Harry von Zell

Harry von Zell
Elmer Holloway / NBC


Harry von Zell
Radio: North side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Comedian | Radio Personality | TV Announcer
Born July 11, 1906 in Indianapolis, IN
Died Nov. 21, 1981 of cancer in Los Angeles, CA

Harry von Zell was an accomplished actor and skilled comedian, but is best known as one of the most popular and rich-voiced announcers of radio's golden age.

From 1950 to 1958 he played a top role in "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show," one of the outstanding comedy series of the time.

But his fame rested so solidly on his skills as an announcer that even in the situation comedy he was typecast as the announcer. He also played a number of roles in motion pictures, but possibly because he was so well established as an announcer, he never became a film star.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the era when radio was at its best and brightest, there were times when he was the announcer on as many as 20 shows a week, including "The Eddie Cantor Show," "The Fred Allen Show" and "Stoopnagle."

Von Zell's voice was the more or less standard "announcer's baritone," but with a difference. His has a humanity and humor lacking in some of his rivals. His unique quality has been described as "dignity with a giggle."

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