Dick Lane was a pioneering television personality whose "Whoa Nellie!" sportscasting style helped popularize wrestling and roller games for a generation of television audiences.
Lane, a veteran performer in vaudeville, the legitimate stage, radio and motion pictures, was best known for his work in early local television.
He began as a used-car television salesman — denting automobile hoods and once knocking off a fender on-camera in the zeal of his hard-sell pitchmanship and continued as a wrestling commentator-promoter, following this with a stint as commentator-announcer for the Los Angeles Thunderbirds roller-derby team.
Lane came to KTLA in 1942. He became one of the first television personalities in Los Angeles, long before the networks overshadowed the local stations.
He covered the first telecast of an atomic explosion from the top of Mt. Wilson in 1952.
When the Olympic Auditorium decided it was time to begin televising its wrestling matches, Lane began weekly telecasts from ringside in 1946, he added the Roller Games in 1951 and continued with both until his semiretirement in 1976.