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Alexander Scourby Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (9)

Overview (3)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died in Newtown, Connecticut, USA  (undisclosed)
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The possessor of one of stage, screen, radio, TV and audio cassette's most distinguished vocal instruments, actor Alexander Scourby received his training via Shakespearean roles in the 1930s and perfected his vocal versatility on dramatic radio serials in the 1940's.

The noted actor/narrator was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 13, 1913 to Greek immigrants and attended public and private schools in Brooklyn. Father Constantine was a restaurateur and baker Interested in writing, he was a co-editor of his high school magazine and yearbook and studied journalism briefly at University of West Virginia at Morgantown. A passion for acting was sparked after joining a campus theater group. He apprenticed at Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre and made his professional debut in a walk-on in "Liliom.".

"Hamlet" would become a favorite Shakespearean play for Scourby. His very first role on Broadway was as the Player King in a 1936 production starring Leslie Howard and went on to play the same role for Eva Le Gallienne's company later that year. He then played Rosencrantz in Maurice Evans' presentation and went on to appear with Evans in "Henry IV, Part I" and "Richard II" (borth 1940). He played Claudius in still another production (Phoenix) in 1961. Other Broadway plays would include post-WWII presentations of "A Flag Is Born", "Crime and Punishment", "Detective Story", "Darkness at Noon", "Saint Joan" with Uta Hagen, "A Month in the County," "Tovarich" with Vivien Leigh, in which he ably displayed a flair for urbane villainy, and "Old World." He played also played the title role in "Galileo," performed as John Knox in "Vivat! Vivat Regina!" and played Walt Whitman in "A Whitman Portrait."

Scourby first began to develop his speaking prowess in 1937 when he started narrating for the American Foundation for the Blind's Talking Book program. He would wind up recording nearly 500 books for the blind, and, for his long-term contribution, receive the Certificate of Merit from the foundation. His deep, crisp tones suited him well as he moved into radio in 1939. By the early 1940's, he was playing running parts in five of the serial dramas. Included was the voice of Superman's father on that popular radio show.

Scourby made a dashing villainous entry into films rather late in his career (age 39). He received third billing behind "Gilda" stars Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford in the film noir Affair in Trinidad (1952) in which he plays suave, nefarious Max Fabian. He continued in dramatic support with Because of You (1952), Older Brother, Younger Sister (1953) The Glory Brigade (1953) and probably made his next best impression in another film noir again starring Ford and as another villain (crime boss Mike Lagana) in the classic The Big Heat (1953). Later Scourby-featured 50's movies would include The Silver Chalice (1954), Sign of the Pagan (1954), Ransom! (1956) (a third film noir starring Ford), Giant (1956), Me and the Colonel (1958), The Big Fisherman (1959), and the Disney comedy The Shaggy Dog (1959)

As a TV/audio cassette narrator, Scourby had few peers. He would be heard narrating many popular Bible stories for time and has been credited for giving voice of the entire Bible at one point. Classical novel audio cassettes such as "Ship of Fools" and "War and Peace." On TV, he was critically lauded for his distinctive narration on the documentary classic Victory at Sea (1954) and the 70's The Body Human (1977) TV movie documentaries. Scourby also made a host of guest appearances on the popular TV programs from the late 50s throughout the 70's including "The Phil Silvers Show" ("Bilko"), "Shirley Temple's Storybook," "Ellery Queen," "Rawhide," "Bonanza," "The Rifleman," "The Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Defenders, "The Rogues," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "Daniel Boone" and "Mannix." "as well as the daytime soapers "Another World" and "General Hospital."

Long married to stage, screen and daytime soap opera actress Lori March, they had a daughter, Alexandra, born in 1944. Scourby died at age 71 of a heart attack on February 22, 1985.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Lori March (12 May 1943 - 22 February 1985) ( his death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (9)

His father was a successful Greek restaurateur and baker. He had two sisters, Lula and Mary, and a brother, Nicholas.
He was one of the founders of New Stages, a Greenwich Village drama company in the 1947-1948 season. During its two-year stay, the company presented such classics as "Blood Wedding" and "The Victors."
Son-in-law of actor Theodore von Eltz and Peggy Prior.
Scourby did readings for his own company, Lectern Records, in addition to the hundreds of recordings he made for The Talking Books for the Blind. He may be best-known (if not by name) for having read the entire Bible onto cassette.
Portrayed various characters in at least four stage versions of "Hamlet" throughout his career - The Player King, Rosencrantz, and Claudius.
His daughter, Alexandra, was born on March 27, 1944.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 716-717. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
He played a king in three different adaptations of fairy tales on the series "Shirley Temple's Storybook". They were the only roles he ever played on the series.
In 1954 NBC created a feature-length (89-minute) motion picture condensation of the TV series, "Victory at Sea" that Alexander Scourby narrated. The original 26 episodes of the 1952-53 series "Victory at Sea" were narrated by Leonard Graves.

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