Howard Petrie

Howard Petrie

Infobox actor
bgcolour =
name = Howard Petrie

imagesize =
caption =
birthname = Howard Alexander Petrie
birthdate = November 22, 1906
location = Beverly, Massachusetts
deathdate = March 24, 1968
deathplace = Keene, New Hampshire
height = 6 feet 4 inches
othername =
homepage =
notable role = Pete Perkins in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (film) (1954)
academyawards =
emmyawards =
spouse = Alice Wood

Howard Petrie (1906-1968) was an American actor.

The son of James A. and Martha Petrie, Howard A. Petrie was born in Beverly, Massachusetts, on November 22, 1906. His Scottish-born father was a machinist at USM Corp. His mother was born in Newfoundland. The Petries resided at 11 Garden Street, in the Ryal Side section of Beverly.

Early life

In 1909, when Howard was three-years-old, the Petrie family removed to Concord, Massachusetts. They later lived in Arlington, Massachusetts. Around 1920, the Petries moved to 49 [ Irving Street] in West Somerville, Massachusetts, where Howard received his secondary school education. A talented musician, he conducted his high school glee club and played with various instrumental groups. He was a member of the debating team, a captain in the School Regiment and Chairman of the Senior Night Committee.

Petrie appeared in school dramatic productions including a starring role as "Marquis de la Seigliere" in the senior class play, the Jules Sandeau 3-act comedy, "Mademoiselle de la Seigliere."

Radio career

After he graduated from Somerville High School in 1924, Petrie worked briefly as a bank clerk and a securities salesman. While on a sales call to a radio station, his sonorous bass voice landed him a job. He joined WBZ Radio in Boston in 1929 as a junior announcer.

After ten months at the WBZ studios, Petrie left for New York City in June, 1930 where he joined the staff of NBC. Petrie soon became the head announcer for many of the network's shows. His first major network assignment was on "Everything Goes," starring Garry Moore. He was the announcer for scores of shows including "Abbie's Irish Rose," "Big Sister," "Camel Caravan," "Blondie," "The Ray Bolger Show," "The Judy Canova Show," "The Jimmy Durante Show," and "The Garry Moore Show."

While at NBC he met his future wife, Alice Wood who was employed at NBC between 1931 and 1936. The Petries had one son.

In 1936, Howard Petrie won the prestigious Batten, Barten and Durstine Award for Good Announcing. In 1942 he was the recipient of the H.P. Davis Memorial Announcers' Award for "personality, adaptability, diction, voice and versatility."

Petrie moved to California in 1943 to become the announcer for the Judy Canova Show. As a "personality announcer," he became a character in the show.

Film and Television Career

In 1947, a movie producer who was looking for a tall man for a character role, saw Petrie on the radio stage and offered him the part. Howard Petrie was 6 feet four inches tall and weighed 240 pounds and played numerous "big man" roles. He worked as a character actor in over 30 feature films and 40 television shows. He often appeared in westerns in both mediums.

Howard Petrie had been living in semi-retirement at his home, Autumn Hill, in Walpole, New Hampshire, when he died in Keene, New Hampshire, on March 24, 1968.


Feature Films:

*"The Tin Star" (1957) playing Mayor Harvey King
*"Johnny Concho" (1956) playing Joe Helguson, Blacksmith
*"A Kiss Before Dying" (1956) playing Howard Chesser, Chief of Police
*"The Maverick Queen" (1956) playing Butch Cassidy
*"The Return of Jack Slade" (1955) playing Joseph Ryan
*"How to Be Very, Very Popular" (1955) playing Desk Sergeant
*"Rage at Dawn" (1955) playing Lattimore, Prosecuting Attorney
*"Timberjack" (1955) playing 'Axe-Handle' Ole, a Brunner Henchman
*"Sign of the Pagan" (1954) playing Gundahar
*"The Bob Mathias Story" (1954) playing Dr. Charles Mathias
*"The Bounty Hunter" (1954) playing Sheriff Brand
*"Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954) playing Pete Perkins
*"Border River" (1954) playing Newlund
*"The Veils of Bagdad" (1953) playing Karsh
*"Fort Ti" (1953) playing Maj. Rogers
*"Fair Wind to Java" (1953) playing Reeder
*"Trouble Along the Way" (1953) (uncredited) playing Polo Grounds manager
*"Pony Soldier" (1952) playing Insp. Frazer
*"Woman of the North Country" (1952) playing Rick Barton
*"Carbine Williams" (1952) playing Sheriff
*"Red Ball Express" (1952) playing Major General Lee Gordon
*"The Wild North" (1952) playing Brody
*"Bend of the River" (1952) playing Tom Hendricks, Owner of River Queen & Portland Palace Saloon
*"The Racket" (1951) (uncredited) playing The Governor
*"The Golden Horde" (1951) playing Tugluk
*"Cattle Drive" (1951) playing Cap
*"No Questions Asked" (1951) playing Franko
*"Rocky Mountain" (1950) playing Cole Smith aka California Beal
*"Walk Softly, Stranger" (1950) playing Bowen
*"Fancy Pants (1950)" (uncredited) playing Secret Service Man
*"The Hal Roach Comedy Carnival" (1947) playing George Baxter, in 'Fabulous Joe'
*"The Fabulous Joe" (1947) playing George Baxter

Television shows:

*"The Edge of Night" (1956) TV Series playing Otto Zimerman (unknown episodes, 1964-1965)

*"National Velvet" playing Bjorensen in "Epidemic" (1961)

**Incident of the Broken Word (1961) playing Fred Hunnecker
**Incident of the Murder Steer (1960) playing Abner Carter

**Miss San Diego Navy (1960) playing Admiral Wright

**Apache Treasure (1960) playing Rigby

*"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp"
**Shoot to Kill (1960) playing Governor Gibbs
**The Truth About Old Man Clanton (1960)

*"Bat Masterson"
**Law of the Land (1960) playing Hugh Blaine
**A Grave Situation (1960) playing Hugh Blaine
**Pigeon and Hawk (1960) playing Hugh Blaine
**A Picture of Death (1960) playing Hugh Blaine

*"Perry Mason"
**The Case of the Ill-Fated Faker (1960) playing Carl Gorman
**The Case of the Half-Wakened Wife (1958) playing Ben Parker

*"Death Valley Days"
**The General Who Disapproved (1960)

*"Johnny Ringo"
**The Gunslinger (1960) playing Ed Blanchard

*"Mr. Lucky"
**Cold Deck (1960) playing John Dort

*"Zane Grey Theater"
**Killer Instinct (1960) playing Killegrew
**The Hanging Tree (1957) playing Kroll
**You Only Run Once (1956) playing Kroll

*"Have Gun - Will Travel"
**The Lady on the Wall (1960) playing Jack Foster

*"M Squad"
**The Man Who Lost His Brain (1960) playing Mr. Patrick - Head of heist team

*"Wanted: Dead or Alive"
**Angela (1960) playing Sam Pryor
**No Trail Back (1959) playing Sheriff Akers

*"The DuPont Show with June Allyson"
**The Crossing (1959) playing Abbott

*"Colt .45"
**Tar and Feathers (1959) playing John Porter

**The Lass with the Poisonous Air (1959) playing Mike Burke

**The Hunch (1959) playing Hal Mead

**The Paiute War (1959) playing Major Ormsby

*"Frontier Justice"
**You Only Run Once (1959) playing Kroll

*"Alcoa Theatre"
**Most Likely to Succeed (1958) playing Lieutenant Gifford

*"The Californians"
**Pipeline (1958) playing Stryker

**Wagon Tongue North (1958)
**The Bounty Killer (1956) playing Sheriff Barnes

*"Casey Jones"
**Dark Rider (1957) playing George Newsome

*"Letter to Loretta"
**The Bad Apple (1957) playing Scoutmaster

*"Broken Arrow"
**Apache Dowry (1957) playing Sam Carson

**The Rabbi Davis Story (1956)

**Yorky (1956) playing Abe Brandt

*"The Ford Television Theatre"
**Appointment with Destiny (1955) playing Baker

*"Soldiers of Fortune"
**The Greatest Beast (1955) playing Harry Stauffer

*"This Is Your Life"
**Patrick Joseph Kelly (1954) playing Himself

*Screen Snapshots Series 25, No. 9: The Judy Canova Radio Show (1946) playing Radio show announcer


*"Beverly (Mass.) City Directory and North Shore Map." Crowley and Lunt, 1907, 1908, 1909.

*Birth record: 1906, Vol. 558, page 407. Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910. From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.

*Buxton, Frank, and Bill Owen. "The Big Broadcast, 1920-1950." New York: Viking Press, 1976.

*Dunning, John. "Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925-1976." Englewood Cliffs. N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1976.

*Frizzell, Martha McDanolds. "A History of Walpole, New Hampshire." Walpole: Walpole Historical Society, 1963, page 263.

*Jones, Ken D., Arthur F. McClure and Alfred E. Twomey. "Character People, The Stalwarts of the Cinema." Secaucus, N.J.:, 1976, page 163.

*"Howard Petrie, 61, A Radio Announcer and Actor, Is Dead." March 26, 1968, "New York Times", page 46.

*"Obituaries," March 27, 1968, "Boston Globe", page 44.

*Poindexter, Ray. "Golden Throats and Silver Tongues: The Radio Announcers." Conway, Ark: River Road Press, 1978, page 68.

*"Somerville (Mass.) City Directory." Boston: W.A. Greenough Co., 1924, pages 122, 457.

*"The Radiator, 1924." Somerville (Mass.) High School Yearbook.

*U.S. Census Records, 1910 and 1920, for Beverly and Arlington, Massachusetts.

External links

* [ Library of American Broadcasting "Howard Petrie" article and photo]
* [ Howard Petrie photos] Selected images from Howard Petrie's career.
* [] Lists 108 radio show credits for Howard Petrie as of March 2007.

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