Don Ameche

Follow these links for stories about Don Ameche.

Les Tremayne Got an Offer to Star in Movies 46 Years Too Late

Les Tremayne, star of The First Nighter radio show Although I had been playing various roles on Grand Hotel since 1933 and The First Nighter since 1934, my first audition to replace Don Ameche in both Grand Hotel and The First Nighter was on August 21, 1935. I was accepted as the lead on Grand Hotel and played it for a couple of years. This meant that I was already working for the same sponsor, the Campana Corp. But since The First Nighter was their bigger show of the two (and one of the ... (read more)

Jean Hersholt and Don Ameche Star in Sins of Man

Movie poster for Sins of Man (1936) It draws a parallel between the patience of Job and the patience of a Tyrolean church sexton, but Sins of Man will be regarded by many not as cinema proof of the infinite wisdom of things, but only as a picture in which Jean Hersholt triumphs over a draggy, overly sentimental script. And the many would be right. There is, of course, the qualifying thought that Hersholt's performance in Sins of Man makes the film real, believable and important. So important, ... (read more)

The Marriage of Don Ameche and Honore Prendergast

Don Ameche and his wife Honore Prendergast on the Queen Mary in 1938 The debonair movie and radio star Don Ameche was only married once during his lifetime. He wed Honore Prendergast in 1932, they had six children and the union lasted until her death in 1986. That sounds like a storybook romance, but the following paragraph in her obituary from the Des Moines Register indicates it was a bit more complicated: Don Ameche appeared in several radio productions, including a starring role in The ... (read more)

Don Ameche's Lucky Break in 1930

Don Ameche and Hildegarde Knef in Silk Stockings on Broadway Don Ameche armed himself with some letters of introduction, and set out. He wasn't afraid of New York. "I didn't have enough sense to be afraid," he said, with a wry grin. He delivered all the letters on his first day in New York, and like most letters of introduction, they didn't do any good. He was turned away politely, instead of brusquely; that was all. On his third day of job hunting, he met another young actor on the ... (read more)

Four Radio Shows Hired Les Tremayne to Replace Don Ameche

Les Tremayne, star of The First Nighter radio show For the first six years of my radio career, I was very particular about keeping a daily record of every show I worked -- the date, time, name of show or episode, each character I played (and sometimes there were up to 10 in a single show!), and, later on, pertinent observations and specific comments pertaining to these or made by others, which I felt important enough to record. My career accelerated to such an extend (up to 45 shows a ... (read more)

Wendell Niles and the War of the Worlds

Wendell Niles and Marilyn Monroe on NBC Radio in 1952 Wendell Niles was part of that elite period when radio announcers were indeed as well-known as the programs on which they worked. Involved with virtually every aspect of show business for over 65 years, he certainly has had a career to look back upon. Born in Montana on Dec. 29, 1904, Wendell Niles' first professional experience came in 1923 when he organized an orchestra. This proved to be quite a successful venture as Niles and His ... (read more)