July 29, 2017

Lon Clark, Sr. ~ Nick Carter & beyond

Lon Clark, Sr. was a New York City actor of stage and radio; born in Frost, Minnesota in 1912. As a youth in Minnesota, Clark studied at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. He began as a musician and actor in traveling tent shows, followed by a season with the Cincinnati Summer Opera. After participating in radio drama in Cincinnati, he arrived in New York City during the 1940s, and his rich baritone voice quickly led to network radio roles.

publicity photo

He had the title role in Nick Carter, Master Detective on the Mutual Broadcasting System from 1943 to 1955. The Nick Carter scripts were by Alfred Bester and others. Clark also played the district attorney in Front Page Farrell.
Charlotte Manson as Patsy Bowen and 
Lon Clark as Nick Carter, 1946
 Mutual Broadcasting System 
Clark was also a familiar voice on such programs as the weekday serial Mommie and the Men, the frontier serial adventure Wilderness Road, the World War II dramas Words at War (1943–45) and Soldiers of the Press (1942–45), the quiz show Quick as a Flash, the soap opera Bright Horizon, the science fiction series 2000 Plus, Exploring Tomorrow, Lights Out, The Mysterious Traveler, The Kate Smith Hour, The March of Time, The Adventures of the Thin Man and Norman Corwin Presents, playing opposite such performers as Fred Allen, Art Carney, Helen Hayes and Orson Welles.

He was the opening narrator for the Earl Robinson work, The Lonesome Train which was originally produced for radio and later recorded (link below).          
Clark returned to the stage in his later years, replacing Jason Robards in the 1956 Broadway production of Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neill. He was back on Broadway in the short run of Roman Candle by Sidney Sheldon with Inger Stevens and Julia Meade.  

He was 86 when he died on October 2, 1998, at St. Clare's Hospital in Manhattan. He was survived by his wife, Michelle Trudeau Clark; two sons, Lon Jr. and Stephen, both of San Francisco; a brother, Gerald, of Plymouth, Minnesota; and a grandson, Lon Clark, The Third.

photographer & date unknown 
In 1986, through the small San Francisco publishing company, North Beach Press, his son & artist, Lon Clark, Jr. (link below), produced a book of Jazz photographs by French photographer, Michelle Vignes (link below).   
Viewfinder links:      
The art of Lon Clark, Jr.      
Michelle Vignes              

Styrous® ~ Saturday, July 29, 2017        

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