The Radio Life And Tragic Death Of Jeff Chandler


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This is a snippet from Breaking Walls Episode 90: The Hollywood People Behind Radio’s Baby Boomer Boom (1945 - 1954). Jeff Chandler was born Ira Grossel in Brooklyn, New York on December 15th, 1918. Raised by his mother, Ira went to Erasmus High School. There he acted in school plays with classmate Susan Hayward. He later took courses at the Feagin School of Dramatic Art in New York and was briefly in radio before getting a job with a troupe on Long Island as an actor and stage manager. He worked for various stock companies over the next two years, including a performance in The Trojan Horse opposite Gordon and Sheila MacRae, to whom he became good friends. Chandler served in the Pacific and finished World War II war as a Lieutenant. In December of 1945 after being discharged, he moved to Los Angeles. Although he struggled to find work in film, by May of 1946 he was appearing on radio, becoming one of Hollywood's reliable character men. The next autumn he was cast as the lead in The New Adventures of Michael Shayne, a syndicated program written by Larry Marcus and produced by Bill Rousseau and Don W. Sharpe. It was the first program sold through the Broadcaster’s Guild. The series was ready for release at the beginning of March, 1948. Michael Shayne led Jeff Chandler to the radio role of a lifetime opposite Eve Arden.

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