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

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Mike Wallace (1918- )

Myron Leon Wallace was born May 9, 1918, in Brookline, Massachusetts. His father, Friedan Wallick, was born with the last name, Wallechinsky. As a traveling salesman, he changed his name legally to Frank Wallace. Myron graduated from Brookline High School in 1935. He attended the University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1939. At Michigan he was a reporter for the daily school newspaper (Michigan Daily) and active in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.

Myron's first broadcast performance was as a panelist (player) on the Information Please on February 7, 1939, three months before his graduation from the university. After graduation, he was an announcer at radio station WOOD in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Two years later he was at WXYZ in Detroit, home of the Lone Ranger, the Challenge of the Yukon, and the Green Hornet. Some people say they remember hearing him on the Lone Ranger, but he says he was never on that show. He does claim to working on Ned Jordan, Sky King, and the Green Hornet.

Two years later, he went to Chicago as a freelance announcer. This was quite successful. He joined the United States Navy in 1943 and was stationed in Alaska, Australia, and the Philippines (Subic Bay), but saw no action. Discharged in 1946, he returned to Chicago. His "bread and butter" was announcing wrestling matches in Chicago (for Tavern Pale Beer.)

He joined CBS as a staff announcer in the late 1940s. In that he moved to Los Angeles. He worked on Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life quiz show as the voice over for Gruen watches. When the show moved to NBC, Myron, who soon became known as Mike, would have his own game shows on CBS. And, on CBS television, he was the voice of Golden Fluffo shortening (as well as other Procter and Gamble products.) He also announce Spike Jones' radio show in 1949.

Game shows he did at CBS included The Big Surprise, Who's the Boss?, Who Pays?, and a pilot called Nothing But the Truth. That show would change names to To Tell the Truth and forever linked with Bud Collyer.

In the mid 1950s he began doing news and documentary features for the Dumont and ABC television networks. The Mike Wallace Interview was very popular.

His older son was killed falling from a mountain in Greece in 1961 he decided to concentrate on news and public affairs programs for CBS. 60 Minutes was his main program and he remained on that show until his retirement in 2007. He is now the Correspondent Emeritus.

Family: Mike has been married four times and had four children (and a step-son). His first wife was Norma Kaphan. They had two sons, Peter, who was killed in Greece, and Chris, who became a reporter in his own right. (Mike and Norma were married in 1940, divorced in 1948.) Second wife was actress Patrizia "Buff" Cobb. The two had a radio talk show in Chicago and a TV talk show in New York (Mike and Buff.) The show on CBS could not be viewed on black and white TV. It had to use a special set that the network was experimenting with. They divorced in 1954. The following year, Mike married Lorraine Perigord, which lasted until 1986. His present wife is Mary Yates, whom he married shortly after his divorce from his third wife.

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