Mail Bag! When was Errol Flynn on Gene Hersholt Show Dr. Christian?

05 Oct

From the Mail Bag …

I am trying to discover when Flynn made his appearance on the Gene Hersholt show  Dr.Christian (here’s an  ad if that will help). I do not have a clue, just a pic. I do believe that is him with Flynn …

— David DeWitt


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    October 6, 2019 at 3:58 am

    I do not know when or if Errol was on Jean Hersholt’s show. The photo seems to indicate he may have been, but I haven’t found a record of it yet. Perhaps he stopped in with a new script to win the coveted “Dr. Christian Award”, not to be confused with the now even more coveted Jean Hersholt Award.

    “Dr. Christian was a long-running radio series with Jean Hersholt in the title role. It aired on CBS from 1937 to 1954. After Hersholt portrayed the character Dr. John Luke, based on Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe, the obstetrician who delivered and cared for the Dionne Quintuplets, in the 20th Century Fox movie The Country Doctor (1936) and its two sequels, he wanted to do the same role on radio but could not get the rights. He decided to create his own doctor character for radio, and since he was a Hans Christian Andersen enthusiast, he borrowed that name for his character of philosophical Dr. Paul Christian. Dr. Christian practiced in the Midwest town of River’s End with the assistance of Nurse Judy Price (Rosemary DeCamp, Lurene Tuttle, Kathleen Fitz, Helen Claire). With the opening theme music of “Rainbow on the River,” Dr. Christian was introduced on CBS November 7, 1937 on The Vaseline Program, aka Dr. Christian’s Office and later Dr. Christian, sponsored by Chesebrough Manufacturing Company’s Vaseline. The small-town physician’s good humor, innate common sense and scientific training helped drive off a series of villainous types who tried to interfere with the peaceful lifestyle of River’s End, as well as dealing with personal problems among his many patients and the majority of those who lived in town. The program was also unique in that, by the mid-1940’s, listeners contributed the majority of the scripts (some were “professionally polished” before they were used), and an annual script-writing competition introduced in 1942 was the highlight of every season- top prize: the $2,000 “Dr. Christian Award” {with several $500 “runner-up” prizes}; among the later winners were Rod Serling and Earl Hamner, Jr.. Produced by Dorothy McCann, the radio series became a popular success, continuing on CBS until January 6, 1954.”

    • Gentleman Tim

      October 6, 2019 at 7:15 am

      Or, perhaps Errol stopped in just to hear the beautiful theme song “Rainbow on the River”, made famous by nine-year old Bobby Breen in the 1936 movie of the same name:

  2. David DeWitt

    October 8, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Somehow a comment from Ralph Schiller did not get posted … was in my spam filter!

    David; My guess is that Errol Flynn did not make an official appearance on the Dr. Christian radio series. That would have been a big event for that popular series unless he did a voice on the show unbilled strictly as a lark. More likely Flynn was in the studio for another reason or show and could not resist stopping by to meet the great Jean Hersholt who was beloved by all in the film industry. Hersholt located and translated into English for publication many lost fairy tales by the immortal Dane, Hans Christian Anderson. Hersholt also made Radio Free Denmark broadcasts in his native Danish during the German occupation of his country during World War Two. Jean Hersholt also starred as Dr. Christian in six RKO films that popular and a Dr. Christian television series with MacDonald Carey in the 1950’s.

    Ralph Schiller

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