John Hodiak was an American actor who worked in Radio and Film.
He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Walter Hodiak and Anna Pogorzelec. He was of Ukrainian and Polish descent. He grew up in Hamtramck, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.
Hodiak had his first smell of greasepaint at age eleven, acting in Ukrainian and Russian plays at the Ukrainian Catholic Church. From the moment he first appeared on the stage, he resolved to become an actor. He was not even swayed when as a third baseman on his local high school baseball team, he was offered a contract with a St. Louis Cardinals farm club. He turned the offer down.
When Hodiak first tried out for a radio acting job, he was turned down because of his accent. He became a caddy at a Detroit golf course, then worked at a Chevrolet automobile factory ? and practiced his diction. When he conquered the diction hurdle, he became a radio actor and moved to Chicago. There he created the role of the comic strip character Li’l Abner on radio.