The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the twentieth in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor". (See Archives below)
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts.....". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Dick Whittinghill
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Special Memorial Profile

The Entertainment and Broadcast Industry,click for full image particularly in Southern California has been saddened by the recent passing of Actor/Broadcaster Dick Whittinghill on January 24, 2001.

Best known to Southern California Radio listeners, Whittinghill also amassed quite a career as a Working Actor, (as evidenced by the company he kept in the above photos which were graciously provided by his family) which qualifies him for this special Profile.

Dick Whittinghill was born March 5, 1913 in Helena, Montana. He grew up with 3 brothers and 2 sisters and matriculated to the University of Montana and the Sigma Phi Fraternity. After 3 years of study he took off for Los Angeles, seeking stardom in the entertainment industry.

Stardom was not immediately forthcoming so he formed a small band the "4 Esquires" which played many gigs throughout the Los Angeles area. Being the "boy singer" of the band led him to becoming one of the original Pied Pipers, a popular vocal group with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

After his sojourn with the Pied Pipers and Tommy Dorsey, he went to radio broadcastingclick for full image school in Hollywood which catapulted him into a very successful 30 + year career in radio.He started his on the air career at K.I.E.V. and K.G.F.J. In 1950 Dick began a 29 year span of being the No. 1 radio personality in a Los Angeles area. He could be heard on popular music station K.M.P.C. from 6 to 10:00 a.m. daily.......where he coined the phrase "Did You Whittinghill This Morning?" which later became the title of his 1976 best selling autobiography.

Whit used his on air exposure to help others. He worked with the V A to get jobs for Vietnam Vets and through the 15 year "Dick Whittinghill Invitational", (a celebrity golf tournament) raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Long Beach Memorial Hospital and served as co-chairman of the high-profile Southern California Heart Fund drive.

In recognition of his contribution to society and the click for full imageentertainment world, Whit was honored with a STAR on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" at 6384 Hollywood Blvd. on December 13, 1978. Dick has also immortalized in the Hollywood Wax Museum.

In 1979 he retired to his long time Toluca Lake residence in the St. Charles Borromeo parish and continued to enjoy his passion for the amenities of Lakeside GC up to his passing on January 24, 2001.

Dick Whittinghill's passing was preceded by his lifetime love, his wife "Willy". (Wilamet) They will always be in the hearts and prayers of their loving family: Daughters Willy and Nora; Grandson, Alex and Granddaughter, Jessica. Both daughters also enjoy careers in the entertainment industry, Willy here in LA, and Nora in Florida.

Always thinking of others, Whit asked be intrusted to Medical Research, as was wife Willy upon her passing.

If you wish to send personal condolences to the family you may contact daughter Willy via email at: willy.whittinghill@disney.com or via snail mail at:

Willy Whittinghill
c/o Walt Disney Studios
500 S. Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA. 91521-1805
The family has asked those wishing to make a Memorial Donation in Dick's name, to please send it to:
Wildlife Waystation
14831 Little Tujunga Canyon Road
Angeles National Forest, CA. 91342.



Dick Whittinghill' Credits (partial)

FILM & TV

  •  Lively Set, The (1964)  .... Himself
  •  Moon Pilot (1962)  .... Colonel Briggs
  •  It's Only Money (1962) .... T.V. Speaker
  •  Private's Affair, A (1959)
  •  Say One for Me (1959)  .... Lou Christy
  •  -30- (1959)  .... Fred Kendall
  •  Jamboree (1957)  .... Himself
  •  Short Cut to Hell (1957) 
  •  Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957) .... TV Interviewer

Notable TV guest appearances

  • "Adam-12" (1968) playing "Mr Hayes"
  • "Emergency!" (1972) playing "Newspaper man"
  • "Adam-12" (1968) playing "Paul Foster"
  • "Dragnet 1967" (1967) playing "Himself"
  • "Dragnet 1967" (1967) playing "Jack Patterson"
  • "Dragnet 1967" (1967) playing "Clerk"
  • "Perry Mason" (1957) playing "Barman"
  • "Perry Mason" (1957) playing "Jerry"
  • "Bonanza" (1959)
  • "Perry Mason" (1957) playing "Glenn McCoy"
  • "Untouchables, The" (1959) playing "Earl Forrest"

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- ---End
Note: Scheduled Profile subject Leon Russom will be featured in a future issue.

WORKING ACTOR ARCHIVE
Archives Chris Ellis [January 2001]
Chris Ellis
January 2001
James Whitmore Jr. [December 2000]
James Whitmore Jr.
December 2000
Vince Grant [November 2000]
Vince Grant
November 2000
Judith Hoag [October 2000]
Judith Hoag
October 2000
Madison Mason [September 2000]
Madison Mason
September 2000
Jay Acovone [August 2000]
Jay Acovone
August 2000
Richard Riehle [July 2000]
Richard Riehle
July 2000
Charlie Brill [June 2000]
Charlie Brill
June 2000
Edie McClurg [May 2000]
Edie McClurg
May 2000
Miguel Sandoval [April 2000]
Miguel Sandoval
April 2000
Tom Bower [March 2000]
Tom Bower
March 2000
Amy Aquino [February 2000]
Amy Aquino
February 2000
Danny Chambers [January 2000]
Danny Chambers
January 2000
Eve Gordon [December 1999]
Eve Gordon
December 1999
Barbara Niven [November 1999]
Barbara Niven
November 1999
Bill Lucking [October 1999]
Bill Lucking
October 1999
Richard Roundtree [September 1999]
Richard Roundtree
September 1999
Pat Harrington [August 1999]
Pat Harrington
August 1999
Robert Donner [July 1999]
Robert Donner
July 1999

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