"Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. North and
South America and all the ships at sea, let's go to press...FLASH!"
- Some what dated trademark opening (from the 1930s & 1940s) used by
popular newspaper columnist Walter Winchell.
Walter Winchell came to television in 1952 with SUNDAY NIGHT NEWS
SHOW/ABC/1952-60. He later narrated the classic police drama THE
UNTOUCHABLES/ ABC/1959-63 and the crime anthology THE WALTER
WINCHELL FILE/ABC/1957-58. When Winchell publicly backed Senator
Joseph McCarthy's "Red Scare," he lost many of his fans.
Born in New York City on April 7, 1897, Walter Winchell died in Los
Angeles on February 20, 1972. In 1977, Winchell was inducted
into the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Reportedly, Winchell refused to go the bathroom before going
on-the-air to intensify his broadcast delivery.
Stanley Tucci played the role of the controversial radio broadcaster
and gossip columnist in the 1998 HBO biopic Winchell,
based on the memoirs of ghostwriter Herman Klurfeld.
In 1957, Burt Lancaster had played a fictionalized and ruthless New
York columnist named J.J. Hunsecker (modeled on Walter Winchell)
in the film Sweet Smell of Success where he spoke the classic
line "Match me, Sidney!" to Tony Curtis who played Sidney Falco, a
sleazy public relations guy.
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