Les Tremayne


Lester Tremayne (16 April 1913 – 19 December 2003) was an English actor.

Les Tremayne
Les Tremayne The Angry Red Planet 1959.jpg
Tremayne in The Angry Red Planet (1959)
Lester Tremayne

(1913-04-16)16 April 1913
Balham, London, England
Died19 December 2003(2003-12-19) (aged 90)
Years active1931–1993
Eileen Palmer
(m. 1940; div. 1944)

(m. 1945; div. 1962)

Ruth Ann Mills
(m. 1963; div. 1967)

Joan Lenore Hertz
(m. 1980)

Early lifeEdit

Born in Balham, London, he moved with his family at the age of four to Chicago, Illinois, where he began in community theater. His mother was Dolly Tremayne, a British actress.[1] He danced as a vaudeville performer and worked as an amusement park barker. He began working in radio when he was 17 years old.[2]

Tremayne studied Greek drama at Northwestern University and anthropology at Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles.[3]


In 1974, Tremayne commented, "I've been in more than 30 motion pictures, but it's from radio ... that most people remember me."[1]

His radio career began in 1931,[1] and during the 1930s and 1940s, Tremayne was often heard in more than one show per week. Replacing Don Ameche, he starred in The First Nighter Program from 1936 to 1942. He starred in The Adventures of the Thin Man and The Romance of Helen Trent during the 1940s. He also starred in the title role in The Falcon,[4] and played detective Pat Abbott in Abbott Mysteries from 1946 to 1947. Tremayne was once named one of the three most distinctive voices on American radio. The other two were Bing Crosby and president Franklin D. Roosevelt.[5]

In his later years, Tremayne was active in Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters as the group's historian and archivist. Those roles included interviewing people who were active in early radio to provide source material for researchers.[1]

His film credits include A Man Called Peter, The Racket, The Angry Red Planet, The War of The Worlds, Say One for Me, North by Northwest, The Monolith Monsters, The Monster of Piedras Blancas, Fangs, and The Fortune Cookie.

Tremayne's Broadway credits include Detective Story (1949–1950) and Heads or Tails (1947).[6]

Tremayne portrayed Billy Herbert in the television version of One Man's Family (1949–1955)[7]: 791  and Inspector Richard Queen in The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen on NBC (1958–1959).[7] He guest-starred in "The Life Story of Eve Drake and Howard Adams", a 1957 episode of the CBS situation comedy Mr. Adams and Eve.[8]

In 1963, Tremayne appeared in the Perry Mason episode, "The Case of Constant Doyle", along with special guest attorney Bette Davis. He appeared in seven other episodes as various characters, such as Deputy District Attorney Stewart Linn in the 1960 episode, "The Case of the Madcap Modiste". In 1961, he played the title role of murder victim Willard Nesbitt in "The Case of the Angry Dead Man." In 1966, he played murderer Harry Lannon in "The Case of the Unwelcome Well". In 1964, he played Ed Pierce in "The Case of the Ruinous Road".[citation needed]

In 1962, Tremayne portrayed the part of C.J. Hasler, a known thief in The Andy Griffith Show episode entitled, "Andy and Barney in the Big City" aired on 26 March 1962. In that show, he played the part of a cunning opportunist who happens onto off-duty Barney Fife who himself believes that he is stalking a jewel thief (Allan Melvin) who is in fact the house detective of the hotel where the story takes place.[citation needed]

In 1965, Tremayne played Mr. Clary in My Favorite Martian, season 2, episode 30, titled "006 3/4".

In 1969, he lent his vocal talents to the Walt Kelly/Chuck Jones animated television special The Pogo Special Birthday Special. Other voice contributors were June Foray and both Chuck Jones and Walt Kelly themselves.[citation needed]

Between 1974 and 1977, Tremayne appeared on the Saturday morning Shazam! television series based on the DC Comics superhero Captain Marvel. In the role of Mentor, Tremayne served as the literal mentor of the program's protagonist, young Billy Batson.[7]: 956 

In 1987, Tremayne appeared on General Hospital as Edward Quartermaine for six months, the oldest character in that series, as a temporary replacement for David Lewis. He played the deceased Victor Lord for one month on One Life to Live during the 1987 Heaven storyline in which daughter Vicki Lord Buchanan (Erika Slezak) was reunited with most every character that had died on the show after a heart attack left her in purgatory.[citation needed]


Tremayne was elected to the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Tremayne was married four times. He did an afternoon talk show on WOR in 1949, The Tremaynes,[10] with his second wife, Alice Reinhart, whom he married on 9 December 1945.[11] When Tremayne died in 2003, he was married to his fourth wife, Joan.[2]


On 19 December 2003, Tremayne died of heart failure at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 90.[2]



  1. ^ a b c d "Tremayne Recalls Old Radio Shows". The Naples Daily News. 10 November 1974. p. 56. Retrieved 15 March 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  2. ^ a b c McLellan, Dennis (23 December 2003). "Les Tremayne, 90; Radio Icon’s Acting Career Ran 6 Decades", Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  3. ^ Sterling, Christopher H.; Keith, Michael (2004). The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio (PDF) (1st ed.). New York [etc.]: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 1415. ISBN 1-57958-249-4. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  4. ^ Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920–1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 13.
  5. ^ Sterling, Christopher H. (2011). The Biographical Encyclopedia of American Radio. Routledge. p. 393. ISBN 978-0-415-99549-8.
  6. ^ "Les Tremayne". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  8. ^ The Classic TV Archive Mr. Adams and Eve (1957-58) Accessed 12 June 2021
  9. ^ "Les Tremayne". National Radio Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 November 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  10. ^ Morse, Leon (7 May 1949). "Program Reviews: The Tremaynes" (PDF). Billboard. p. 10. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  11. ^ "From the Production Centres: In New York City ..." Variety. 5 December 1945. p. 34. Retrieved 10 December 2015.

Further readingEdit

  • NPR: "Radio Legend Les Tremayne Dies" (26 December 2003)

External linksEdit