Lonely Women

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Lonely Women
Muriel Bremner and Herb Butterfield Lonely Women 1943.jpg
Muriel Bremner and Herb Butterfield in Lonely Women (1943)
GenreSoap Opera
Running time15 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Starring Betty Lou Gerson
Barbara Luddy
Announcer Marvin Miller
Created by Irna Phillips
Written by Irna Phillips
Original releaseJune 29, 1942 (1942-06-29) – 1943 (1943)
Sponsored by General Mills

Lonely Women was a radio soap opera in the United States during World War II. It "told of women separated from their men by war." The 15-minute program, which was sponsored by General Mills, ran one season on NBC, with its first episode broadcast June 29, 1942." [1]

Radio broadcasting distribution of audio content to a dispersed audience via any audio mass communications medium

Radio broadcasting is transmission by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both. The signal types can be either analog audio or digital audio.

A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.



Lonely Women was conceived and written by Irna Phillips, [2] a prolific producer of radio soap operas. Her entry on the Jewish Women's Archive website notes her contributions to the genre as follows:

Irna Phillips American actress and writer

Irna Phillips was an American scriptwriter, screenwriter, casting agent and actress. Known by several publications as the "Queen of the Soaps", she is best known for creating, producing and writing several of the first American daytime radio and television soap operas. As a result of creating some of the best known series in the genre, including Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and Another World, Phillips is credited with creating and innovating a daytime serial format with programming geared specifically toward women. She was also a mentor to several other pioneers of the daytime soap opera, including Agnes Nixon and William J. Bell.

Working with a full-time secretary and staff of writers and researchers, Phillips produced five daytime serials during the early 1940s. Among her most popular radio soap operas were The Guiding Light , Woman in White, The Right to Happiness, Lonely Women, and The ‘New’ Today’s Children . Known for her trademark cliff-hangers, the use of organ music to create moods, and the “crossover” (when characters from one show appeared on another), she was among the first scriptwriters to utilize the amnesia victim and the murder trial. Shunning sensationalism, Phillips preferred to focus on real-life families as they coped with such socially significant issues as juvenile delinquency during World War II, the adjustments of returning war veterans, adultery, adoption, and divorce. In contrast with other radio soap operas, which typically endorsed traditional visions of domesticity and femininity, Phillips’s serials frequently conveyed the complexities of modern women’s choices. [3]

<i>Guiding Light</i> television series

Guiding Light is an American television soap opera. It is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running drama in television in American history, broadcast on CBS for 57 years from June 30, 1952, until September 18, 2009, overlapping a 19-year broadcast on radio from 1937 to 1956. With an uninterrupted 72 years of radio and television runs, Guiding Light is the longest running soap opera, ahead of General Hospital, and the fifth-longest running program in all of broadcast history; only the American country music radio program Grand Ole Opry, the BBC religious program The Daily Service (1928), the CBS religious program Music and the Spoken Word (1929), and the Norwegian children's radio program Lørdagsbarnetimen (1924-2010) have been on the air longer.

Today's Children was a name shared by two thematically related American radio soap operas created and written by Irna Phillips, the earliest of which was her first nationally networked series.


The show's main characters were Fifth Avenue model Marilyn Larimore (played by Betty Lou Gerson) and lovesick secretary Judith Clark (played by Barbara Luddy). Although the cast was originally all-female, men were added later." [1] Additional characters and the actor or actress who played the part were as follows: [4]

Betty Lou Gerson American actress

Betty Lou Gerson was an American actress, predominantly active in radio, but also in film and television, and as a voice actress. She is best known as the voice of the villainous, selfish socialite Cruella de Vil from Walt Disney's animated film, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) for which she was named a Disney Legend in 1996.

Barbara Luddy was an American actress from Great Falls, Montana. Her film career began with silent pictures in the 1920s, during which time she was also a prolific radio performer.

Mrs. Schultz Virginia Payne
NoraNanette Sargent
Judith EvansEileen Palmer
HelenFlorence Brower
PeggyHarriette Widmer
Mr. SchultzMurray Forbes
Bertha SchultzPatricia Dunlap
George BartlettReese Taylor
Jack Crandall Les Tremayne
Edith CrandallMuriel Bremner
Laura Richardson Kay Campbell
HenryCliff Soubier
Virginia MarshallEunice Topper
Mr. ConwayJohn Barclay
Judge Carter Colby Herb Butterfield
Mrs. Carter ColbyMuriel Bremner
John Murray Willard Waterman
Announcer Marvin Miller

See also

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  1. 1 2 Dunning, John (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN   0-13-932616-2, Pp. 371-372.
  2. Dunning, John (1976). Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall, Inc. ISBN   0-13-932616-2, P. 371.
  3. "Irna Phillips". Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  4. Buxton, Frank and Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920-1950. The Viking Press. SBN 670-16240-x. Pp. 144-145.