This is an online encyclopedia of personalities of Old Time Radio. It is designed for educational and entertainment purposes.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bernardine Flynn (1904-77)

Bernardine Flynn was born January 2, 1904, in Madison, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1926 and married Dr. C.C. Doherty, a prominent physician, in 1929.  Ever since arriving in Chicago in 1927, she had been involved as a radio actress and announcer. She was one of the few women whom the station managers thought could announce without getting too emotional. It was for this reason that Bernardine was selected by Paul Rhymer to be Sade Gook on the comedy-soap opera, Vic and Sade.

Sade Gook was a devoted wife to husband Vic Gook, an accountant for the Consolidated Kitchenware Company. They had an adopted son named Rush who was quite bright.  Sade had absolutely no sense of humor. When Paul Rhymer selected her, he knew that if something were to make everyone laugh, Sade would not laugh or even crack a smile.

The program aired 15 minutes a day, five days a week from 1932 to 1945. It returned to the air during the middle of 1946 for a weekly one hour show. And there were some television episodes in 1949 and 1957. It was originally heard nationwide over the NBC Blue Network. At the height of its popularity, the show was heard six times a day on all the networks. It was one of the first radio programs to be recorded.

Bernardine and the doctor had two sons,  Bill and Roger.  The doctor served overseas during the Second World War. During that time, Bernardine had time while the boys were in school so she was a reporter for a daily afternoon news program sponsored by Crisco shortening.

She retired from broadcasting in 1957 and moved to Clay City, Illinois, her mother's home town. Bernardine died there on March 10, 1977, at the age of 73.


Anthony said...

Hi Bill --
Thanks for keeping Old Time Radio in general and Vic and Sade in particular alive. There are a couple of details in your piece on Bernardine Flynn I can clarify. I'm her son, which is one of them. You mention Bill (my younger brother) and Roger (one of our 3 older half-brothers from our father's first marriage). That may have happened because both Roger and Bill were in Clay City when Jack Foster visited there to collect material for his tribute to V&S. Jack sent me photos of them with our mother that he took at that time.
Our parents married in 1933, not 1929. Clay City was my father's home town (not her mother's), to which he moved back in 1964. Dad was in the then-Army Air Corps as a flight surgeon during WWII, pioneering in air evacuation medicine, but only at air bases in the USA.
During the winter of 1946-47 Walter Huston was in a post-Broadway tour of "Apple of His Eye," a light comedy. It came to Chicago, and my parents went to see it. In his dressing room after the show, Huston asked my mother to join the cast to replace an actress who was leaving. She did, and completed the tour through several Midwestern cities.
Her last major role was in the early 50's as a lead on "Hawkins Falls," the first TV soap opera.
-- Anthony Doherty

Dana said...

Hi, my name is Dana. I am Bernadine's great niece. Thanks for some nice details about her life. My grandmother was Margaret (Peg) Flynn Davis. I have some wonderful pictures of your mom. And I have done some research on Vic and Sade when I attended UW Madison at the state historical museum. Where do you live now? I'm in Madison still. feel free to contact me. I am in contact with Mary Flynn Ross' family who live in Hayward Wi and also have information about the family.

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