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Harry Von Zell

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Born: July 11, 1906 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Died: November 21, 1981 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Cause of Death: Cancer

Spouse: ?

Height: ?  He was taller than George Burns, but shorter than Fred Clark.  He was somewhere over 5' 7" tall and under 6' 1" tall.


Biography:  Harry attended college at UCLA and first started on radio in 1927 as an announcer and a singer on KMIC.  He eventually moved into national radio, announcing for Bing Crosby and others.  Besides having a good, easy-to-take voice for radio, he was known for quick and clever ad-libbing.  But mistakes seem to humble us all, and he had a doozy when he announced President Herbert Hoover as "Hoobert Heever."  Luckily, that blooper was not recorded at the time the President was being introduced to an audience.  It was recorded after the fact, and put before the President's speech in a broadcast.  Had he made the slip in front of the President, it would've been REAL embarrassing.  Just the same, Harry's blooper made it into the Immortal National Hall of Bloopers Fame.

    Although basically known as a radio announcer, he did secure acting jobs in TV and movies, both comedy and drama, usually playing himself, but sometimes playing other characters.  When Bill Goodwin left the Burns & Allen TV series in 1951, it seemed only natural they get Harry Von Zell.  Harry is the announcer for the rest of the series run and again in the George Burns Show of 1958-1959.

    It was unusual in any 1950s TV series that the announcer had as big of part as Harry did.  Like Bill Goodwin before him, he was more than an announcer, but a full-fledged member of the cast as friend to the family and an actor in his own right.  You saw him all throughout the show, even when he wasn't plugging Carnation or B.F. Goodrich.

    I'm always interested in knowing more about Harry Von Zell.  I would especially like to hear a recording of him singing.  If you can help me with information or anything, please CONTACT ME.

Fun Harry Facts: