Betty Lou Gerson, 1936


Shown here on the cover of the August 29, 1936 issue of Radio Guide is radio actress Betty Lou Gerson.

Then 22 years old, she had originally taught “creative dramatics” and never given much thought to going on the air until she was asked to fill in on a broadcast for a friend who was ill. She quickly decided she liked the microphone and asked for an audition. Almost immediately, she was offered a position and her popularity skyrocketed. In 1936, she had roles in “A Tale of Today” and “The Foxes of Flatbush.”

She was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1914, and grew up in Florida and Alabama before “coming North” in 1931, a fact which the magazine said “accounted for the wonderful southern drawl you hear when she is not on the air.” Her interests included symphony, opera, cooking, sewing, hiking, and boating.

Most of her career was spent in Radio, and she moved to Los Angeles in the 1940’s, when she appeared in series such as The Whistler and I Love Adventure. In 1950’s, she had a voice role as narrator in Walt Disney’s version of Cinderella, and in 1961 landed what was probably her most famous role, namely the voice of Cruella De Vil in Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmations.

She had some film roles, including Nurse Andersone along side Vincent Price in The Fly.

She also had some television roles in series such as Perry Mason and The Twilight Zone.  She died in 1999 at the age of 84.

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