Lillian Cornell

Lillian Cornell (June 2, 1916 Chicago, Illinois - May 25, 2015 Miami, Florida) was an American singer on old-time radio and an actress in films in the early 1940s.

Lillian Cornell
Lillian Cornell (fair use)
Lillian Michuda

June 2, 1916
Chicago, Illinois
DiedMay 25, 2015, (age 98)
Miami, Florida
OccupationSinger, actress
Spouse(s)Asa Fessenden (1947-1984, his death)

Early years

Cornell was born Lillian Michuda June 2, 1916, in Chicago.[1] Her name was changed to Lillian Cornell by studio executives when she began to act in films.[2]


In 1936, Cornell (billed as Lillian Michuda) had her own radio program on WCFL in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois.[3] Three years later, she had moved to NBC, where she had the self-titled Lillian Cornell program.[4]

She also performed on Pleasure Parade,[5] Club Matinee, Roy Shield Revue, Jamboree and Sunday Dinner at Aunt Fanny's.[6]

Personal appearances

In 1944, Cornell was the featured singer at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. A review published in the Chicago Tribune on November 26, 1944, described Cornell as "a dark haired beauty with a clear, impressive voice and an admirably gracious, easy manner."[7]


Cornell's venture into the film industry was initiated via radio. Radio Varieties magazine reported that because radio commitments kept Cornell in Chicago, "her managers arranged a cocktail party in the movie mecca, at which an audition of Lillian's voice was heard by special wire from the Windy City."[8] She signed a contract with Paramount Pictures and soon appeared in Buck Benny Rides Again.[8]


In 1946, Cornell was part of the cast of The Window Shade Revue, a 45-minute musical broadcast on WNBT in New York City. An article in Billboard magazine reported that the program was "said to be one of the biggest budgeted shows yet done by NBC on WNBT since the web took over Channel Four."[9] She also appeared on Close-Ups on NBC that year.[10]

Personal life

In 1947, Cornell married Asa Fessenden. They were married until he died in 1984.[1]


Cornell died May 25, 2015, in Miami, Florida. She was survived by three children.[1]

Partial filmography

Partial discography

  • Gems from Sigmund Rombert Shows - with Sigmund Romberg and his Orchestra and Chorus, Genevieve Row, Eric Mattson and Lawrence Brooks (RCA Victor Album M-1051)
  • Gems from Sigmund Romberg Shows, Volume 2 - with Sigmund Romberg and his Orchestra and Chorus, Genevieve Row and Lawrence Brooks (RCA Victor Album MO-1256)


  1. Lentz, Harris III (September 2015). "Lillian Cornell, 98". Classic Images (483): 51.
  2. "Hollywood Has System Of Its Own To Find Names For Film Aspirants". The Evening Review. Ohio, East Liverpool. International News Service. February 6, 1941. p. 15. Retrieved July 15, 2016 via
  3. "(radio listing)". The News-Palladium. Michigan, Benton Harbor. July 6, 1936. p. 12. Retrieved July 15, 2016 via
  4. Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 161.
  5. "(Frederic W. Ziv Company ad)". Broadcasting. October 29, 1945. p. 28. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  6. Moore, Don (November 17, 1939). "Backstage in Chicago" (PDF). Radio Guide. 9 (5): 8. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  7. Davidson, Will (November 26, 1944). "Pianist Is at Last Coming Into His Own". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. p. 5. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  8. "A Star Is Made". Radio Varieties. 3 (11): 14–15. November 1940. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  9. "Lee Wallace Sells Revue to NBC" (PDF). Billboard. August 17, 1946. p. 15. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  10. "Television Reviews: Close-Ups" (PDF). Billboard. March 2, 1946. p. 12. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
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