One of radio’s busiest and most versatile actresses, Agnes Moorehead began her career as a singer on KMOX/St. Louis in the 1920s before moving to New York City in the early ’30s. By 1935 she was co-starring on The Gumps, based on Sidney Smith’s popular comic strip, while on The March of Time she was given official dispensation to impersonate First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Moorehead was the first actress to play Margo Lane on The Shadow; another well-received role was Mrs. Brown on the situation comedy The Aldrich Family. She was an original ensemble member of Orson Welles’ The Mercury Theatre on the Air and appeared in his groundbreaking 1937 radio production of Les Misérables. She also performed regularly on the historical anthology series Cavalcade of America.
Moorehead moved to Hollywood in 1941 and became the only actress at MGM whose movie contract allowed her to pursue outside radio work. During the ’40s she co-starred with Lionel Barrymore on the family comedy Mayor of the Town and established herself as “the first lady of Suspense” by starring in more than 25 productions of that long-running anthology series, including the most famous Suspense story of all, “Sorry, Wrong Number.”
Moorehead also made an impression on television as the meddlesome Endora on Bewitched (1964-1972).
Agnes Moorehead died on April 30, 1974.
She was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.