Old Time Radio: Margaret Draper and The Brighter Day

From 1948 to 1954, Margaret Draper played the part of Liz Dennis on The Brighter Day. It was one of her first significant breakout rôles, and led to a successful career in radio and later television, mostly in the advertising world.

Radio-TV Mirror, May 1949 – Papa and Liz Dennis

Radio-TV Mirror, May 1949 – The Cast of the Brighter Day

Radio-TV Mirror, June 1950

Radio-TV Mirror, October 1952

Radio-TV Mirror, October 1952

From Radio-TV Mirror, not certain which issue

Margaret Draper, Joe DeSantis and their son

In 1999, the Friends of Old Time Radio convention featured a reunion of the Dennis girls, who with others put on a reader’s theatre featuring The Brighter Day, followed by a Q&A session.

Cast

Patsy – Pat Hosley
Althea – Jay Merideth
Liz – Margaret Draper
Papa – Leslie Pagan
Jerry – George Ansbrough
Narrator – Bill Owen

Sound Effects – Lynn Nadelle and Bart Curtis
Music – Ed Klute
Producer – David Segal
Director – Bill Nadell
Engineering – Bill Sudamack

You can listen to the original episode that this performance was based on.

The following two posters were displayed outside the convention room:

Pat Hosley

Jay Merideth

Radio stars at a “Ma Perkins” party. Brighter Day cast on the right.

Cast of The Brighter Day asks the audience to be kind.

A later photo of the Brighter Day cast, looks like around 1960.

Margaret Draper, front row, Left.

Trade magazine advert for Brighter Day

Trade magazine advert for Brighter Day

The writer of Brighter Day for many years, Orin Tovrov, had a special fondness for Margaret, and vice versa. Here’s a letter Orin wrote to Maggie on the occasion of his leaving Brighter Day in 1950:

A very gracious letter. A further indication of the Tovrovs’ respect and appreciation for Margaret’s work as Liz Dennis is found in this beautiful felt book made for “Liz” at Christmas, 1949. It must have taken many hours to create. I loved this book as a child – I could look at it for hours, and it almost acted as a sort of “quiet book” if memory serves.

Front Cover

Attending Church (The missing piece is the Hymn Board; Daily Food and chores.

Liz dreams of her Knight in Shining Armor

Which one will it be?  Finally married! Notice the reference to older sister Marcia, who had married and left the family before the show began. She never appeared on-air.

More home life; Christmas label

Back Cover

More about The Brighter Day can be seen in the following Links:

Old Radio Times, 5 May 2006

The Brighter Day at Wikipedia

The Old Wolf has spoken.

2 responses to “Old Time Radio: Margaret Draper and The Brighter Day

  1. Great post! I think you have miscaptioned one of your photos, though. The photo you have captioned “a later still of Pat Hosley” is actually a photo of the wonderful Charita Bauer, star of “The Guiding Light” and other radio serials.

    • Hqiz! You’re absolutely right, and I’m ashamed for not having seen that – I can’t count the number of Christmas parties I attended at Charita’s home, stuffing myself on turkey, goose, and duck. I’ve removed the photo because Charita was not a part of Brighter Day, but I’ll keep it in reserve for another essay. Thanks for pointing this out!

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