Sunday, March 3, 2024

Les Tremayne: Classic 1930's & 40's Radio, 1950 Cult Scence Fiction, and "Scobby-Doo"?

His face was familiar to fans of 1950's science fiction, but most couldn't put a name to it. While his voice was even more familiar from earlier than that decade, going back to the start of his radio career in 1930

The name in question was Lester "Les" Tremayne and he was born in Balham, London, England, on April 16, 1913. 

If Lester "Les" Tremayne never seemed to have a true "British accent", although he was born in the United Kingdom, that was because at the age of four, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, and in elementary school he was beaten-up by some bullies over sounding un-American. This led the boy to learn and master dialects that would become part of his future career. While, additionally, his mother had her very young son appearing in local community theater. 

The problem with many internet and newspaper biographies, is once somebody writes one about someone. That biography, either almost word for word, and in some cases word for word, is copied multiple times without giving the original biographer any credit, or expanding on it. Such was it with Les Tremayne's mother, British actress Dolly Tremayne. We know her name, but not her career or face. 

As for Lester's father, we do not know either his name, or his profession. However, we do know that he wasn't interested in his son even graduating high school. As in his obituary from the "Los Angeles Times", December 23, 2003, by Dennis McLellan, mentions that:

In 1927, after a year in high school, Tremayne’s father forced him to quit and go to work. 

What I also learned from the obituary was that Les Tremayne had a brother:

In addition to his wife of 23 years, he is survived by his brother, Charles Henning.

Implied is that Dolly Tremayne remarried, but was there a death, or divorce from Lester's father?

What we also know, is that at some point Les must have finished high school, because, according to Christopher H. Sterling, Emeritus Professor of Media and Public Affairs, Former Associate Dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, and Michael Keith's, in their 2004, "The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio". Les Tremayne studied "Greek drama", at "Northwestern University", and "Anthropology" at both "Columbia University", and the "University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)". Unfortunately, I could not locate the why behind those courses, although Greek drama makes some sense, or the when?

Returning to Dolly's tutelage of her son, as is mentioned on the website "Old Time Radio Catalogue", and word for word on many others;

With his mother's theatrical encouragement, he danced in Vaudeville, barked for carnies, and continued in community theater.


According to Les, in 1930 when he was seventeen, his girlfriend at the time, had spotted a ad for tryouts for radio at the downtown Chicago, Aragon Ballroom, and convinced him to go.

However, the company holding the event was charging $1.50 to get in. The would be $27.70 as of this writing. Not having the funds available, Les did what any American 17-years-old would do, he found a way to sneak in. The rest is radio history, as he would work for several different producers and radio stations until his big break came.

There was a major weekly radio program, "The First Nighter", it was a drama and comedy anthology series that was first heard on November 27, 1930 and would run through September 23, 1953. The first main acting team was Don Ameche, as "Mr. First Nighter", and June Meredith, in 1935, she was replaced by the future voice of Walt Disney's "Cruella de Vil", in 1961's, "One Hundred and One Dalmatians", Betty Lou Gerson. Both Gerson and Ameche left the program during the 1936 radio season and were replaced by Les Tremayne and Barbara Luddy, the voice of "Lady" in Walt Disney's, 1955, animated "Lady and the Tramp". The live audience saw the two dressed in formal evening dress for attending a Broadway play.

Les and Barbara would stay with the roles through 1943, and Luddy would be joined by Olan Soule to the program's cancellation. For those of my readers who might be interested, my article is "My Neighbors Actors Barbara Luddy and Kenneth Tobey", is at:

To give my readers unfamiliar with the power of radio drama in 1936, the following comes from the website, "", the "Queen" refers to "Ellery Queen":

The show's introduction was a memorable one, encompassing the usual Broadway sounds: automobile horns blaring, people gathering together,.... The fact that the show emanated from Chicago was beside the point. The show's host "Mr. First Nighter" would arrive at the theater just in time to be told: "Good evening, Mr. First Nighter, the usher will show you to your seat" (which was always 3rd row center). The host would then briefly reveal to the listeners the contents of the forthcoming play, its author and its cast. The orchestra would play a short prelude. There would be background murmuring of the audience, possibly a cough or two. Warning buzzers would sound. "Mr. First Nighter" would softly intone: "The house lights have dimmed... and the curtain is about to go up on tonight's production..." All done in the most professional and believable manner imaginable. You were THERE! Since The First Nighter Program was not only heard but viewed by a live audience, Luddy and Tremayne appeared before their microphones elegantly attired in evening clothes... to foster the illusion of attendance at a prime play-opening....

From 1940 through his divorce in 1944, Les Tremayne was married to Eileen Palmer, I could not any information other than the years about the marriage, or his first wife's background. Below is a posed publicity picture, taken on August 21, 1940, by Alfred "Al" Antony Monner for the Oregon Historical Society Library.

Les Tremayne was being heard on many different radio programs in the same week. The following are three of his major radio roles.

In December 1933, detective writer Dashiell Hammett latest novel, "The Thin Man", was released in magazine form. It was about the married couple of "Nick" and "Nora Charles". The characters came to radio on July 2, 1941, with Les Damon in the role of "Nick", and Claudia Morgan in the role of "Nora", she stayed in it for all nine-years of the programs run. However, the role of "Nick" changed actors several times and Les Tremayne portrayed him twice, 1945 - 1946, and 1948 - 1949.

Above, Les Tremayne and Claudia Morgan

In 1936, detective author Charles H. Huff as "Drexel Drake", created the detective, private investigator, and trouble shooter, "Michael Waring" aka: "The Falcon". Starting in 1941, George Sanders, followed by his own brother, Tom Conway, portrayed "Waring" on the movie screen. On April 10, 1943, the character came to radio, and was heard through November 27, 1954. Les Tremayne was heard as "Michael Waring", from 1947 through 1950.

In August and September of 1944, Les Tremayne had a short lives radio variety program with an unknown comic named Jackie Gleason. This program was called "The Les Tremayne and Jackie Gleason Show".


In the early 1940's, a pole of American radio listeners was taken and the power and recognition of Les Tremayne's radio voice was clearly illustrated. 

Voted the "Top Three Voices on Radio", where:

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Bing Crosby

Les Tremayne

In 1945, Les Tremayne married radio actress Alice Reinheart, they would remain married until their divorce in 1962.

Broadway called and on May 2, 1947, portraying the role of "Cornelius T. Sheldon", Les Tremayne was in the cast of the short run, only 35-performances, through May 31st, "Heads or Tails", at the"Cort Theatre".

On March 23, 1949, for 581-performances, until August 12, 1950, Les Tremayne opened on Broadway in the role of "Mr. Sims", in playwright Sidney Kingsley's, "Detective Story", at the "Hudson Theatre".

Also in 1949, Les Tremayne and his wife Alice Reinheart had an afternoon radio program, "The Tremaynes", on New York radio station "WOR".

There was a radio program, "One Man's Family", that was first heard on April 29, 1932, that would span 27-years in the family of "One Man, Stock Broker Henry Barbour", and ended on radio April 24, 1959, after 3,256 episodes. 

"One Man's Family" transferred a version of the radio program to early television on November 4, 1949. The program was marked as "Episode 1.1", and starting from that program, the television series would run until June 21, 1952. 

Les Tremayne would appear for his first time on-screen, the television screen, February 2, 1950, portraying "Mr. Herbert #1". What the plot was is unknown and this "Episode" is strangely listed as #1, of Season #1, in direct conflict with the November 1949 program number

Les Tremayne would be replaced by Walter Brooke, producer George Pal's, 1955, "Conquest of Space", in what became the regular role of "Bill Herbert", in "Episode 2", dated forty-nine days later on "March 23, 1950", without a known plot showing. 


Between April 23, 1950 and April 22, 2005, Les Tremayne portrayed, or voiced, according to the website "IMDb", 201 additional roles beyond "Herbert #1". That number is misleading when it comes to animation. We know for sure that Les Tremayne had "Voiced" 60 specific animated characters in 60 specific animated features, or cartoons. However, there were other animated voice roles that Les Tremayne performed. Like most voice actors, these programs do not list a specific role that he provided a voice, but indicate that Les Tremayne voiced, "Additional Voices". Meaning, if we knew how many on each series, his total roles would have increased beyond 202.

As a result I will be choosing several examples of Lester "Les" Tremayne's motion picture and television work to illustrate his career as I did with his radio performances.

Les Tremayne's first motion picture appearance was in the 1950 film-noir, "The Racket", starring Robert Mitchum, Lizbeth Scott, and Robert Ryan, with eleventh-billing as "Harry Craig". He followed that feature with the Jane Wyman, all-star-cast, 1951 tear-jerker, "The Blue Veil", with fifteenth-billing as "Joplin". The actor moved up to six-billing portraying "Army Colonel Daniels", below, in the Donald O'Connor and Lori Nelson, 1952, "Francis Goes to West Point", featuring Chill Wills' uncredited voice for "Francis the Talking Mule". 

The actor next appeared in a forgotten comedy starring Irene Dunne, in the last motion picture of her career that started in 1930, 1952's, "It Grows on Trees". 

However, it was Les Tremayne's next feature film that was the first of eight, two of which my reader may not know he was in, 1950's science fiction motion pictures that has given the actor cult status. 

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS premiered in Los Angeles on February 20, 1953

For those of my readers interested in all the works by Herbert George "H.G." Wells on the motion picture screen. My article is "H.G. WELLS On The Motion Picture and Television Screens", found at:

From the above linked article:

The story was first serialized in the U.K. 1897 in "Pearson's Magazine" and the same year by "Cosmopolitan" in the United States. The first published edition was in 1898.
The Martian Invasion takes place in 1901 and the story revolves around a man looking for his wife. As the Martian Tripods conquer the Earth. The opening of the story reads:
Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

The Martians are not stopped by man and his machines, but by "Earth Pathogens", simple bacteria that humans were immune too, but the invaders were not. Wells writes they were:

slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth
 Depending upon whom you speak to, the plot has been interpreted as a commentary on evolutionary theory, British Imperialism, or just Victorian fears and prejudices. The author always stated, though, that the plot came from a discussion with his brother Frank. The subject was the impact of the British upon Tasmania, or British Imperialism.

The plot focuses upon two brothers one located in Surrey and the other London. The book is divided into two sections "The Coming of the Martians" and "The Earth Under the Martians".

The 1953 motion picture was produced by George Pal, whose 1950, "Destination Moon", was a major box office hit and, like this feature film, has reached cult science fiction status. My article on the producer is "A FAN REMEMBERS GEORGE PAL: From 'Puppetoons' to 'Doc Savage, Man of Bronze", at:

Above, George Pal on the set for "Destination Moon".

"The War of the Worlds" was directed by Byron Haskin. Haskin had started out in Special Effects for motion pictures like Errol Flynn's 1940"The Sea Hawk". After directing "The War of the Worlds", Byron Haskin would direct George Pal's, 1954, "The Naked Jungle" starring Charlton Heston and 1955's, "Conquest of Space", featuring unknowns Eric Fleming and Ross Martin. For Walt Disney he had directed the 1950's classic, "Treasure Island", starring Robert Newton.

The excellent and very tightly written 85-minute screenplay was by Barre Lyndon (actually Alfred Edgar). Lyndon wrote the screenplay for the 1944 version of Marie Belloc Lowndes novel, "The Lodger". One of the best "Jack the Ripper" movies. Along with Cecil B. DeMille's, 1952, "The Greatest Show on Earth", 1954's "The Sign o the Pagan" starring Jack Palance as "Attila the Hun" and George Pal's "Conquest of Space". I could not locate a photo of Lyndon under either of his names.

The Four Main Cast Members:

Gene Barry portrayed "Dr. Clayton Forrester". Barry had just been seen in the underrated spy crime movie, 1952's, "The Atomic City", he would follow this feature film with the forgotten comedy romance, 1953's, "The Girls of Pleasure Island". However, his career would change direction, when in 1958, he starred in the television western series, "Bat Masterson", through 1961. He also appeared as the Revenue Agent after Robert Mitchum's moonshiner in the classic 1958 movie "Thunder Road" with singer Keely Smith.

Ann Robinson portrayed "Sylvia Van Buren". Robinson's previous eleven-roles were all without credit. After this motion picture, which propelled the actress to science fiction cult status, she returned to an uncredited film role. However, Ann Robinson added to her science fiction cult status by appearing as both the good, "Queen Juliandra", and her evil twin, "Noviandra", in six-1954-episodes of the television science fiction series, "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger".

Les Tremayne portrayed "Army Major General Mann". Tremayne followed this feature film with the romantic comedy, 1953's, "I Love Melvin", starring Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds, purposely re-teaming them after the success of the 1952 musical, "Singin' in the Rain". Les Tremayne was six-billed portraying "Mr. Henneman".

Robert Cornthwaite billed as Bob Cornthwaite portrayed "Dr. Pryor". Cornthwaite is known for another classic science fiction motion picture, Howard Hawks', 1951, "The Thing from Another World", portraying "Dr. Carrington". He had just been seen in Hawk's, classic 1952, comedy, "Monkey Business", starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rodgers, and Marilyn Monroe, portraying "Dr. Zoldek". He followed this feature film by appearing mainly on television.

Above, "Bob" Cornthwaite and Frank Krieg portraying "Forest Ranger Fiddler Hawkins".

The following is a reworking from my H.G. Wells article linked above to expand my look at Les Tremayne.

The motion picture opens with images from both World Wars and then moves to images of Mars. There is a voice over by Sir Cedric Hardwicke with those exact words written by H.G. Wells to start his story. Lyndon uses Hardwicke as the narrator of the novel and at specific points in the screenplay he is heard again. At the conclusion Barre Lyndon goes back to Wells' closing words.

The plot was moved from 1901 London, England to 1953 Southern California and begins in the small town of "Linda Rosa". The name was that of an actual 1850's mining community located in, the then, San Diego  county, but was torn down decades later. The location at the time of this movie put it in Riverside county.

The citizens leave the only movie house in their very small town. It is showing Cecil B. DeMile's 1949"Samson and Delliah" and the townspeople see what appears to be a meteor crash. They comment that the crash is almost to Pomona. Another actual city location used in the screenplay to audiences familiar with that small community as a location for the action that is to follow.

The meteor has started a small fire which is put out by the Forest Service and local residents. Forest Ranger "Fiddler Hawkins" is sent to find a small group of scientists from "Pacific Tech", think "Cal Tech", who are fishing. One of them "Dr. Clayton Forester", who decides to stay and see the meteor.

Arriving at the meteor crash site the following morning. Residents of "Linda Rosa" are arguing over making the area a tourist attraction for money for the town versus a picnic area.

"Dr. Clayton Forrester" arrives in the background and as he walks from his car, "Sylvia Van Buren" stops next to him without recognizing the scientist. Whom she is aware of from magazine and newspaper articles. "Sylvia" starts to run at the mouth about the scientist. How he's working on the new rocket engine, that she wrote her master's thesis about him, and then becoming embarrassed. Finds out that he's the man she's been talking about. Her explanation for no recognizing him, is that he wasn't wearing glasses on the cover of "Time Magazine".

"Forrester" observes the meteor, makes a comment that it seems very light, almost as if it's hollow. After the two introduce themselves to each other. The sheriff hears a ticking coming from "Forrester's" car. It's from a Geiger counter and "Dr. Forrester" suggests that the sheriff keep people away from the meteor until it cools down and a three man guard is placed.

After being introduced to "Sylvia's" uncle "Paster Dr. Matthew Collins", portrayed  by Lewis  Martin, and invited to stay at their home. The film switches to a square dance party in town.

Switch again, to the three men at the meteor as they prepare to leave, because no new fires have started. Suddenly they hear a sound and the top of the meteor starts to unscrew. Out  of the meteor's top comes a snake like head and the three men, who have guessed it came from Mars as that planet is nearest the Earth at this time, attempt with a white flag to welcome the visitors to Earth.

The Martians fire a ray cremating the three men, magnetizing everything in "Linda Rosa", setting the surrounding countryside on fire and starting "The War of the Worlds".

"The California National Guard" is called in and they set up defenses around the meteor. Regular Army, "Major General Mann", arrives to take command of the guard and overly confident that the guard can stop the enemy.

The movie is highly imaginative. The problem facing 1953 Special Effects were the Tripods of H.G. Wells' novel. George Pal had his crew look into doing them, but it wouldn't work. Getting with screenplay writer Barre Lyndon the problem was solved. The Martian machines would appear to be flying machines, but in actuality there are invisible magnetic legs holding the Martian war machines up and moving them. Look to the left under the machine in the following photo.

Out of the meteor comes three war machines that engage the "National Guard" and when threatened by defensive weapons, the Martian's inside each, throws a protective blister over the machine. Below the Martian war machines with their protective blister. 

The audience next sees the defeat of the California National Guard. Along with the death of "Uncle Matthew", who had told "Sylvia" that he likes "Dr. Foresters", then holding the Bible had attempted to communicate with the still unseen Martians. 

"Clayton" and "Sylvia" escape death in an Army Piper Cub and fly over the, 1953, rolling hills of Corona. The plane is forced to crash land and the two take refuge in an abandoned farm house. Everything seems fine for them until the Martians cylinders start to crash around the farm house. This will lead to observations of the two humans by the Martians.

Note the working of those invisible  legs in the following clip.

'Sylvia" is confronted by a Martian spy eye. It will be chopped off by "Clayton". Again note the use of three separate lenses in the eye.

Next "Sylvia" meets a Martian which will lead to the two getting a sample of the invaders blood.

Above the Martian, with its three lens single eye, reacts to direct light.

Barre Lyndon's screenplay now does a montage of different cities around the globe under attack by the Martians. Cedrick Hardwickes voice is again used for narration of the worldwide attack and there is a mention of the significance of the British Isles. A tribute to the source material.

"Clayton" and "Slyvia" make in back to "Pacific Tech". "Major General Mann" arrives, explains that each meteor contains three Martian war machines, three meteors fall near each other to form a group, two more groups of Martians fall to form a triangle and that formation moves together against an objective. The plan is to drop an Atomic bomb on the original landing site and the original group of war machines. He then leaves to go to the drop zone being set up for the bomb.

After "Major General Mann" leaves, the Martian Spy lenses are attached to a machine and the scientists and audience see how the invaders see us.

Next, the scientists go out to the safety point for the bomb. 


Then the atomic bomb is dropped without effect on the Martian War Machines. The Martians have use their protective blister and continue the destruction of the military troops facing them.

The climax has the Martians destroying Los Angeles, but before that occurs an attempt to evacuate the city takes places. The "Pacific Tech" scientists load a school bus with people and equipment driven by "Sylvia". "Clayton" loads a truck and while attempting to leave, becomes attacked by looters. Recovering from his beating, discovers that the school bus never made it out of Los Angeles either.

"Forrester" is offered a lift out of Los Angeles by two MP's, but refuses. He now goes in search of "Sylvia" as the Martians move into the city.

Knowing "Sylvia's" strong faith, "Clayton" searches the churches and finds her. Suddenly the sounds of the Martian rays stop and something large crashes into the side of the church building and silence follows. The people leave the church and watch a war machine crash and a door on the underside opens. A Martian arm comes out, stops, and turns silver, as "Dr. Clayton Forrester" is looking inside.

The film cuts to another worldwide montage as the Martian war machines crash.

Over the endings worldwide montage. Cedric Hardwicke is again heard reading the closing lines I mentioned above from the novel.

Following fighting "The War of the Worlds", was the Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, and Walter Pidgeon, romantic comedy, "Dream Wife", Les Tremayne was becoming an on-screen supporting actor, when he was seen. 

However, he could not escape his radio background and his fourth 1953 feature was "Tarzan and the She Devil", starring Lex Barker, Joyce MacKenzie, and Raymond Burr. My reader can watch the picture multiple times and never see the actor, because it was his voice that only was required for the opening narration.

1954 started out with the motion picture version of a highly successful Broadway play starring Dick Powell, Debbie Reynolds, and Ann Francis. A combination of drama, music, and romantic comedy, "Susan Slept Here". 

The set up, has Les Tremayne portraying Powell's playwright, "Mark Cristopher's" lawyer, "Harvey Butterworth". Who has to get him out of a situation the develops after a vice-cop friend brings "Mark" 17-years-old runaway, "Susan Beauregard Landis", Reynolds, rather than put her in a jail cell. This leads to "Susan" staying longer than one night and enraging "Mark's" longtime fiancée, "Isabella Alexander", Francis. 

Above, Dick Powell, Les Tremayne, and Alvy Moore portraying "Virgil".

On April 6, 1955, after appearing in the Richard Todd and Jean Peters biographical motion picture, 1955's, "A Man Called Peter", about the life of United States Senate chaplain the Reverend Peter Marshall. Les Tremayne was in a television episode of the radio and motion picture mystery series, "The Whistler", entitled "The Man Who Ran", portraying the title character of "Arthur Winslowe". Which would be followed by three other television appearances and one forgotten motion picture, bringing me to a second science fiction motion picture.

FORBIDDEN PLANET opened as a limited United States release on March 23, 1956

WHAT? You don't remember seeing Les Tremayne in this classic science fiction movie? You're correct, you don't see him, you hear him narrate the film's opening:
In the final decade of the 21st Century, men and women in rocket ships landed on the moon. By 2200 A.D., they had reached the other planets of our solar system. Almost at once there followed the discovery of hyperdrive through which the speed of light was first obtained and later greatly surpassed.

Keeping his voice active, the actor's next work was narrating the trailer for the Ava Gardner and
Stewart Granger, 1956, adventure drama set during the British withdrawal from India, "Bhowani Junction".

Les Tremayne next narrated a low budget motion picture building on the "sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects" during the early 1950's. 

The following in modified from my article about the real investigations by the United States Air Force, "FLYING SAUCERS: U.S. Air Force Project 1794 and as Seen in 1950's Science Fiction Motion Pictures", found at:


The motion picture begins with the following statement spoken by Les Tremayne:
Many times, in the history of our civilization the introduction of a new thought has brought skepticism, even ridicule. Despite this, there always has remained the duty and inalienable right to tell the people the truth. The Motion Picture you are about to see is true. It is not fiction. Much of the information in it has never been told. You will see it here for the first time.
Apparently in 1952, Hollywood Producer Clarence Greene saw a UFO and reported it to U.S. Air Force public information officer Albert M. Chop, in charge of handling all UFO inquiries. In their conversation, Chop informed Greene about actual filmed footage of these Unidentified Flying Objects. Intrigued, Clarene Greene acquired the film footage and decided to make a documentary that resulted in this motion picture. While Greene's feature was being put together, Albert Chop became the public relations officer for "Project Blue Book".

With actual footage and recreations of actual events, the motion picture looked at Kenneth Arnold and his 1947 sighting, and the August 1950, "Mariana UFO Incident", in Great Falls Montana. Which had resulted in what was believed to be the first filmed footage of a UFO, but the U.S. Air Force stated it was only a reflection between two F-94 fighter jets. This semi-documentary also looked at "Project Sign" and concludes with the 1952, "Washington D.C., UFO Incident". A series of publicized UFO sightings that took place over two weekends, July 19-20, 1952, and July 26-27, 1952. The news media did their thing and one account called them "The Invasion of Washington".

After narrating "Unidentified Flying Objects", Les Tremayne appeared on six television programs into 1957 including both "The Red Skelton Show", and "The Danny Thomas Show". He also had major supporting roles in two motion pictures. 

Above, a lobby card from "The Unguarded Moment" showing Les Tremayne, Esther Williams, and John Saxon. Below, a poster for "Everything But the Truth", note Les Tremayne's name is shown in fifth position.

Unless you're an extreme 1950's science fiction fan, or were addicted to that decades science fiction as either a pre-teen, or teenager at the time, more than likely you never heard of Les Tremayne's next feature film.

THE MONOLITH MONSTERS released initially in the United Kingdom on December 8, 1957. The picture would be released in the United States ten-days later.

The motion picture was from a story by Jack Arnold, among his directed motion pictures for "Universal International" are, 1953's, "It Came from Outer Space", 1954's, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", and 1955's, "This Island Earth". My article is "Jack Arnold 'It Came from Outer Space' to 'The Mouse That Roared': His 1950's Films", at:

The motion picture was directed by John Sherwood, who was primarily a Second-Unit Director on 65-motion pictures since 1936. As a primary director this was Sherwood's fifth of five, two of which were short subjects, but the motion picture prior to this feature was the final installment of Jack Arnold's, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" trilogy, 1956's, "The Creature Walks Among Us". My reader can take a look at that trilogy at:

Grant Williams portrayed "Federal Geologist Dave Miller". Williams last feature film was the Jack Arnold directed 1957, "The Incredible Shrinking Man", from a screenplay by the novels author, Richard Matheson. From 1960 - 1963, he was co-starring portraying "Greg MacKenzie" on televisions "Hawaiian Eye".

Lola Albright portrayed "School Teacher Cathy Barrett". From 1958 - 1961, she portrayed "Edie Hart" on televisions "Peter Gunn".

Les Tremayne portrayed "Newspaper Publisher Martin Cochrane". Tremayne must have had a touch of n nostalgia when he followed this motion picture with the episode, "The Dead Giveaway", December 13, 1957, on televisions "The Thin Man", starring Peter Lawford and Phylliss Kirk as "Nick and Nora Charles".

Above, Les Tremayne with Phil Harvey portraying "Federal Geologist Ben Gilbert".

A meteorite crashes in the desert and splinters into rock fragments. "Federal Geologist Ben Gilbert" stops his car near the splitters to ad water to his overheating radiator.

Before he fills his radiator, "Ben" takes a sample of the strange looking rocks. Then fills the radiator, but some of the water drops onto the rocks. As he drives away, unseen by "Ben", a chemical reaction starts.

"Ben" now returns to the geological office in the California desert town of San Angelo. There, the towns newspaper publisher, "Martin Cochrane", enters the office looking for any story to break the doldrums of everyday life in sleepy San Angelo. The two men examine the black rock that "Ben" states might have come from a meteorite and after a short discussion, "Martin" take a photo and leaves. 

Later during the night, a strong wing comes through an open window and blows over a container of water covering the meteorite sample and the water starts a chemical reaction.

The next morning, "Federal Head Geologist Dave Miller" returns to San Angelo from a business trip. He enters the office and sees "Ben" standing in the doorway to the lab, but not reacting to "Dave's" hello.

Moving past "Ben","Dave" discovers that the other appears to have been turned to stone.

Adding to the mystery, is that the lab has been destroyed and there are meteorite fragments all over the room. 

While out on the desert school teacher "Cathy Barrett" has her class on a field trip.

She instructs her young students to stay close to the car and while looking around, "Ginny Simpson", portrayed by Linda Scheley, finds some interesting black rocks to take home, but is told she can only take one.

"Ginny" is dropped off at her home and her mother doesn't want a dirty rock in the house. 

"Ginny" goes to the side of the house and in a tub full of water starts to wash off the meteorite fragment, but is called inside for dinner as the water starts a chemical reaction with the rock.

"Martin" returns to the "Geological Office" with "Dave" and recognizes that the piles of  black rocks look the same as the one"Ben" showed him. Just then, "Cathy" comes in and recognizes the rocks as the one "Ginny Simpson" took with her. The three walk over to the office of "Dr. E. J. Reynolds", portrayed by Richard Cutting, and wait for the results of the autopsy and our joined by "Police Chief Dan Corey", portrayed by William Flaherty. "Corey" gets into an argument with "Martin" over what happened, the police chief says it looks like an explosion, but the newspaper man says there were no burns on "Ben's" body and how does he explain all the black rocks? "Dr. Reynolds" comes out and tells them that all of "Ben's" organs, as with his general body, seem to have turned to stone.

"Dr. E. J. Reynolds" wants to send "Ben's" body to a specialist, "Dr. Steve Hendricks", portrayed by Harry Jackson, at the "California Medical Research Institute" in Los Angeles. "Dave" and "Cathy' now drive out to the "Simpson" house and find it in ruins, "Ginny's" parents dead, turned to stone, and "Ginny" in a catatonic state with her arm turning to stone.

Back in San Angelo, "Dr. Reynolds" examines "Ginny Simpson".

"Dr. Reynolds" cannot do anything and for. "Ginny", and she is rushed to "Dr. Hendricks" in Los Angeles and placed in an iron lung. "Steve" tells "Dave" and "Cathy", who have come to the institute, that he has administered a silicon solution in an attempt to slow down the change in "Ginny's" arm. At the same time, "Dave" goes to his old college teacher, "Professor Arthur Flanders", portrayed by Trevor Bardette, who examines the meteoric fragment. "Flanders" returns with "Dave" to San Angelo, stopping first at the sight of the initial meteor crash.

While "Cathy" remains in Los Angeles, a group including "Police Chief Corey" and "Martin Cochrane" go out to the "Simpson" house to look around.

"Professor Flanders" discovers that the soil appears not to have silicon in it. Back in San Angelo, "Dr. Reynolds" tells "Dave" and "Martin" that it is presumed that one function of silicon is to keep the body flexible, remove it, and you have "Ben's" condition and what is happening to "Ginny Simpson". 

In the cleaned-up lab, the professor and "Dave" are stumped over how the meteorites multiply."Martin" questions "Dave" about what they're attempting to do to stop the rocks, but at that moment no one knows why the meteorites multiply. 

A piece of the meteorite falls into the sink and lays there until some coffee is spilled into the sink and the chemical reaction takes place.

It's now obvious that water causes the change to the meteorite and the growth. However, it stops growing when "Dr. Hendrick's" silicon solution is poured on it, but why? Meanwhile, it is raining and the meteorites are growing to monolithic proportions and the weight of each monolith causes it to fall over breaking into other pieces and they start the growing cycle again. That cycle is slowly moving the monoliths in the direction of San Angelo.

Next people living outside of the town are arriving at "Dr. Reynold's" office with different stages of turning to stone. 

"Dave", "Martin", and "Reynold's" explain the situation to "Police Chief Corey", who contacts the governor's office and plans the evacuation of San Angelo. "Martin" prints an evacuation notice to have the local newspaper delivery kids take out to everyone on their routes.

"Cathy" calls "Dave" to tell him that "Ginny" has fully recovered from the silicon treatments of "Dr. Henricks" and she is on her way back to San Angelo. Next, "Dave" realizes there is something in that silicon solution that could stop the monoliths, but again what? "Dave" and "Professor Flanders" test bits of the meteorite to stop the growth process, but without the wanted result. 

The rain has stopped and it appears so has the monolith movement. "Cathy' returns, but reports are received that the monoliths are moving once more and the "Professor" and "Dave" believe the meteorite monoliths are absorbing the moisture in the ground.

Finally, "Dave" and the "Professor" figure out that it isn't the entire solution, but the saline used to hold it together. 

"Dave" outlines a plan to blow up a local damn letting the water run over the salt flats outside of San Angelo blocking and destroying the "Monolith Monsters".

The problem is now the plan must be approved by the governor, who cannot be reached, because the mine is on private property. "Dave" acts without the governor's approval and with help blows up the dam, sweeping the mine and salt flats away, destroying the monoliths and saving the city. Of course word from the governor arrives not to blow up the dam----unless "Dave" was absolutely certain of success,

As I mentioned above, it was back to television for Les Tremayne and viewers of "The Boob Tube" may not have known his name when he appeared in 1958, on "The Jack Benny Program", twice on "Bachelor Father", and for his fourth time since 1955 on the forgotten television anthology drama series, "Matinee Theatre", but enjoyed his performances.

Then it back to only hearing his voice as the "Count Down Narrator", in the Joseph Cotton, George Sanders, and Debra Paget, 1958, version of French author Jules Verne's, "From the Earth to the Moon", directed by Bryan Haskin.

Next, the actor portrayed "Army Colonel Leland", in the 1958, romantic comedy, "The Perfect Furlough", starring Tony Curtis and his wife Janet Leigh, directed by Blake Edwards. The poster shown below, has Les Tremayne in fifth-position. While the official cast listing shows the actor in seventh-position. Thus was the billing of anyone other than a film's stars.

The following main cast lobby card has Les Tremayne second from the left.

Overall, 1958 was a very good year for the actor, and continuing with his television appearances. Starting on February 14, 1958, Les Tremayne portrayed "Cavalry Major Stone", for eight reoccurring episodes of televisions "The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin", through March 6, 1959.

Next is a frequently asked question on line that I discovered, how many times was Les Tremayne on "Perry Mason"? He started on April 5, 1958, Les Treymane portraying "Frederic Archer III", in "The Case of the Hesitant Hostess", the first of his eight different roles through April 3, 1966, that found the actor portraying "Harry Lannon" in "The Case of the Unwelcome Well".

While on September 26, 1958, the actor first appeared as "Inspector Queen", in "The Glass Village", episode one, of the one season, "The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen", starring George Nader as detective "Ellery Queen". Les Tremayne appeared in the role for 19-times out of the first 22-episodes of the 32-episode show. His last appearance was in "The Chemistry Set", March 6, 1959.

Some reviews called the movie science fiction, some call it horror, and others science fiction-horror. Whatever you want to classify the movie, it is still:

THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS the premiered in Los Angels on April 22, 1959

As the story goes, this movie monster owes its life to "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", "The Mole People", and "This Island Earth". 

This film's producer, Jack Kevan, had help construct the costume for "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", designed by Millicent Patrick, but like her. Both were uncredited in the make-up department under always credited for others work, Bud Westmore. 

Between 1939 and 1959, Jack Kerwin was an uncredited make-up artist for 34-motion pictures. This was his only credit as a producer, and he does have credit for the special effects in 1957's, "The Land Unknown".

While this monster's torso only resembles "The Creature from the Black Lagoon's" body. Jack Keven was able to use the existing molds from two "Universal International Pictures" monsters that he had worked on. The hands were those of "The Mole People", and his new monsters feet were the same as the feet of the "Metaluna Mutant" from "This Island Earth".

Above, Pete Dunn portraying the monster, he also portrayed "Eddie".

The  director was Irvin Berwick, who from 1945 through 1969, was an uncredited dialogue coach at both "Columbia Pictures" and "Universal International Pictures". Between this 1959 motion picture and 1979, he would direct only eight motion pictures. 

Les Tremayne portrayed "Dr. Sam Jorgenson". He would follow this horror movie by narrating the trailer for the 1959 Deborah Kerr motion picture, "Count Your Blessings", and had a role in the Bing Crosby, Debbie Reynolds, and Robert Wagner, 1959 musical, "Say One for Me".

Above, Les Tremayne, Forrest Lewis portraying "Constable George Matson", and Frank Arvidson portraying "Kochek the Storekeeper".

Above, John Harmon portraying "Sturges the Lighthouse Keeper", and Jeanne Carmen portraying his daughter, "Lucille (Lucy)". Below, Jeanne Carmen with Don Sullivan portraying "Fred".

The plot for this 73-minute movie has superstitious lighthouse keeper "Sturges" feeding a sea monster for the last ten-years to keep it away from his daughter. Eventually he warns the townspeople of Piedras Blancas about the sea monster, but they ignore him as just being strange. That is until the sea monster develops a strong thirst for food and a growing amount of bodies, many decapitated, start showing up on the beach near the light house. A local scientist, "Dr. Jorgenson, believes that "The Monster of Piedras Blancas" is a prehistoric amphibian that somehow has survived. 

The climax comes as "Constable Matson" organizes a group to go to the light house to confront "Sturges", as they have finally figured out he is connected to the monster. While curious "Lucy" finds herself facing the monster and her father tries to stop it with a shot gun.

As "Constable Matson", "Dr. Jorgenson", and others watch from the beach, "Fred" goes inside the light house. Next, "Matson's" group watches the monster kill "Sturges" on the outside platform around the tower's light. The monster starts to go for "Fred", he yells to "Lucy" to turn that light on, which blinds the monster, "Fred" pushes it off the platform to its death. The film ends with "Lucy" and "Fred" kissing.

On July 1, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois, director Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" premiered. In the auction section of the movie, Les Tremayne portrayed the auctioneer.

In 1953, Les Tremayne battled invading Martians, and now he was the invader.

THE ANGRY RED PLANET premiered in Los Angeles on November 23, 1959

When the picture opened in Los Angeles, I don't remember the theater, on a local television station, either KTLA, or KCOP, "American International Pictures" actually had a red carpet premier with grandstands for viewers and the arrival of the stars of the feature with interviews. I watched it on television as a 13-years-old kid.

The motion picture was co-produced and directed by Ib Melchior, who was a recognized name from televisions early years of science fiction, with "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" (1950 - 1955). For those who are unfamiliar with his name, my article is "Ib Melchior: Office of Strategic Service to 'The Angry Red Planet", for your reading enjoyment at:

The story was by Ib Melchoir's business partner, producer, Sid Pink. Who had started producing movies with the first feature length 3-D motion picture, 1952's, "Bwana Devil". Pink worked with his partner on 1961's, "Reptilicus", both the original Danish version and the changed American, and on 1962's, "Journey to the 7th Planet", that Sid Pink directed along with the previous motion picture.

Melchior and Pink were given major budget restriction by Sino Productions, but I could not locate any information on the company. Other than they made only this one motion picture

There is listed, two other producers, Norman Maurer, and, Lou Perlof. Who had both worked technically in different aspects, but not produced, 1957's, "Space Master X-7". 

The known budget for "The Angry Red Planet" was only $250,000, as of the writing, equal to $2,649,630.58. However, there is an unconfirmed rumor that the budget was doubled to $500,00, as of this writing, equal to $5,299,261.17.

What that budget did, was to force Melchior and Pink to create "CineMagic". According to Sid Pink, the process was a combination of hand drawn pictures with live action. In a March 31, 2005, interview with Pink by David C. Hayes, published on the website, "The Wayback Machine":

Sid Pink is quoted as saying:
the damn Cinemagic didn't work like it should. It was supposed to be sort of a 3-D effect. What we came up with was great anyway

Gerald Mohr portrayed "Air Force Colonel Tom O'Bannion". Mohr had been in another gimmick motion picture, the 1957 horror thriller, "My World Dies Screaming" aka: "Terror in the Haunted House". It was marketed as being filmed in "PsychoRama", that supposedly used terrifying subliminal imagery on the audience. My article is "GERALD MOHR: Radio, 'B' Movie and Television Character Actor" at:

Nora Hayden portrayed "Dr. Iris 'Irish' Hayden". Prior to this motion picture, Nora Hayden was making the 1959 television rounds with one-shot appearances in a row starting with "Ricard Diamond, Private Detective", "The Thin Man", "77 Sunset Strip", and "Not For Hire". She followed this feature going back to television with 1959's, "Mr. Lucky" and "New York Confidential".

Les Tremayne portrayed "Professor Theodore Gettell". After two television series appearances, Les Tremayne had six-position on the official cast listing for the 1960, James Cagney biography of "Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr", portraying "Navy Captain Frank Enright".

Jack Kruschen portrayed "Navy Chief Warrant Officer Sam Jacobs". In 1953, Kruschen portrayed "Salvatore", one of the men with the white flag in "The War of the Worlds". In 1958, the character actor appeared in the authorized remake of Cecil B. DeMille's, 1938, "The Buccaneer", starring Yul Bruner and Charlton Heston. After which, between that movie and this one, he appeared in 13-individual television episodes on 11-television programs.

The following has been modified and comes from my article about Gerald Mohr.

The story opens with the first space ship to Mars being manually returned to Earth and the discovery that "Jacobs" is missing, The military find "Professor Gettell" dead in the craft and "Dr. Ryan" is in a state of shock. However, it is a strange growth on the arm of "Colonel O'Bannon" that puzzles the medical doctors. As he is deathly ill and non-responsive.

The Angry Red Planet (1959)

"Dr. Ryan" comes out of our shock, but can't remember what happened on Mars. It is decided to give her a new type of drug to permit "Iris Ryan" to remember, but it will cause hallucinations of what she thinks she might have seen.

At this point the motion picture is not in "CineMagic". That process is used only when the space craft's crew is actually on the Martian soil. 

Above "Dr. Ryan" is given the drug and the explanation begins. Below the ship blasts off for Mars and the crew goes through their daily and somewhat boring, especially to "CWO Jacobs", routine.


Once they land on Mars from a view port they can see plant life, but nothing appears to be moving, or indicate some form of living Martian life.

Nora Hayden and Gerald Mohr in The Angry Red Planet (1959)

It is decided to leave the craft and suddenly "Cinemagic" kicks in.

 Immediately "Dr. Ryan" is attacked by a carnivorous plant and it is frozen with a ray gun.

"Cinemagic" is a combination of cheap special effects with the silent motion picture technique of  tinting each still to change black and white photography into color. As crude as this sounds. It was fun and worked as a 1950's gimmick. I would point out that the big budgeted 2000 Gary Sinise "Mission to Mars" directed by Brian de Palma used the same technique.

The four explorers move further into the jungle of Mars and discover a group of trees. Taking out a machete to get a sample of the wood the tree lets out a scream. This is one of those great ideas from Ib Melchior that was seen in too short a sequence. I give my reader unfamiliar with "The Angry Red Planet" the RAT-PAT-SPIDER.


Above as seen in the motion picture and below in a clear black and white the still. The RAT-BAT-SPIDER is blinded by the freeze ray gun and the four space travelers escape to their spaceship.

The crew believe some unknown force is controlling the animal and plant life and will not let them leave the planet. They have seen what appears to be a Martian city across a lake and decide to explore it.

While rowing across the lake their way is blocked by a giant Amoeba creature. It attacks and kills "CWO Jacobs" by absorbing him into it. The creature follows the three remaining explorers back to their ship and surrounds it.

An electrical charge is shot through the space craft's hull and it drives off the Amoeba, but to do it modifications to the electrical system had to be made.The three still cannot take off and looking out a view port "Dr. Ryan" screams at a Martian face and them blacks out/

When she recovers from the shock. The space ship is returning to the Earth, but two things happen. The first is "Professor Gettell" dies from an apparent heart attack caused by the stress..

Then it is discovered that "Colonel O'Bannon" has an growth on his arm from the Amoeba. The story returns to the present and from the information about the electricity driving the Amoeba from the space craft "O'Bannon" is cured. Lastly, all the recordings made on the flight have been erased except a message from the inhabitants of Mars to stay away.

Gerald Mohr in The Angry Red Planet (1959)

Next, Les Tremayne was seen in his first of three episodes through 1964, on televisions "Wagon Train", "The Maggie Hamilton Story", April 6, 1960. 

Two months after "Wagon Train", Les Tremayne found himself in  the "Hollywood Version" of the Old Testaments "Book of Ruth". "The Story of Ruth", was released on June 17, 1960 . He portrayed "Elimelech", the biblical father of "Mahon", portrayed by Tom Tyron. Whose previous motion picture was the cult, 1958, science fiction, "I Married a Monster from Outer Space". 

Between "The Story of Ruth" and the next role I will be mentioning, Les Tremayne appeared twelve times on eleven different western, comedy, and dramatic television shows. He also appeared in a failed western television pilot, 1962's, "Shoot Out at Big Sag", made by and starring Walter Brennan. It would be released as a motion picture. 

Les Tremayne was back working for producer George Pal, for his "Cinerama" production, "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm". Which premiered in both Los Angeles and New York City, on August 7, 1962.

Once again the actor was not seen on the screen, but his voice was clearly heard in the prologue sequence setting up the story that followed.

On November 8, 1962, the Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, and Richard Harris version of authors Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall's classic novel, "Mutiny on the Bounty", opened in the United States. 

Les Tremayne was not seen in the motion picture, but his voice was heard narrating the trailer for the feature.Next, the actors voice became "The Ghost of Christmas Present", in the animated feature film, 1962's, "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol".

Which was followed by voice actor Les Tremayne dubbing three roles in the American version of "Toho Studio's":

KINGU KONGU TAI GOJIRA released in Japan August 11, 1962

The American re-edit and dubbing is:

KING KONG VS GODZILLA initially released January 5, 1963 in South Korea

Above the original poster for the Japanese version, and below, the poster for the English language version of the Toho Production.

The following is modified from my article "George Worthing Yates: Screenplays from 1927's LIGHTNING LARIATS To 1962's KING KONG VS GODZILLA" found at:

It starts in the United States during 1959.

Producer Irwin Allen wanted to remake Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World". He acquired the rights to the novel from Doyle's estate and began preparations. Allen, next approached Willis O'Brien, who had made the classic, 1925, version, to work on the production. 

"Obie" and Ray Harryhausen had created the 8 minute dinosaur sequence for Allen's 1956 documentary, "The Animal World". So, when Irwin Allen approached Willis O'Brien for this project. The Stop Motion Animator should have remembered his experience on the former motion picture. 

When, instead of quality Stop Motion Animation, as O'Brien and Harryhausen had used in 1949's, "Mighty Joe Young", Producer Irwin Allen wanted corners cut to save money. The Stop Motion Animators were forced to use replacement models that gave the dinosaurs a jerky look.

Now Allen, really only wanted to use Willis O'Brien's name to obtain backers for his remake. However, O'Brien thought that as the "Special Effects Technician", he was going to create quality Stop Motion Animation. "Obie" prepared sketches and other materials to present to Irwin Allen. Instead, Allen resorted to using lizards, as in the Hal Roach, 1940, "One Million B.C.", and Willis O'Brien felt he had been used.

My article, "WILLIS O'BRIEN: 1925's 'The Lost World' and the Story of Gwangi" is available to be read at:

However, also in 1960, "Obie" was writing his own screenplay entitled "King Kong vs Frankenstein". 

The basic story moves "Kong" from "Skull Island" to Africa. There he is the protector of the Apes and other animals. Also, in Africa, is "Dr. Frankenstein", who has been driven from his own country and has set up a laboratory in an uncharted area of the African Continent. There, the doctor is creating a giant Gorilla out of parts from other small apes. He brings it to life and it is up to "King Kong" to stop "Dr. Frankenstein" and his creation, but the story now moves from Africa to San Francisco, California, for the final fight.

Below is one of Willis O'Brien's sketches for his envisioned motion picture.

Above left, is the "Frankenstein Gorilla", and on the right, is the new "King Kong". Note: the obvious height difference between the human in the middle and the two Gorilla's.

O'Brien couldn't go to RKO, who had helped fund and distributed both 1933's, "King Kong" and "Son of Kong", and 1949's "Mighty Joe Young", because the studio was still in financial difficulties. In 1955, Howard Hughes had sold the studio to "General Tire". Forming "RKO General", then the new company sold their domestic distribution operations, in 1957, to "Universal International". Two years later, "RKO General" declared Bankruptcy on March 7, 1959. In June 1962, what was left of "RKO General" attempted, with "Zenith Electronics", to form a subscription television service and their troubles continued.

Next, Willis O'Brien was introduced to independent Producer John Beck, not to be confused with the actor of the same name. Beck had made the Robert Walker and Ava Gardner, 1948, "Once Touch of Venus" and James Stewart's, 1950 classic, "Harvey". 

At this time, John Beck was renting an office on the "Universal International Pictures" lot.

O'Brien, again, should have remembered Irwin Allen and read the fine print in John Beck's contract. Once again, the Stop Motion Animator thought he would be creating the two creatures of his screenplay, but Beck reacted to the actual proposed costs for that process and started looking for other options. 

John Beck also discovered that "Universal International" owned the North American rights to the name "Frankenstein". Which would create additional costs to him over using their copyright, if the picture kept that name.

Further, because of those related costs, John Beck turned to George Worthing Yates. He wanted Yates to rewrite "Obie's" screenplay to a more cost-effective version. The result was now called "King Kong vs Prometheus". Which was George Worthing Yates' "Inside Joke" to get around the "Universal International Pictures" copyright. Remembering that the actual title of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's novel is: "Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus".

John Beck
now found a way around his financial problems. They were solved by reading that Japan's "Toho Studio's" was planning to bring back their kaiju character "Gojira". Beck approached Tomoyuki Tanaka, of Toho, about a co-production released to Asian markets by Toho and English language markets by him. An agreement was made, but a surprise awaited John Beck.

Tanaka had turned over Yates' screenplay to Shinchi Sekizawa. Who set out to turn the American screenplay into an acceptable Japanese production. Now, using "Gojira" instead of either Willis O'Brien's, or George Worthing Yates secondary monsters.

At this point, apparently, Willis O'Brien had no idea what John Beck was actually doing and was preparing his storyboards for "King Kong vs Frankenstein". 

"Toho" shot the motion picture and Tomoyuki Tanaka sent John Beck a copy of what was now titled "Kingu Kongu tai Gojira". The "Toho Production" has a running time of 98 minutes. 

Beck now viewed the Japanese picture and discovered it wasn't either Willis O'Brien's or George Worthing Yates' screenplay, but was partly, in many areas, a Comedy. 

To be specific, in 1962, there was a major change in the decades old Japanese Business Model. Japan was creating a new version based upon the American Business Model. Shinichi Sekizawa had created a Parody about how Japanese Business men were adjusting to the new American style of doing business and all the reported problems that Japanese consumers faced as a result.

John Beck had expected  the Yates' revision of an all-out monster battle and received, basically, a Pharmaceutical Executive, "Mr. Tako", played Ichiro Arishima, below, out to use "King Kong" like the "Pillsbury Doughboy" for his products.

While, Mie Hama, was doing her best Japanese Fay Wray.

John Beck called upon George Worthing Yates to help him turn the "Toho Production" into his American monsters on the loose feature. For whatever reason, I could not locate, Yates would not work on the re-edited screenplay. 

Enter, Paul Mason, his only credit being the third writer on the George Hamilton and Mercedes McCambridge, 1961, motion picture, "Angel Baby", and assisting Mason was Bruce Howard, a Comedy writer for televisions, "The Red Skelton Show", to somehow change the "Toho" picture into John Beck's vision.

The English language, "King Kong vs Godzilla", has a running time of only 91 minutes, 7-minutes shorter than the Japanese original cutThat running time includes all the added American footage. Begging the question, how much was cut out of the original feature film?

Some of the more obvious changes and not so obvious:

The John Beck's version added "United Nation's Reporter, Eric Carter", played by Michael Keith, left above, and, the "Head of the New York City Museum of Natural History, Dr. Arnold Johnson", played by Harry Holcombe, right. Some sites state "Johnson" was portrayed by William Byron Morrow, below, and other sites do not mention the actor at all.

Les Tremayne provided the dubbed in English voices for the characters of "Commander Roberts", "General Shinzo", and was the films narrator as in the opening sequence. While both Mason and Howard as providing miscellaneous voices.

That added footage included the alien space station base from "Toho Studos", 1957"Earth Defense Force", aka: 1959's, English language version, "The Mysterians", as an "United Nation's Communication Satellite". Watch the footage, not even closely, and you will see the alien flying saucers arriving.

From the same motion picture, the opening village Earthquake sequence was edited into the climatic fight between "King Kong" and 'Godzilla" to make it more exciting.

The opening appearance with "Godzilla", breaking free of the Iceberg, in the English language version, and his first attack on a Japanese military base. Both contain no references to the ending of the previous "Toho" motion picture, 1955's, "Counterattack of Gojira", aka: 1959's, "Godzilla Raids Again". That had established, to Asian audiences, that this kaiju is the same seen being encased in ice at the climax of that previous feature film. Which explains how in John Beck's version, the helicopter pilot calls the creature "Godzilla". When to this point in his screenplay there is no known creature by that name to fight "King Kong"Which is further established, when the "U.N. Reporter" remarks:
that the World is shocked with the appearance of a living dinosaur.

The John Beck version removes the entire "Pacific Pharmaceutical Company Party" sequence that mentions the change in the Japanese business model. Earlier, there were scenes, also removed, at the television studio during a live commercial for the company. That further sets up the search for the "Red Berries" and the "Monster" that the company's owner, "Mr. Tako", wants.

The above dialogue will lead our two adventures to "Faro Island" and another editing problem for Beck's film editor Peter Zinner, 1966's, "The Professionals" and 1972's, "The Godfather", and writers Mason and Howard

First, there was the attempt to make the somewhat Comic "Faro Islanders" and their Chief into the fierce "Skull Islanders". Which doesn't really work.  

Next, the Japanese version has a direct advertising parody involving the Islanders. There was no way to get around that segment for the serious monster movie John Beck wanted to make. The Chief is told the radio has "Two" transistors" making it a great value. Then, there's the selling to the islanders of the advantages of smoking cigarettes, even to the pre-teen boy.  

Another problem for Beck and his film editor Peter Zinner, is that most of the fight scenes between "Kong" and 'Godzilla" are set up like a Sumo Wrestling match. In fact, the two opponents appeared for interviews on a popular Tokyo Sports Television Program prior to the original Japanese films opening. Which resulted in slight changes being edited out of the original print.

However, the ending remains the same with one slight difference.

The original "Toho Studio" ending, has both "King Kong" and "Gojira/Godzilla" falling into the Sea of Japan, without the added "Mysterians" village Earthquake footage. Those on the hillside watch as "Kong" starts swimming back to "Faro Island". "Gojira/Godzilla" is not seen, but when the movie fades to black his roar is heard and the Japanese audience knew "Gojira" was back. 

When the English language version was originally released, by "Universal International", "Godzilla's" roar was not heard. This would lead to the idea that the battle was not a draw and, for the American audiences, "King Kong" beat "Godzilla". "Later, another English language print was released with the roar, after the picture goes to black, restored.

I can verify the story of the roar, because the weekend that the English language version opened in January 1963. Then, 16 years old Lloyd, saw both John Beck's version at the Majestic Theater in Santa Monica and the following day, the uncut "Toho" Japanese version, at the Toho La Brea in Los Angeles.

Another thing John Beck didn't expect had come from Willis O'Brien. Who, after seeing the Japanese "Kingu Kongu tai Gojira", filed a lawsuit against him.

Basically, O'Briens lawsuit was claiming that John Beck did not having the authorization to change his screenplay, or use the character of "King Kong". The lawsuit also named "Toho Productions" for not having the authorization to use the character of "King Kong" either. Willis O'Brien claimed he owned the rights to the character. 

After Willis "Obie" O'Brien's death from a heart attack, on November 8, 1962, his Estate continued the lawsuit. It was joined by the Estate of the creator of the "King Kong" and producer of the 1933 motion picture, Merian C. Cooper.

For those of my readers interested in the amazing life of the real "Carl Denham" and an American Spy for the "Office of Strategic Service (O.S.S.). My article, 'MERIAN C. COOPER: BEFORE 'KING KONG' TO 'CINERAMA" is available for your enjoyment at:

In 1963, Les Tremayne married Ruth Ann Mills, I could not locate a photo of the couple, but  they would divorce in 1967.

Then there was "The Slime People", released September 18, 1963 in Boston, Massachusetts, a film that started out being shot on a sound stage at "KTTV Channel Eleven", in Los Angeles, but ran out of money and the actors continued to shoot while not being paid. 

Next, there was the problem that the subterranean slime people, driven from their homes by underground atomic tests, surround Los Angeles with a fog from a machine they built to recreate their living environment. However, the fog was so thick during filming that you couldn't see the actors on screen and only heard their voices. 

The movie was directed by its star, Robert Hutton, 1958's, "The Colossus of New York", portraying "Tom Gregory". Les Tremayne was second billed portraying "Norman Tolliver", and Susan Hart, 1964's, "Ride the Wild Surf" and "Pajama Party", along with 1965's, "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine", and starring with Boris Karloff as "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini", portraying "Lisa Galbraith".

Below, Les Tremayne, Susan Hart, and Robert Hutton

The actor found himself on television with director Alfred Hitchcock, but on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour", for two episodes. Then his voice was heard as a "Radio Newman", in the 1964, "James Bond" entry, "Goldfinger". 

Les Tremayne, Nick Adams, and Yvonne Craig, joined Richard Basehart, and David Hedison, in "Turn Back the Clock", Season One, Episode Seven, October 26, 1964, as they all took a "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", from producer Irwin Allen's television show, to find a dinosaur laden paradise in the Antarctic.

As for the dinosaurs, Irwin Allen used stock footage from his 1960 version of British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, "The Lost World".

Allen went a step further and brought back actress Vitrina Marcus to play the "Native Girl" in this television episode. This was done partly by matching stock footage in long shots, because she had portrayed the "Native Girl", four-years earlier in "The Lost World".

Above on "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", below in "The Lost World".

It was back to voice acting, the opening of the Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida, 1965, "Strange Bedfellows", and the animated television series, "The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo". Les Tremayne continued appearing only on television until he was back to providing an English language voice in an Italian science fiction movie. 

On July 29, 1966, the second in the in the "Gamma-One" series, "I Diafanoidi Vengono da Marte (The Diaphanoids Come From Mars)" premiered, there would be four films. The picture wouldn't come to the United States until April 7, 1971 in San Francisco, under the new title, "War of the Planets", with Les Tremayne voicing "General Norton".

Back on July 25, 1956, "American International Pictures" released the cult classic, "The She Creature".

The motion picture starred Chester Morris, the successful jewel thief turned detective in the 1940's "Boston Blackie"series of films, portraying hypnotist "Dr. Carlo Lombardi". Portraying his beautiful assistant and love interest, "Andrea Talbott", was Marla English, who had mostly uncredited roles before this picture and 1957's "Voodoo Woman".

The title "She Creature" was created by "American International Pictures" make-up artist and monster maker, Paul Blaisdell.

Above, Paul Blaisdell in costume, my article is "Paul Blaisdell 'American International Pictures' 1950's Creator of Aliens and Other Creatures" can be found at:

In late-1960's, "American International Pictures" contracted with Texas low-budget producer Larry Buchanan to make 16 mm versions of some of their 1950's science fiction and horror films for television showing. In early 1967, he hired Walter Anthony Houston, the son of director John Huston, to write a screenplay. Tony Huston wrote it under the pen name of Enrique Touceda.

The result was technically the unauthorized version of Lou Rusoff's, 1955's "The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues" and "The Day the World Ended", screenplay for "The She Creature". Which Rusoff had used the actual case of "Bridey Murphy", that the world was still talking about, look it up, and turned that non-fiction into a still excellent science fiction/horror story.

A hypnotist, "Dr. Lombardi", has regressed his assistant, "Andrea" back to her prehistoric self to murder those people that oppose him and his theories. However, recognized parapsychologist "Dr. Ted Erickson", portrayed by Lance Fuller, 1955's, "This Island Earth", has come to the truth and is attempting to help "Andrea" break away from "Lombardi".

The 16 mm filmed in color title was "Creature of Destruction" and it had its television premier in December 1968.

There was a problem for Larry Buchanan with one of his actors that he didn't see coming. As a result of an out-of-court settlement between "American International Pictures" and actor Aron Kincaid (Norman Neals Williams II), 1965's "Ski Party" and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine". The actor was required to portray the character of "Captain Theodore Dell"in Buchanan's motion picture. However, when his court settlement time was met, Kincaid walked off the unfinished production and went home.

However, his two most required actors stayed with his picture. 

Les Tremayne portrayed hypnotist "Dr. John Basso".

Pat Delaney billed as Pat Delany portrayed "Doreena". This was the Austin, Texas born Delaney's  seventh on-screen appearance and her first was another of Larry Buchanan's remakes for television, 1967's, "Zontar: the Thing from Venus" based upon 1956's, "It Conquered the World". Delaney would go into television and her longest role was as "Rachel Blake" on the prime time soap opera, "Days of Our Live", from 1995 through 1996. Prior to that, she portrayed "Kathleen O'Connor", on "General Hospital", in 1986.

The creature that "Doreena" regresses back to was designed by Dallas, Texas, advertising executive turned make-up artist Jack Bennett. Who is listed under the crew for special effects. 

The basic story follows the 1956 screenplay except the ending. In the original, the creature kills "Lombardi" and "Andrea" is freed to live her life. In this version, "Blasio" attempts to kill "Ted" with a gun and "Doreena" jumps in front of him and is killed instead, causing the creature to vanish. She is the only person the hypnotist loved and he turns the gun on himself, committing suicide.


At about this time Les Tremayne's acting turned mostly to voice work in animation starting with:

"The Pogo Special Birthday Special", shown on television May 18, 1969

Les Tremayne voiced both "Churchy La Femme"

 and "Beauregard". 

In November 1970, Les Tremayne voiced "Humbug" in the partly animated motion picture "The Phantom Tollbooth".

On April 24, 1973, Les Tremayne voiced "Chester Cricket" for the first of time in the animated Chuck Jones television film, "The Cricket in Times Square", based upon children's writer George Sheldon's first book in a series of seven. The animated film is also known as "A Cricket in the City".

He would also voice "Harry the Cat", "Father", and the "Music Teacher". Below is "Harry" with "Tucker the Mouse", voiced by Mel Blanc.

Les Tremayne would continue to be heard providing those voices in December 14, 1973's, "A Very Merry Cricket", and January 16, 1975's, "A Chosen Cricket".

From September 11, 1973 through September 2, 1975, "The Curiosity Shop", on the "American Broadcasting Company (ABC)" was an alternative to the "Public Broadcasting System (PBS)" and "Sesame Street". One of the programs within the show was a dubbed into English, Croatian somewhat psychedelic animated series, "Professor Balthazar", who was voiced by Les Tremayne.

On September 7, 1974, Season One, Episode One, "The Joyriders", of the "DC Comics/Filmation" television series "SHAZAM", premiered on the "Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS)".

Les Tremayne portrayed a character known only as "Mentor". He is not the ancient wizard of the original comics known as "SHAZAM". 

Michael Gray portrayed "Billy Batson" and started on television in 1969 appearing in different shows until this program. He disappeared from television until he voiced a character in a two-part 2015 episode of the animated series "Archer" and didn't return until 2019, when he again voiced two characters including Robert DeNiro, on "Archer". Otherwise he had a Hollywood florist shop.

Jackson Bostwick portrayed the original "Captain Marvel". His television/movie career of 27-roles was spread between 1971 into 2008. He is the founder of two independent film producing groups.

John Davey took over the role of "Captain Marvel" during Season  Two, with Episode Four, "Double Trouble", on September 2,7 1975. He started on-screen in a 1965 episode of television's "Perry Mason", his television/film credit number only 41 through 1990. Other than being a heavy weight boxer who was a sparring partner for Joe Frazer, I could not locate anything else about the one-time actor.

Who "Mentor" is was never established in the series and he appeared more a father-figure for "Billy" than a wizard that chose him to have what the word "SHAZAM" stands for:

"S" the wisdom of Solomon
"H" the strength of Hercules
"A" the stamina of Atlas
"Z" the power of Zeus
"A" the courage of Achilles
"M" the speed of Mercury

The series ended with Season Three, Episode Six, "Out of Focus", on October 16, 1976.

For my reader who might be interested in the character of "Captain Marvel", my article about the character's origin, the origin of the character "Shazam", through the creation of the "Marvel Universe's", 2019, motion picture is "BEFORE 'CAROL DANVERS' WAS CAPTAIN MARVEL....THERE WAS CAPTAIN MARVEL: The Evolution of the Character 1939 to 2019" found at:

In 1978 and 1979, it was a "rag doll" and a children's version of a Japanese Kaiju.

On November 30, 1978, still working for animator Chuck Jones, Les Tremayne voiced "Santa Claus" in "Raggedy Ann and Andy in the Great Santa Clause Caper". He also voiced the villain of the piece, "Alexander Graham Wolf".

On October 31, 1979, Les Tremayne was the voice of "The Pumpkin", in "Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy in the Pumpkin Who Couldn't Smile".


On Season One, Episode One, September 9, 1978, "The Firebird", American animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, with the approval of the Japanese "Toho Studio", premiered their animated "GODZILLA". 

The series recurring characters were, "Godzilla", voice my televisions "The Adams Family's" "Lurch", Ted Cassidy. "Captain Carl Majors", voiced by Jeff David, "Dr. Quinn Darien", voiced by Brenda Thompson, her nephew "Pete Darien", voiced by Al Eisenmann, "Brock Borden", voiced by Hilly Hicks, and the comic relief of "Godzooky", the animated version of "Toho's" "Minilla", voiced by Don Messick. 

Les Tremayne was one of four voice artists providing the additional voices and sounds required in each episode.

Les Tremayne took time off in 1980, after marrying Joan Lenore Hertz. He returned to work on the Season Five, Episode Six, "Big Daddy", of television's "The Dukes of Hazard", portraying "Boss Hogg's" father.

It was back to providing voices for animated characters, Les Tremayne was the voice of a "Well" in 1983's, "Dafy Duck: Fantastic Island".

Then came Les Tremayne's first meeting with the most popular dog in animation and providing voices for multiple characters. Here there is a little confusion about which episodes Tremayne and others were in, because the shows had two titles depending upon which season was on the air and then in reruns the original title was dropped.

The show started out on September 10, 1983, under the title of "The New Scooby and Scrappy-doo Show". 


Then, one-year later, minus a day, on September 9, 1984, it was now called "The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries".

Les Tremayne provided multiple voices for the 1984 through 1985's, "Challenge of the GoBots". He voiced "Orin", "Bombo",  and "The Television Announcer", in the November 15, 1985, "Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer". 

Above, "Orin", below, "Bombo".

Then on September 7, 1985, Les Tremayne joined Vincent Prince, Heather North, Casey Kasem, Don Messick, Arte Johnson, and other voice providers for the terrifying:


This is a warning to all living mortals that whosoever opens this Chest of Demons will release 13 of the most terrifying ghosts upon of the face of the Earth! Only you can return the demons to the chest...because you let them out!

— Vincent Van Ghoul, in the original opening title sequence

In the 13th Final Episode, "Horror-Scope Scoob", Les Tremayne took center stage voicing the role of "Dr. Frankenstein".

Also, in 1985, Les Tremayne voiced "God" and "Moses",  in the animated "The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible". While, in 1987, Les Tremayne portrayed "Edward Quartermaine" on the daytime soap opera, "General Hospital".

Next, Les Tremayne voiced "Dr. Philby", in the English cast that included Chads Everett and Adrian Barbeau, for the Japanese "Tsuburaya Productions", Eiji Tsuburaya among other monsters, designed and created "Gojira (Godzilla)", "Mosura (Mothra)", and "Radon (Roman)", and the American "Hanna-Barbera Productions", co-animated feature film:

ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS released in the United States on October 12, 1987 and in Japan, with the Japanese language cast on April 28, 1989.

In September, 1990, Les Tremayne provided the voices in the animated sequences of the 13-episode television series "Kid and Play". That had the hip-hop dual and other artists in live sections of the episodes.

Les Tremayne finished his career by voicing characters on the 21-episode animated "The Pirates of Dark Waters", and joined Kenneth Tobey, John Agar, Robert Clarke, Robert Cornthwaite, Lori Nelson, Ann Robinson, Gloria Talbott, and even Forest J. Ackerman in the 2005, spoof of their 1950's science fiction and horror films, "The Naked Monster".

In "The Naked Monster", Les Tremayne has portrayed his 1953, "War of the Worlds", character of "Major General Mann". Sadly, he had passed away on December 19, 2003, he was 90-years-of-age.

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