Stella Dallas (radio series)

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Stella Dallas
Running time15 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Syndicates NBC Radio
Starring Anne Elstner
Leo McCabe
Michael Fitzmaurice
Announcer Ford Bond
Frank Gallop
Howard Claney
Jimmy Wallington
Jack Costello
Roger Krupp
Created byOlive Higgins Prouty (original novel)
Written by Frank and Anne Hummert
Directed byErnest Ricca
Richard Leonard
Norman Sweetser
Produced by Frank and Anne Hummert
Original releaseOctober 25, 1937 – December 23, 1955
Opening theme"How Can I Leave Thee?"
Sponsored byBayer
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Stella Dallas was an America radio soap opera that ran from October 25, 1937, to December 23, 1955. [1] The New York Times described the title character as "the beautiful daughter of an impoverished farmhand who had married above her station in life." [2] She was played for the entire run of the series by Anne Elstner (1902–1982). Her husband Stephen Dallas was portrayed at various times by Leo McCabe, Arthur Hughes and Frederick Tazere. Initially, Joy Hathaway played Stella's daughter Laurel with Vivian Smolen later taking over the role. Laurel's husband was Dick Grosvenor (played by Carleton Young, Macdonald Carey, Spencer Bentley, George Lambert and Michael Fitzmaurice).


The series was created and produced by the husband and wife team of Frank and Anne Hummert, based on the 1923 novel Stella Dallas by Olive Higgins Prouty. The 15-minute drama began on October 25, 1937, as a local show on WEAF in New York City, [1] in the wake of the successful movie version starring Barbara Stanwyck, and it was picked up by the NBC Radio network beginning June 6, 1938, running weekday afternoons. [3]

The program's opening told the premise of the drama:

We give you now Stella Dallas, a continuation on the air of the true-to-life story of mother love and sacrifice, in which Stella Dallas saw her own beloved daughter, Laurel, marry into wealth and society and, realizing the differences in their tastes and worlds, went out of Laurel's life. [4]

The radio play inspired the name of the home furnishing store Stella Dallas in Dallas, Texas.[ citation needed ]

Non-acting personnel

Announcers for Stella Dallas were Ford Bond, Frank Gallop, Howard Claney, Jimmy Wallington, Jack Costello, and Roger Krupp. Directors included Ernest Ricca, Richard Leonard, and Norman Sweetser. [1]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp.  635-636. ISBN   978-0-19-507678-3 . Retrieved 2019-09-20. Stella Dallas, soap opera.
  2. Staff. "ANNE E. MATTHEWS, 85, ACTRESS; PORTRAYED STELLA DALLAS ON RADIO", The New York Times , January 16, 1981. Accessed November 11, 2015.
  3. "Save Our Stella", Metro Washington Old Time Radio Club.
  4. Luther F. Sies, Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920–1960, McFarland & Company, 2000, p. 554. ISBN   0-7864-0452-3.