Arthur Godfrey

Television Actor
Born Aug 31, 1903

Arthur Morton Godfrey was an American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer who was sometimes introduced by his nickname, The Old Redhead.

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1903 Birth Godfrey was born in Manhattan in 1903. … Read More


1920 16 Years Old Godfrey served in the United States Navy from 1920 to 1924 as a radio operator on naval destroyers, but returned home to care for the family after his father's death.


1927 23 Years Old Additional radio training came during Godfrey's service in the Coast Guard from 1927 to 1930.
1929 25 Years Old He passed a stringent qualifying examination and was admitted to the prestigious Radio Materiel School at the Naval Research Laboratory, graduating in 1929. … Read More
1931 27 Years Old Recovering from a near-fatal automobile accident en route to a flying lesson in 1931 (he was already an avid flyer), he decided to listen closely to the radio and realized that the stiff, formal style then used by announcers could not connect with the average radio listener. … Read More


1934 - 1937 2 More Events
1938 34 Years Old Godfrey was married twice. He and his first wife, Catherine, had one child. He was then married to the former Mary Bourke from 1938 until their divorce in 1982, a year before his death. … Read More
1939 35 Years Old One surviving broadcast from 1939 has Godfrey unexpectedly turning on his microphone to harmonize with The Foursome's recording of "There'll Be Some Changes Made." … Read More
1942 38 Years Old In the autumn of 1942, he also became the announcer for Fred Allen's Texaco Star Theater show on the CBS network, but a personality conflict between Allen and Godfrey led to his early release from the show after only six weeks.


1945 41 Years Old Godfrey became nationally known in April 1945 when, as CBS's morning-radio man in Washington, he took the microphone for a live, firsthand account of President Roosevelt's funeral procession. … Read More
1947 43 Years Old In 1947, Godfrey had a surprise hit record with the novelty "Too Fat Polka (She's Too Fat For Me)" written by Ross MacLean and Arthur Richardson. … Read More
1948 44 Years Old In 1948, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts began to be simultaneously broadcast on radio and television, and by 1952, Arthur Godfrey Time also appeared on both media. … Read More
1949 45 Years Old In 1949, Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, a weekly informal variety show, began on CBS-TV in prime time. … Read More
1951 47 Years Old 1 More Event
…  LaRosa joined the cast in 1951 and became a favorite with Godfrey's immense audience, who also saw him on the prime-time weekly show Arthur Godfrey and his Friends. … Read More
On a memorable evening in 1953, up and coming New York TV personality Steve Allen was a last-minute replacement for Godfrey on Talent Scouts. … Read More


1959 55 Years Old 1 More Event
One of the medium's early master commercial pitchmen, he was strongly identified with many of his sponsors, especially Chesterfield cigarettes and Lipton Tea. Having advertised Chesterfield for many years, during which time he devised the slogan "Buy 'em by the carton", Godfrey terminated his relationship with the company after he quit smoking, five years before he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1959. … Read More


1972 68 Years Old …  The Godfrey show was the last daily longform entertainment program on American network radio when Godfrey and CBS agreed to end it in April 1972, when his 20-year contract with the network expired. … Read More
1979 75 Years Old He also made a cameo appearance in the 1979 B-movie Angels Revenge. … Read More
1981 77 Years Old …  A 1981 attempt to reconcile him with LaRosa for a Godfrey show reunion record album, bringing together Godfrey and a number of the "Little Godfreys," collapsed. … Read More
1983 80 Years Old …  He died of the condition at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on March 16, 1983 at the age of 79. … Read More
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