The Amazing E.G. Marshall

I decided this week to put the spotlight on a great actor, Mr. E.G. Marshall. We will have one of his episodes of CBS Radio mystery theater on this Thursday’s podcast. What made his radio show unique was that it did not appear during the golden age of radio. In fact, the first episode did not go live until January 6, 1974. Radio dramas ended some 13 years earlier when Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar ended its run in 1961. CBS Radio Mystery Theater ran from 1974 through 1982, eight years and nearly 1400 episodes was its legacy. E.G. Marshal was not creator of the program, that was Himan Brown a he is the subject of another article later on.
What I found was this piece taken from Biography. I could not find the author credit for it, so my thanks to the folks of Biography for providing it. I have edited it down a bit so if you want to read the entire article I have included the link at the end.


EG Marsall    E.G. Marshall kept the secret of his original name throughout his life. His career began on Broadway, where he eventually starred in the original runs of The Crucible, Waiting for Godot, and The Iceman Cometh. His films include Twelve Angry Men and The Caine Mutiny. On TV, Marshall became a household name in the 1960s for his role in The Defenders.
In all likelihood, E.G. Marshall was born on June 18, 1914, in Owatonna, Minnesota. However, both the date of his birth and his true name are the source of some controversy. While many public records list Marshall’s birthday as June 18, 1910, in a 1997 interview Marshall insisted that his true birthday was four years later. Since his death in 1998, certain pieces of social security information have emerged that appear to confirm the 1914 date. An even greater mystery than Marshall’s date of birth is the origin of the initials “E.G.”
When asked to state his full name in interviews, Marshall insisted, “My full name is E.G. Marshall. I am known by no other.” When pressed as to what the “E.G.” stood for, Marshall typically responded in jest. Some of his more noteworthy responses were “Enigma Gregarious,” “Everybody’s Guess” and “Edda Gunnar,” an obscure reference to a book of Norse legends. While many hypothesize that his real name is Everett Gunnar, the true meaning of his initials (as his son-in-law David Sayer suggested shortly before Marshall’s death) “will go with him to his grave.”
Marshall became interested in theater and acting at a very young age. “I used to watch movies—silent movies—and stock companies and theater whenever I could,” he later recalled. He also began performing wherever he could—in school, at church, at the YMCA, and in community theater productions. But in Minnesota during the Great Depression, there were few opportunities for advanced training in acting. “There were no acting schools back then,” Marshall said. Instead, he attended the University of Minnesota and Carleton College, where he indirectly honed his acting skills by majoring in speech and music. He eventually made his way to the theater and starred in many successful plays.
While he was enjoying a successful career as a leading man on Broadway, Marshall was also developing his film career. He made his feature film debut in the 1945 picture The House on 92nd Street before appearing in such 1950s classics as The Caine Mutiny (1954), Twelve Angry Men (1957) and Compulsion (1959). His most notable later film roles included Woody Allen’s Interiors (1978), Superman II (1980), Nixon (1995) and Absolute Power (1997).
Despite this prolific career as a stage and film actor, the venue where Marshall enjoyed his most success was television. Marshall’s most acclaimed and famous role came on the 1960s CBS courtroom drama The Defenders. Marshall played Lawrence Preston, an implacable defense attorney who represented such diverse and controversial clients as civil rights demonstrators, neo-Nazis and conscientious objectors. In one especially controversial episode of the socially piercing show, Marshall’s character represented an abortionist. The Defenders ran from 1961 to ’65, and for his performance on the show, Marshall won the 1962 and 1963 Emmy Awards for outstanding performance by a lead actor in a series. After The Defenders went off the air, Marshall again achieved television success on the NBC medical drama The New Doctors, which ran from 1969 to ’73.
E.G. Marshall married first wife, Helen Wolf, in 1939. They divorced in 1953, and he later married Judith Coy. Marshall had seven children from his two marriages. He died at his home in Bedford, New York, on August 24, 1998, at the age of 84.
Over the course of his long and distinguished acting career, Marshall developed a reputation for his honest and stirring depictions of characters, as well as for his willingness to embrace socially critical, controversial material. And though many of the plays, films and TV shows that he appeared in featured dark themes, Marshall believed that underpinning all his work was an optimistic, life-affirming message: “No matter what,” he said, “atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, anything—life goes on: You can kill yourself, but you can’t kill life.”

E.G. Marshall. (2015). The website. Retrieved 09:24, Aug 25, 2015, from

This Week’s Podcast:

As I have already mentioned we have an excellent episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theater on this Thursday’s show. Also on the program is a story from a mailman that will leave you scratching your head. So be sure to tune in this week and you will not be disappointed.

You can listen to this podcast this Thursday (08/28) at Ron’s Amazing Stories , download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link .

The Calendar:

August 20: An interview with Patty Wiseman author of the Velvet Shoe Collection.
August 27: CBS Radio Mystery Theater – Circle of Evil
September 03: A new story from the Blue Beetle introduced by our friend Jacob Edwards!
September 10: Time for a detective drama
September 17/24: Working on getting a Civil War historian
October 01: The Fifth Annual Month of Spooky Begins!

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