Most people remember Agnes Moorehead simply from her turn as Elizabeth Montgomery’s mother Endora on Bewitched. Yet Moorehead enjoyed a thirty plus year career in film, radio, and television. She acted in two of the perhaps greatest films in history: Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons. Add to those laurels the fact she also starred in one of the most famous radio plays of all time: Sorry, Wrong Number on Suspense. Moorehead performed the acclaimed Lucille Fletcher radio play seven times on Suspense as well as number of times on other programs.
I’ve always found it interesting Agnes Moorehead was also able to negotiate a very unique contract with Metro Goldwin Mayer back in the mid 1940s. This was at a time when many actors and actresses were under contract to a particular studio and couldn’t just go make movies wherever they liked. Moorehead had a clause which allowed her to appear on any radio show of her choosing. This was at a time when studios didn’t want many of their stars to appear on radio because A) studios looked at appearing on radio as slumming it and B) because if listeners could enjoy the biggest stars for free on radio why would they pay to see them in a theater?
Moorehead explained MGM usually refused to allow their actors to appear on radio, as “the actors didn’t have the knowledge or the taste or the judgment to appear on the right sort of show.
This is certainly going to be the right sort of show so let’s turn out the lights and give a listen to Sorry, Wrong Number, starring Agnes Moorehead, on Suspense as it aired May 25th, 1943.
Download the show to take on the go right here.
On a quick side note, most visitors to TGG probably don’t know I ran an old time radio website quite a few years back and I have tens of thousands of radio shows in my collection. Each of the programs I’ll share during the Spooktacular have had their audio personally cleaned up by me to remove many of the pops, crackles, and hisses so common with old time radio recordings. These aren’t pristine by any means but keep in mind the original broadcasts you’ll be hearing are anywhere from fifty to eighty years old…