Lurene Tuttle was a character actress, who made transitions from vaudeville to radio, to films and television. Her most enduring impact was as one of network radio’s most versatile actresses. Often appearing in 15 shows a week, comedies, dramas, thrillers, soap operas, and crime dramas, and back she became known as the First Lady of Radio.
She became interested in acting after her family moved to Southern California, appearing in Pasadena Playhouse productions before joining the vaudeville troupe, Murphy’s Comedians. By the Great Depression, Tuttle had put her remarkable vocal versatility to work in radio, and within a decade she became one of the most in-demand actresses in the medium.
On radio’s The Adventures of Sam Spade she played just about every female role, as well as Spade’s man-hungry secretary Effie Perrine. She appeared in such shows as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, a role that testified to her vocal versatility: she played Harriet Nelson’s on-air mother at a time when she played, concurrently, a young adult onThe Great Gildersleeve as the niece Marjorie Forrester, a character 20 years her junior. Tuttle also had regular roles in such shows as Brenthouse, Dr. Christian, Duffy’s Tavern, One Man’s Family, The Red Skelton Show, Hollywood Hotel and the soap opera Those We Love.
She made numerous guest appearances on such shows as Dragnet, Lux Radio Theater, The Screen Guild Theater and Suspense. In The Whistler she played good and evil twins and used separate microphones to stay in character for each twin.