Remembering Olan Soule, born February 28, 1909 and passed away February 1, 1994.
Olan Evart Soule was an American character actor and voice-over performer who had an extensive career with professional credits in nearly 7,000 radio shows and commercials, appearances in 200 television series and television films, and in over 60 films. Soule’s voice work on television included his 15-year role (1968-1983) as Batman on several animated series that were either devoted to or involved the fictional “Dark Knight” superhero.
On radio he performed for eleven years in the daytime soap opera Bachelor’s Children. Beginning in 1943, he played lead male characters on radio’s famed The First Nighter Program for nine years. Listeners of First Nighter who met Soule in person were often surprised, since his slight 135-pound frame did not seem to match the voices he gave to his characters. From 1941 on, Soule had the role of L. William Kelly, SS-11, the second in command of the Secret Squadron on the Captain Midnight radio adventure serial. When Captain Midnight became a television series in the 1950s, Soule was known as SQ-3, behind Captain Midnight himself and Ichabod Mudd “with two D’s”. He also had a regular part on Lee Hansen’s 1970s and 1980s science fiction radio drama Alien Worlds.
Concluding his nine-year run on First Nighter, Soule moved to Hollywood, where he appeared in films and television shows, building a reputation as a reliable character actor. He was best known as Mr. Krull, a boarding house resident in The Day The Earth Stood Still. He appeared on many television series: The Donald O’Connor Show (as a semi-regular), Captain Midnight (as scientist Aristotle “Tut” Jones), I Love Lucy, several appearances as a hotel clerk and choir director on The Andy Griffith Show, and a semi-regular role as real-life LAPD criminalist Ray Murray on the 1967 revival version of Dragnet. He also made six appearances on Perry Mason, mostly as a court clerk, but also as a bank employee and water company official.
He made at least two appearances on Petticoat Junction. In both, the 1967 episode “Shoplifter at the Shady Rest” and the 1968 episode “Mae’s Helping Hand”, he played Mr. Benson.
The list of Soule’s supporting and starring roles is long. Some include The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, The Jack Benny Program, I Love Lucy, The Danny Thomas Show, The Real McCoys, Mister Ed, City Detective, Behind Closed Doors, Dante, Harrigan and Son, Hennesey, State Trooper, One Step Beyond, The Restless Gun, The Rebel, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, Bewitched, Pete and Gladys, The Addams Family, The Munsters, Johnny Ringo, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Happy, Bonanza, The Jean Arthur Show, Laramie, The Monkees, Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (TV series), Battlestar Galactica, Fantasy Island, Little House on the Prairie, Dallas, Simon & Simon. He was the only actor who performed on both the Captain Midnight radio and television shows.
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