
  • Geoffrey Hankin in The Blarney Stone
  • Frank King in The Living Doll
  • Prince Stefano in The Haunting of Sherlock Holmes
  • Quilter's Gardener and a Cab Driver in The Baconian Cipher
  • Lord Wickham in The Night Before Christmas
  • Head Abbot in Murder Beyond the Mountains
  • Mr. Edwards / Prince of Wales in The Indiscretion of Mr. Edwards
Herbert Rawlinson

Herbert Rawlinson
(1885–1953)

A former circus performer, and although primarily a dramatic actor, he proved his comic flair in the 1910's. Rawlinson was a leading man in Hollywood's silent era and he later worked for Hal Roach in the 1920's. In sound films thereafter, he was a character actor.

 

Played:

  • Mr. Litton Stanley in The Second Generation
  • Mr. Cholmondeley in The Eyes of Mr. Leyton
  • Mr. Pound in The Adventure of the Living Doll
  • Inspector Bradstreet in The Man With the Twisted Lip
  • Mr. Brownley in The Headless Monk
  • Opium Den Proprietor in The Eyes of Mr. Leyton
Joseph Kearns

Joseph Kearns
(1907–1962)

Best known on radio for playing the creepy sounding Man in Black on the famous mystery series Suspense. Built his home around a pipe organ, and prior to becoming a well known Old-time Radio actor, Kearns had a career as a theatrical and OTR pipe organist. Famous for portraying Professor Moriarty to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes.

 

Played:

  • Dr. Watson in The Haunting of Sherlock Holmes
  • Maitland Morrison in In Flanders Fields
  • Sidney Holt in The Amateur Mendicant Society
  • Prof. Moriarty / Albert in The Paradol Chamber
  • Moriarty / Frank Ferriers in The Purloined Ruby
  • Alexander McMorris in The Case of the Limping Ghost
  • Sir Walter Dunbar in The Iron Box
  • George Grulette in The Unfortunate Tobacconist
  • Fvodor Borodin, the Russian envoy in Murder Beyond Mountains
Ramsey Hill

Ramsey Hill
(1890–1976)

 

Played:

  • Oliver Leeming in Murder in the Casbah
  • Mr. Herbert Small in The Iron Box
  • Robert Singh in The Mystery of the Vanishing White Elephant

 

 

Denis Green
(1903–1954)

With Anthony Boucher, he wrote the scripts for The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. He acted in 21 films, some uncredited - e.g. he played the Sergeant of the Guard in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

 

Played:

  • Denis Romney in The Accidental Murderess
  • Sir George in The Strange Case of the Murderer in Wax
  • James Murphy / Moriarty in The April Fool's Day Adventure
Lester Matthews

Lester Matthews
(1900–1975)

British character actor who mainly played dashing or temperamental leads in early British talkies from 1931. Specialised in adventure, crime and horror films. Settled in the United States, mostly playing character roles, for the next years.

 

Played:

  • Jack Longworth in The Unfortunate Tobacconist
  • Rev. Arthur Waylan in The Book of Tobit
Alec Harford

Alec Harford
(1888–1955)

Appeared on radio shows like Escape and Suspense and also played the minor role of Police Commissioner in the Holmes film The Woman in Green.

 

Played:

  • Sir Henry's butler in The Girl With the Gazelle

Albert Buhrman - Organist

 

Alfred Campoli - Violinist