Paula Stone – Actress, Producer, “Gabber”
Paula Stone, in the 1930’s, acted in Broadway plays and musicals and made a dozen movies in Hollywood. During WWII, she entertained the troops with her WNEW showbiz news, interviews and gossip programs which were broadcast overseas, and when her husband, band leader Duke Daly, was reported missing in action, she devoted most of her time to performing in soldier shows with her father, Broadway musical comedy star, Fred Stone.
After the war, Paula Stone moved to the Mutual Network as actress, interviewer and producer of shows starring Lionel Barrymore and George Murphy, among others. Returning to Broadway in 1950 with her second husband, producer Michael Sloan, they produced several successful shows, including “The Country Girl,” and “Top Banana” with Phil Silvers.
In checking on-line back issues of Billboard, we found program notes, including one from January 1943, listing the air time for Stone’s daily “Hollywood Digest” show on WNEW as 4:45 to 5:00 p.m. In January, 1946, her show moved to 5:00 to 5:15 p.m. During the year to follow, Billboard reported, her guests included Brian Ahearn, Gregory Ratoff, Walter Abel, Lewis Milestone, Gregory Peck, Guy Kibbee, Victor Mature, Diana Lynne, Cesar Romero, Alexis Smith, Guy Madison, John Payne, Peter Lind Hayes, Walter Huston, Natalie Wood, Ezra Stone, Carol Bruce, Jackie Coogan, Margaret Whiting, Joseph Cotton, Richard Conte, Martha Scott, Rouben Mamoulians, Gene Raymond, Mitzi Greer, Rise Stevens, Bob Eberle, and George Jessel.
Other “radio gabbers,” as Billboard described them, being heard at that time on New York Radio, were: Jim Young, WLIB, Nancy Craig, WJZ. Dick and Dorothy Kolmar, WOR; Jinx Falkenburg and Tex McCrary, WNBC; Lawrence and Marley, WJZ, Mona and Pat WWRL.
A note of interest about the Stone family’s acting history. In addition to her father, Fred , Paula Stones’ mother, Allene, and sister, Dorothy, acted and sang on Broadway, and a cousin, Milburn Stone, is remembered for his portrayal of “Doc,” on TV’s “Gunsmoke.
Thanks to Bill Diehl for spotting the Stone/Grable photo in the on-line files of the Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland.
A few of Paula Stone’s movies:
“Swing It, Professor” 1937 (click on link) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ8A8axv_wI