CBS Radio Mystery Theater - Notable Performers

Notable Performers

Prominent actors from radio and screen performed on the series. Notable regulars included Mason Adams, Kevin McCarthy, Arnold Moss, John Beal, Howard Da Silva, Keir Dullea, Morgan Fairchild, Veleka Gray, Jack Grimes, Fred Gwynne, Larry Haines, Paul Hecht, Celeste Holm, Kim Hunter, Mercedes McCambridge, Tony Roberts, Norman Rose, Alexander Scourby, Marian Seldes and Kristoffer Tabori, and a then-unknown John Lithgow.

The series also introduced a new generation of listeners to many of the great old time radio voices, including such distinctive performers as Joan Banks, Jackson Beck, Ralph Bell, Roger DeKoven, Robert Dryden (who was heard in more than 240 episodes), Sam Edwards, Virginia Gregg, Leon Janney, Victor Jory, Evelyn "Evie" Juster, Mandel Kramer, Marvin Miller, Santos Ortega, Bryna Raeburn, Alan Reed, Anne Seymour, Ann Sheppard, Les Tremayne, Lurene Tuttle and Janet Waldo.

A number of well-known veteran and future stars made guest appearances, including

  • Theodore Bikel ("Just One More Day," first aired May 29, 1975)
  • Richard Crenna ("Ghost Plane," September 12, 1975)
  • Joan Hackett ("The Eye of Death," March 7, 1975)
  • Margaret Hamilton ("Triptych for a Witch," October 30, 1975)
  • Casey Kasem ("The Headless Hessian," September 23, 1975)
  • Agnes Moorehead (appeared in the first broadcast, "The Old Ones Are Hard to Kill"; and "The Ring of Truth," January 26, 1974)
  • Jerry Orbach ("The Follower," January 25, 1975)
  • Sarah Jessica Parker ("The Child Cat's Paw", May 17, 1977)
  • Mandy Patinkin ("Lost Dog," January 9, 1974)
  • Kathleen Quinlan ("Ring of Evil," April 16, 1979)
  • Jerry Stiller ("The Frontiers of Fear," August 13, 1974)
  • Roy Thinnes ("Journey Into Terror," August 14, 1974)
  • John Lithgow ("The Deserter," February 6, 1980)

Actors were paid union scale at around $73.92 per show. Writers earned a flat rate of $350 per show. Production took place with assembly-line precision. Brown met with actors at 9am for the first script reading. After he assigned roles, recording began. By noon, the recording of the actors was complete, and Brown handed everyone checks. Post-production was done in the afternoon.

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