Bud Collyer

Bud Collyer

Original Name Clayton Johnson Heermance
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 8 Sep 1969 (aged 61)
Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Plot Section O - Lot A-6
Memorial ID 6402194 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Radio Actor, Television Game Show Host. He is best remembered for his work in the roles of Clark Kent and Superman on radio and as the first host of the TV game show "To Tell the Truth." Born Clayton Johnson Heermance, Jr., he originally sought a career in law and attended Williams College in Williamson, Massachusetts and Fordham University Law School in New York City, New York. He became a law clerk after graduation; however, making as much money in a month of radio as he did in a year of clerking convinced him to make broadcasting his career. He changed his surname and by 1940 he became a familiar voice on all three major radio networks. His radio roles included "Terry and the Pirates" as Pat Ryan), "Renfrew of the Mounted" (the title role), and "Abie's Irish Rose" (the title role), and he also announced for a number of radio soap operas, including "The Guiding Light" and "The Goldbergs," a serial comedy with dramatic overtones. His best-remembered radio role arrived in early 1940 as the title role in "The Adventures of Superman" on the Mutual Broadcasting System, a role he performed in the 1940s radio drama and subsequent "Superman" cartoons. He provided the voices of both Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent. A highlight of every "Superman" episode was the moment when Clark Kent changed into his Superman costume, an effect which he conveyed by shifting voices while speaking the immortal phrase "This is (or "looks like") a job for SUPERMAN!!" He obtained his first helping of game shows when he co-hosted ABC's (the former NBC Blue network) "Break the Bank" with future Miss America Pageant mainstay Bert Parks, and later, when he was picked to host the radio original of the Mark Goodson-Bill Todman team's first game, "Winner Take All." He went on to host the television versions of both shows, but in 1950 he got the job which genuinely made him a household name entitled "Beat the Clock," a stunt game show which pitted couples (usually, but not exclusively, married) against the clock in a race to perform silly (and occasionally messy) tasks, which were called "problems" but could with more accuracy be called "stunts." The grand prizes for these usually came in terms of cash or home appliances. He hosted the show for eleven years (1950 through 1961), and also co-produced it for part of its run. In 1956 he became the host of a new Goodson-Todman production, "To Tell the Truth," on CBS, a panel show featured four celebrities questioning three challengers all claiming to be the same person. After the celebrities voted for their choices, he intoned the famous phrase, "Will the real... John Doe... please... stand up?" His other game show hosting included the DuMont game shows "Talent Jackpot" (1949) and "On Your Way" (1953 to 1954), "Feather Your Nest" (1954), and the ABC game "Number Please" (1961), which replaced "Beat the Clock" after the final ABC episode. In 1966 he reprised his role as the voice of Superman in the animated television series "The New Adventures of Superman." A deeply religious person, he taught a Sunday School class at his Presbyterian church for over 35 years and was known to have contributed to various Christian religious works, including the authoring of two inspirational books, "Thou Shalt Not Fear" (1962) and "With the Whole Heart" (1966), as well as making a recording of the New Testament of the "Good News Bible." He died from a circulatory ailment at the age of 61. At the time of his death, he was married to 1930s movie actress Marian Shockley. He was posthumously named as one of the honorees by DC Comics in the company's 50th anniversary publication "Fifty Who Made DC Great."

Bio by: William Bjornstad

Family Members




How famous was Bud Collyer?

Current rating:

139 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kenneth McNeil
  • Added: 9 May 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6402194
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Bud Collyer (18 Jun 1908–8 Sep 1969), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6402194, citing Putnam Cemetery, Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .