Command Performance Elizabeth Taylor Lux Radio Theater Obituary Old Time Radio

Elizabeth Taylor: Remembered in Radio

Too many of the current generation only know Elizabeth Taylor as a character from the tabloid covers. Truly her Hollywood lifestyle drew that type of attention, along with her eight marriages to seven different husbands (including Eddie Fisher). Perhaps a lady of her beauty and talent can be forgiven such excess.

Although this is a old time radio site and Ms. Taylor was a Movie Legend, please bear with us while we honor the passing of one of America’s great treasures. We would like to present some of the Radio work that Elizabeth Taylor left us.

Liz was born in London to American parents on Feb 27, 1932. She began in pictures at the tender age of nine. Her first great success came at the age of 12 when she landed a role in MGM’s National Velvet, released in Dec 1944. The success of the film changed Liz’s life forever. (The back problems that would plague her for the rest of her life can also be traced back to this time.) Ms. Taylor would reprise her role as Velvet Brown on Lux Radio Theater “National Velvet”  (Feb 3, 1947):

As a rising and pretty young star she of course got the call to appear on Command Performance to entertain the Troops. (March 8, 1945)

She did a series of Teen Romance pictures, including the role of Carol Pringle in A Date With Judy (1948). She earned a reputation as “One Shot Liz” for her ability to shoot a scene in one take.

She had a number of successful roles as a young adult, perhaps her most notorious was when she became the highest paid actress to date in 1960 for her portrayal of Cleopatra (1963). Not only was the picture itself notorious, but Liz became tabloid fodder for her romance with costar Richard Burton; both were married to other spouses at the time of the romance. Taylor and Burton would later marry each other. Twice.

Much of Elizabeth Taylor’s later life would be sprinkled with scandal and failing health. She was a vocal supporter of her friend Michael Jackson during his child abuse trial in California.

Ms. Taylor passed away on Mar 23, 2011, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA of congestive heart failure.

Good night Liz.

Atomic Radio Old Time Radio Science Fiction

Atomic Radio Asks Who is the Master, Technology, or Man?

A longtime theme of Science Fiction is the story of the Mad Scientist’s creation taking a will of its own, usually with tragic results. This happened in one of the earliest Science Fiction novels, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The theme took on Society wide implications in the Atomic Age.

The apprehension is understandable. There was to be countless wonders from Atomic Power, but all that the average person saw were pictures of mushroom clouds. Coupled with this lack of understanding was a lack of control. Should the world be vaporized in Atomic War, the average person would have little to do with it. The decision would be made in Washington, or worse, in the Kremlin.

In “The Life Boat Mutiny”, written by Robert Sheckley and performed on X Minus One, Sep 11, 1956, the question is explored in a rather humorous fashion.   A team buys an old lifeboat to use in a survey of a water covered planet. The automated lifeboat, when fully activated, sticks to its programming to protect its occupants at any cost. But those occupants weren’t supposed to be human…

Suspense had a more chilling interpretation of the theme in “The Doom Machine”, written by Edgar Marvin and broadcast Mar 4, 1962. A scientist is frustrated with the limitations of his Human Brain, so he creates a robot to aid in his work. He thinks that he has succeeded, the robot meets his expectations, but there are dangers with “the most advanced electronic brain ever devised.” The Machine kills on assistant while the Doctor is away. The Machine tries to warn the Doctor by telling him to listen to the audiovox tape, but the Doctor can’t be bothered, thinking the first assistant has quit. Instead he finds another Assistant that will be put in danger, this time the fiancĂ© of the Doctor’s daughter.