The following is the second of three
submissions by legendary sportscaster Gil Stratton
(1922–2008) who's contributions to the industry included three successful careers. He started as an actor on Broadway, and was under contract to MGM prior to serving as a B-17 Bombardier in WWII. After it was mainly radio, movies, and then TV. In the summers Gil was a minor league baseball umpire, graduating into the Pacific Coast League in 1952. In 1954 he started at Channel 2 in LA as a sportscaster, a job he kept one way or another until retirement. Included in his many and varied assignments were the Rome Olympics, play-by-play for the LA Rams, Feature races from Santa Anita, Hollywood Park, and Del Mar. Tennis, golf, auto racing, and most everything in between. For over 30 years on CBS radio and TV Gil always opened his broadcasts with the tag line: "It's time to call 'em as we see 'em". This first story demonstrates how the craft of Sports Announcing was changed by the introduction of Television! We hope to see more Anecdotes like these submitted by veterans of the Industry.
First published: Saturday, October 22, 1999 - 04:05 pm
"AS I SAW 'EM"
by Gil Stratton
Judy Garland's doctor also had as a patient, Elizabeth Taylor's mother. The Doc raved so about Mrs. Taylor's beautiful daughter, that Judy invited them to visit our set at MGM while we were shooting "Girl Crazy". Elizabeth was about 10, and certainly about the most beautiful little girl most of us had ever seen.
About two weeks later I saw Elizabeth heading into the studio school house, she had been signed. "National Velvet", and you know the rest of the story.
One season of the Lux radio Theatre opened with a picture entitled, "Cynthia" starring Liz Taylor with George Murphy (later to be the US Senator) as her father, and Mary Astor as her mother. I played her boyfriend, and stood across the mike from this gorgeous 17 year old.
It was the end of summer and she had a great tan, bountifully displayed in an off the shoulder peasant blouse. Her flashing white teeth were topped only by her lavender colored eyes.....wow, she was a real movie star!