Staats Cotsworth

Staats Cotsworth (February 17, 1908 – April 9, 1979) was an actor in old-time radio.[1] He is perhaps best known for playing the title role in Casey, Crime Photographer.

Staats Cotsworth
Cotsworth in 1948
Staats Cotsworth, Jr.

February 17, 1908
DiedApril 9, 1979(1979-04-09) (aged 71)
Manhattan, New York City
Known forPlaying the title role in radio's Casey, Crime Photographer
Home townOak Park, Illinois
Spouse(s)Muriel Kirkland (1936-1968, her death)
Josephine Hutchinson
Parent(s)Staats Cotsworth, Sr. and Dorothy Bodley Cotsworth

Early years

Cotsworth was born in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of Staats Cotsworth, Sr. and Dorothy Bodley Cotsworth. He had a brother, John Littlefield Cotsworth.[2] In 1929, he received a diploma in the Department of Art from the Pennsylvania Museum's School of Industrial Art.[3]


Cotsworth was once described as "the busiest actor in radio," having performed in 7,500 broadcasts in 12 years.[1] His roles as a regular cast member included those shown in the table below.

Amanda of Honeymoon HillEdward Leighton[4]
Big SisterDr. John Wayne[5]
Casey, Crime PhotographerCasey[6]
Front Page FarrellDavid Farrell[7]
Inspector ThorneThorne[4]:347
Lone JourneyWolfe Bennett[8]
Ma PerkinsGideon Harris[9]
Mark TrailMark Trail[10]
Mr. and Mrs. NorthLieutenant Weigand[11]
Pepper Young's FamilyJeff Taylor[12]
Roger Kilgore, Public DefenderDistrict Attorney Sam Howe [4]:582
The Man from G-2Major Hugh North[4]:432
When a Girl MarriesPhil Stanley[4]:717

Other programs on which Cotsworth appeared included The Chase,[4]:150 These Are Our Men,[4]:662 X Minus One,[4]:729 Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons,[11] The Right to Happiness,[13] Cavalcade of America,[14] Grand Central Station,[15] The Story of Mary Marlin,[16] and Silver Theater.[17]


Cotsworth's professional debut on stage was in Alice in Wonderland, produced by Eva LeGallienne.[7] His Broadway credits include First Episode (1934), Othello (1935), Macbeth (1935 and 1941-1942), Damaged Goods (1937), As You Like It (1937), Stop-Over (1938), Madame Capet (1938), Boudoir (1941), She Stoops to Conquer (1949-1950), Richard III (1953), Inherit the Wind (1955-1957), Pictures in the Hallway (1956), I Knock at the Door (1957), Advise and Consent (1960-1961), The Right Honourable Gentleman (1965-1966), Weekend (1968), A Patriot for Me (1969), and Lost in the Stars (1972).[18]


Cotsworth was seen in Killer's Choice, the premiere episode of Kraft Mystery Theatre, in June 1958,[19] and in "The Thirty-first of February'", an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, in January 1963.[20] He was in Macbeth when that play was presented on Hallmark Hall of Fame.[21]


Cotsworth was also an artist.[22] "He attended several art schools in this country and studied for seven years in Paris,"[23] at the Académie Colarossi.[11] His work included illustrating Ernest Peixotto's book, A Bacchic Pilgrimage, published by Charles Scribner's Sons[24] and painting "three murals for some swank bowling alleys in Washington."[25] His work was exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Water Color Club in Philadelphia.[8]

A newspaper obituary described Cotsworth as "an accomplished painter of oils and watercolors," noting that at the time of his death he was "listed in the current Who's Who in American Art."[21]

Union activities

Cotsworth was elected a member of the New York Local Board of the American Federation of Radio Artists in 1946[26] and in 1949.[27]

Personal life

Cotsworth married Muriel Kirkland, an actress, in New York City on May 24, 1936.[11] They remained married until her death in 1968.[21] Later he married Josephine Hutchinson, who was also an actress.[28]


Cotsworth died April 9, 1979 in his apartment in Manhattan, New York. He was survived by his second wife Josephine.[28]


  1. DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 64.
  2. "Staats Cotsworth, Former Villager, Services in East". Illinois, Oak Park. Oak Park Oak Leaves. March 24, 1938. p. 69. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  3. List of Graduates; Awards and Prizes: 1928-1929. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Museum's School of Industrial Art. June 6, 1929. p. 2. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  4. Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 23
  5. "New Character on CBS "Big Sister"". Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. Harrisburg Telegraph. April 1, 1944. p. 15. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  6. Sies, Luther F. (2014). Encyclopedia of American Radio, 1920-1960, 2nd Edition, Volume 1. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-5149-4. P. 121.
  7. Rathbun, Joe (June 24, 1945). "Joe's Radio Parade". Ohio, Zanesville. Sunday Times Signal. p. 7. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  8. "Lone Journey Hero". Radio-TV Mirror. 37 (4): 38–39, 88–89. March 1952. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  9. "Ma Perkins". TV-Radio Mirror. 46 (1): 60–64. June 1956. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  10. Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1952). The 1952 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 847.
  11. Cotsworth, Muriel Kirkland (July 1947). "Right for Each Other". Radio Mirror. 28 (2): 44–45, 70–73. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  12. "Pepper Young's Family". TV Radio Mirror. 46 (6): 50–53. November 1956. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  13. Rathbun, Joe (February 25, 1945). "Joe's Radio Parade". Ohio, Zanesville. Sunday Times Signal. p. 21. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  14. "The Conquest of Quinine". Illinois, Belvidere. Belvidere Daily Republican. July 31, 1944. p. 4. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  15. ""Grand Central Station" returns to WHP". Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. Harrisburg Telegraph. March 4, 1944. p. 15. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  16. "Family Affair". Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. Harrisburg Telegraph. February 5, 1944. p. 16. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  17. "New Shows Take Over Radio's Favorite Spots". Maryland, Hagerstown. The Morning News. October 15, 1940. p. 6. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  18. "Staats Cotsworth". Playbill Vault. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  19. "Kraft Mystery Theatre" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 28, 1958. p. 18. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  20. "David Wayne Stars in Episode On 'Alfred Hitchcock Hour'". Missouri, Jefferson City. Jefferson City Post Tribune. January 4, 1963. p. 15. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  21. "Staats Cotsworth, Broadway actor, artist". St. Petersburg Times. April 13, 1979. p. 15B. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  22. Francis, Robert (April 23, 1939). "Candid Close-Ups". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 36. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  23. "Cameraman Is Artist". Nebraska, Lincoln. The Nebraska State Journal. July 30, 1944. p. 28. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  24. Coan, Philip (October 28, 1932). "A Temperate Bacchus". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 12. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  25. Francis, Robert (January 18, 1942). "Candid Close-Ups". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 37. Retrieved January 6, 2016 via
  26. "Election Results" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 9, 1946. p. 85. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  27. "AFRA N.Y. Local" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 12, 1949. p. 80. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  28. "Deaths" (PDF). Broadcasting. April 23, 1979. p. 71. Retrieved 7 January 2016.

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