Ken Lynch and Gordon (right) in the radio program The Bishop and the Gargoyle

Richard Gordon (October 25, 1882 – December 11, 1967)[1][2][3][4] was an American actor in vaudeville and films and on stage and radio. He was perhaps best known for portraying the title role in the radio version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Early years

A native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, Gordon worked as a reporter on a newspaper there before he moved to New York City and became a reporter for the New York World. His earnings paid for his studies at Yale and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.[5]


In addition to his work in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes[6] from 1931 to 1933,[7] Gordon's roles on old-time radio included those shown in the table below:

Program Role
The Bishop and the Gargoyle The Bishop[8]: 43 
Follow the Moon Tetlow[9]
Hilda Hope, M.D. Dr. Boros[10]
Jane Arden Jane's father[8]: 172 
Orphans of Divorce Cyril Worthington[11]
Our Gal Sunday Dr. Abbott[12]
Pepper Young's Family Mr. Jerome[9]
Reginald Fortune Reginald Fortune[13]
Stella Dallas Morgan Ford[10]: 225 
Thatcher Colt Mysteries Thatcher Colt[9]
Valiant Lady Jim Barrett[8]: 346 

Gordon also was heard on The Biblical Hour and in Shakespearean productions.[8]

Stage and film

After he turned down a producer's offer of $35 per week for a minor part in a play, Gordon spent 10 years with a theatrical touring company.[12] Films in which Gordon appeared included Birth of a Baby, 13 Rue Madeleine, Saint Benny the Dip,[12] and Things to Come.[14]

Professional organizations

Gordon was involved in founding the Actors' Equity Association. Not long after it was formed, however, he encountered conflicts with officers of the organization as he advocated for inclusion of actors from film and radio. Those efforts apparently led to his leaving the group's council after five years. As continued growth of radio led to the formation of another group to represent that medium's actors, Gordon served as an advisor to the new American Federation of Radio Artists.[12]

Personal life

Gordon married three times, always to actresses with whom he was currently performing or had done so previously. The first marriage, beginning in January 1907, was to Denver-born actress Rachel Crown,[15][16] with whom Gordon had two children,[5] and alongside whom he continued to appear onstage at least as late as the summer of 1910.[17] Next, from 1923 until her death in 1946,[18][19][20] was Emily Ann Wellman, an actress and playwright[21] with whom Gordon performed in vaudeville.[22] To help her promote her works to producers, Gordon built a miniature theater using a scale of one-half inch to one foot. The couple prepared miniature props to enable creation of sets to help producers visualize the production of a play.[21] Gordon, whom one newspaper reporter described as an "actor-carpenter", used his workshop, which was equipped with saws, drill press, planer, and lathe.[23] Finally, from roughly 1946 until at least 1964, he was married to Boston-born former actress Margaret Brainard (né Taylor),[24][25] with whom he had co-starred more than three decades before in a well-received stage adaptation of Harold Bell Wright's novel The Winning of Barbara Worth.[26][27]


  1. ^ "Reminiscences of Richard Gordon, 1951". Columbia Center for Oral History.
  2. ^ Austin, Budd (August 1, 1964). "Curtain Time, Mister Gordon". The Palo Alto Times. Palo Alto, California. p. 39. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via
  3. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 7 January 2021), Richard Gordon, Dec 1967; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  4. ^ "United States, Veterans Administration Master Index, 1917-1940," database, FamilySearch ( : 3 September 2021), Richard Gordon, 23 Dec 1915; citing Military Service, NARA microfilm publication 76193916 (St. Louis: National Archives and Records Administration, 1985), various roll numbers.
  5. ^ a b Steinhauser, Si (January 28, 1940). "Master Sleuth of Radio to Play Joe Jefferson's 'Rip Van Winkle'". The Pittsburgh Press. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. p. 17. Retrieved November 8, 2019 – via
  6. ^ "Noted sleuths live again in radio feature". The Tampa Tribune. Florida, Tampa. Associated Press. April 5, 1931. p. 28. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  7. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 610. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924–1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  9. ^ a b c "What do you want to know?". Radio Mirror. 9 (1): 56. November 1937. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Buxton, Frank; Owen, Bill (1972). The Big Broadcast: 1920–1950. New York: The Viking Press. p. 111.
  11. ^ "Wednesday's Highlights". Radio and Television Mirror. 13 (4): 46. February 1940. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d Randolph, Leonard (November 24, 1951). "Actor Richard Gordon's First Big Chance Came In Play That Flopped In Three Weeks". The Pocono Record. Pennsylvania, Stroudsburg. p. 22. Retrieved November 8, 2019 – via
  13. ^ "Highlights for Friday, Dec. 17". Radio Mirror. 9 (3): 47. January 1938. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "(untitled brief)". Photoplay Magazine. XLIX (5). June 1936. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  15. ^ "Local Items". The Jewish Outlook. Denver, Colorado. January 11, 1907. p. 8. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via
  16. ^ "David Corson Goes to the Wall Also". The Muscatine Journal. Mucatine, Iowa. February 8, 1907. p. 4. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via
  17. ^ "The Light Above". The Billboard. August 13, 1910. p. 4. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  18. ^ "Emily Ann Wellman Returns". The Billboard. May 23, 1925. p. 24. ProQuest 1031749695. Emily Ann Wellman, who has been absent from the stage since her marriage to Richard Gordon at the time she was appearing in The Wasp, is planning to return to the footlights next season.
  19. ^ Mantle Burns, ed. (1923). The Best Plays of 1922-1923. New York: Dodds, Mead and Company. p. 549.
  20. ^ "Mrs. Emily Gordon Funeral". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. December 26, 1926. p. 45. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  21. ^ a b "She tells Broadway how to do it". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. December 26, 1926. p. 45. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  22. ^ "Emily Wellman to appear at Liberty". The Dayton Herald. Ohio, Dayton. November 12, 1921. p. 9. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  23. ^ Lewis, Al (November 15, 1936). "Sherlock Holmes Turns Host". The Atlanta Constitution. Georgia, Atlanta. p. Screen & Radio Weekly 7. Retrieved November 9, 2019 – via
  24. ^ Austin, Budd (August 1, 1964). "A Nation Knew Him as the Famous Sherlock Holmes". The Palo Alto Times. Palo Alto, California. p. 55. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via
  25. ^ "Attractions at the Theatres". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. September 19, 1915. p. 54. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via
  26. ^ "Amusements". The Champaign Daily News. Champaign, Illinois. September 19, 1915. p. 3. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via
  27. ^ "Scene from 'The Winning of Barbara Worth'". The Choshocton Tribune. Coshocton, Ohio. January 9, 1914. p. 7. Retrieved March 31, 2023 – via

Richard Gordon at IMDb