1 9 5 0 – 1 9 6 3 (USA)
Narrated by a succession of hosts (most famously news anchor Douglas Edwards), Armstrong Circle Theatre, sponsored by the Armstrong Corporation, specialised in dramas based on true-life stories and ran on NBC from January 1950 to June 1957, and on CBS from October 1957 to August 1963.
The excellent series – originally a half-hour format and later expanding to one-hour – was seen every other Wednesday, usually at 10 pm EST.
The most popular topics for stories were related to the Cold War. with titles like ‘The Vanished’, ‘Thunder Over Berlin’, ‘Security Risk’, ‘The Spy Next Door’, ‘Window On The West’ and ‘Tunnel to Freedom’.
A number of episodes had quite an impact. One programme dramatised the activities of international adoption service, Waif. The programme described the plight of illegitimate part-American orphans in Korea.
More than 6,000 people wrote letters to the show with offers of help, and over 100 couples adopted young orphans and took them to the US.
The series also became a haven for gifted young actors, and many future stars got their big break on Armstrong Circle Theatre, including Anne Jackson, John Lipton, Henry Daniell, Cloris Leachman, Leslie Nielsen, Grace Kelly, Henry Hull, John Newland, Lola Albright, Cara Williams, Ed Begley, Bonita Granville, Patricia Breslin, Walter Matthau, Elizabeth Montgomery, Jackie Cooper, James Dean, Janet Blair, Joanne Woodward, Darren McGavin, Bibi Osterwald, Everett Sloane, Jack Warden, Peggy McKay, Lois Nettleton and Patty Duke.
Nelson Case (1950-1951)
Joe Ripley (1952-1953)
Bob Sherry (1953-1954)
Sandy Becker (1954-1955)
John Cameron Swayze (1955-1957)
Douglas Edwards (1957-1961)
Henry Hamilton (1960-1963)
Ron Cochran (1961-1962)