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William Holden Collection

Humphrey Bogart was the indirect causes of one of Hollywood's great love stories. His rudeness to Audrey Hepburn drove her into the arms of co-star William Holden, but it was a romance that was doomed from the start.

31 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 19 hours, 13 min)
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1 MP3 CD
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23 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from May 05, 1940:

"Lux Radio: Our Town "



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HoldenIt wasn't enough for William Holden to become one of Hollywood's great heart-throbs. He was also part of one of Movieland's great love stories. Sadly, it was a love story that ended badly for everyone involved.

Born William Franklin Beedle, Jr., in O'Fallon, Illinois, 1918, Bill was the son of an industrial chemist and a school teacher. When he was three-years-old, the family moved to South Pasadena. After graduating from South Pasadena High School, Bill acted in a few local radio plays while attending Pasadena Junior College. There is an urban legend that he trained at the Pasadena Playhouse, a legend possibly started by the Playhouse's own publicity department.

There is no official version of how Holden got his professional name, although the most plausible explanation is that the studio scout who discovered him, Harry Winston, was still carrying a torch for his ex-wife, actress Gloria Holden, famous for her role as Dracula's Daughter (1936).

After a couple of uncredited appearances, Holden landed a starring role in Golden Boy (1939), opposite Barbara Stanwyck, playing a violinist who wants to make it as a boxer. After his first couple of days on the set, the producers were unsatisfied and wanted to drop Holden from the film, but Miss Stanwyck was impressed with the young actor and insisted that he be kept on. She also dedicated her personal time to mentoring the young actor. Stanwyck and Holden became lifelong friends, and according to Hollywood legend, he sent her flowers every year on the anniversary of Golden Boy's release.

He followed up with the gangster film Invisible Stripes (1939) with George Raft and Humphrey Bogart and starred in the movie version of Thornton Wilder's Our Town (1940). During the War, Holden was assigned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Force's 1st Motion Picture Unit, acting in various training films.

Holden

Holden's career was slow to reignite after the War until Billy wilder gave him the part of a down on his luck screenwriter who becomes the obsession of an aging silent screen siren played by Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard (1950), for which he received his first Academy Award Nomination. He won Best Actor for Stalag 13 (1953), but Holden was convinced that the Award should have gone to his friend Burt Lancaster for From Here to Eternity (1953). He gave one of the shortest acceptance speeches in Oscar history, accepting his statue, saying only ”Thank you", and walking off the stage.

Holden's younger brother, Robert Beedle, was a Navy flier who was killed in action over New Ireland in the Pacific. After seeing Holden's performance in the Korean War story, The Bridge at Toko-Ri (1954), Beedle's former squadron mates commented that he had been a lot like Holden's character in the film.

The same year, he co-starred with Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. Bogart had not been the first choice to star in the film (Cary Grant turned the part down) and was bitter that his wife, Lauren Bacall, had not been cast in the title role. That made him difficult to work with on the set, but he was particularly rude to Hepburn, whom he mocked for her accent and her needing several takes to get her dialog right. Holden stepped in as a sort of big-brother to Audrey, partly to deflect Bogey's rudeness, and partly because he was smitten with the young beauty.

Hepburn called Holden "the most handsome man I have ever met", and began secretly meet him in his dressing room and away from the set. Neither seemed to care that Holden was 11 years older than Audrey, not to mention being married with three children (to be fair, Holden and his wife, actress Brenda Marshall, spent most of their marriage separated from one another).

Holden smokes

The affair burned passionately and became an open secret around Hollywood (perhaps not too open, director Billy Wilder claimed to have not known a thing about it). By the time the film wrapped, Holden was ready to divorce his wife and marry Audrey. She felt the same way and shared that she wanted to have three or four kids and retire from show business to raise them. At that point, Holden revealed that kids were the one thing he could not give her, having had a vasectomy some time earlier. Heartbroken, Hepburn immediately ended the affair and soon married and had a child with Mel Ferrer. She would have a series of unhappy marriages, and reportedly carried a torch for Holden the rest of her life.

Holden's career peaked with The Bridge over the River Kwai (1957). After that, his passion for acting faded, as did the quality of parts he was offered. He considered himself a moderate Republican. he had been the Best Man at the wedding of Ronald and Nancy Reagan but never had any political ambitions of his own. He worked toward the preservation of African wildlife and owned the Mount Kenya Safari Club, which became a popular jet-set destination. With friends, he set up the Mount Kenya Game Ranch as a wildlife preserve and inspired the formation of the William Holden Wildlife Foundation.

Aside from African wildlife, Holden's other passion was drink. Having battled alcoholism his whole life, on November 12, 1981, he put away the better part of a bottle of vodka before slipping on a rug on the way to the bathroom. When he fell, his head suffered a laceration from striking a table. His body was discovered four days later. Evidence from the scene indicated that he was conscious for at least half an hour after the fall, but either did not realize the extent of his injury or was simply unable to call for help.

A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street honors William Holden's contributions to Motion Pictures. The location is shared by Stars honoring Broncho Billy Anderson, Red Buttons, Maurice Chevalier, and Greer Garson, as well as Stars honoring Lionel Barrymore and Eddie Bracken's contributions to Radio. 

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2019 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    31 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 19 hours, 13 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      31 shows - total playtime 19 hours 13 minutes
      1. Bob Hope 3955 520429 532 William Holden.mp3
      2. Cavalcade Of America 450108 Name Rank Serial Number.mp3
      3. Cavalcade Of America 450528 Recon Pilot.mp3
      4. Cavalcade Of America 500425 Firefly Lamp.mp3
      5. Cavalcade Of America 511204 Sitting Duck.mp3
      6. Dear Adolf 420726 5 Letter From An American Private.mp3
      7. Ft 470717 023 Song For Long Road.mp3
      8. General Electric 530813 06 Virginian.mp3
      9. Hedda Hopper 501021 William Holden.mp3
      10. Lux Radio 400506 262 Our Town.mp3
      11. Lux Radio 420330 345 I Wanted Wings.mp3
      12. Lux Radio 450917 493 Christmas Holiday.mp3
      13. Lux Radio 461021 542 Miss Susie Slagles.mp3
      14. Lux Radio 480426 613 Dear Ruth.mp3
      15. Lux Radio 490228 647 Apartment For Peggy.mp3
      16. Lux Radio 510917 756 Sunset Boulevard.mp3
      17. Lux Radio 520407 785 Union Station.mp3
      18. Lux Radio 521117 803 Submarine Command.mp3
      19. Lux Radio 530119 812 Appointment Danger.mp3
      20. Lux Radio 530601 831 High Tor.mp3
      21. Martin And Lewis 520215 060 William Holden.mp3
      22. People Are Funny 580716 Observant Man.mp3
      23. Sgt 401229 Drink Glass Of Sassafras.mp3
      24. Smiths Of Hollywood 470411 Nancy Has An Accident.mp3
      25. Smiths Of San Fernando 460920 Smiths Of San Fernando.mp3
      26. Suspense 501109 Blood On Trumpet.mp3
      27. Suspense 510827 Report On Jolly Death Riders.mp3
      28. Suspense 531109 Needle In Haystack.mp3
      29. Suspense 540215 Outer Limit.mp3
      30. Theater Guild On Air 470202 061 Farmer Takes Wife.mp3
      31. Thetaer of Star 530329 0314 Machine Number Nine.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    31 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 19 hours, 13 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      31 shows - total playtime 19 hours 13 minutes
      1. Bob Hope 3955 520429 532 William Holden.mp3
      2. Cavalcade Of America 450108 Name Rank Serial Number.mp3
      3. Cavalcade Of America 450528 Recon Pilot.mp3
      4. Cavalcade Of America 500425 Firefly Lamp.mp3
      5. Cavalcade Of America 511204 Sitting Duck.mp3
      6. Dear Adolf 420726 5 Letter From An American Private.mp3
      7. Ft 470717 023 Song For Long Road.mp3
      8. General Electric 530813 06 Virginian.mp3
      9. Hedda Hopper 501021 William Holden.mp3
      10. Lux Radio 400506 262 Our Town.mp3
      11. Lux Radio 420330 345 I Wanted Wings.mp3
      12. Lux Radio 450917 493 Christmas Holiday.mp3
      13. Lux Radio 461021 542 Miss Susie Slagles.mp3
      14. Lux Radio 480426 613 Dear Ruth.mp3
      15. Lux Radio 490228 647 Apartment For Peggy.mp3
      16. Lux Radio 510917 756 Sunset Boulevard.mp3
      17. Lux Radio 520407 785 Union Station.mp3
      18. Lux Radio 521117 803 Submarine Command.mp3
      19. Lux Radio 530119 812 Appointment Danger.mp3
      20. Lux Radio 530601 831 High Tor.mp3
      21. Martin And Lewis 520215 060 William Holden.mp3
      22. People Are Funny 580716 Observant Man.mp3
      23. Sgt 401229 Drink Glass Of Sassafras.mp3
      24. Smiths Of Hollywood 470411 Nancy Has An Accident.mp3
      25. Smiths Of San Fernando 460920 Smiths Of San Fernando.mp3
      26. Suspense 501109 Blood On Trumpet.mp3
      27. Suspense 510827 Report On Jolly Death Riders.mp3
      28. Suspense 531109 Needle In Haystack.mp3
      29. Suspense 540215 Outer Limit.mp3
      30. Theater Guild On Air 470202 061 Farmer Takes Wife.mp3
      31. Thetaer of Star 530329 0314 Machine Number Nine.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    31 recordings on 23 Audio CDs
    total playtime 19 hours, 13 min

    William Holden Disc A001

    1. Lux Radio 400506 262 Our Town

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    William Holden Disc A002

    1. Sgt 401229 Drink Glass Of Sassafras

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    William Holden Disc A003

    1. Lux Radio 420330 345 I Wanted Wings

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    William Holden Disc A004

    1. Dear Adolf 420726 5 Letter From An American Private
    2. Cavalcade Of America 450108 Name Rank Serial Number

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    William Holden Disc A005

    1. Cavalcade Of America 450528 Recon Pilot

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    William Holden Disc A006

    1. Lux Radio 450917 493 Christmas Holiday

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    William Holden Disc A007

    1. Smiths Of San Fernando 460920 Smiths Of San Fernando

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    William Holden Disc A008

    1. Lux Radio 461021 542 Miss Susie Slagles

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    William Holden Disc A009

    1. Theater Guild On Air 470202 061 Farmer Takes Wife

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    William Holden Disc A010

    1. Smiths Of Hollywood 470411 Nancy Has An Accident
    2. Ft 470717 023 Song For Long Road

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    William Holden Disc A011

    1. Lux Radio 480426 613 Dear Ruth

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    William Holden Disc A012

    1. Lux Radio 490228 647 Apartment For Peggy

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    William Holden Disc A013

    1. Cavalcade Of America 500425 Firefly Lamp
    2. Hedda Hopper 501021 William Holden

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    William Holden Disc A014

    1. Suspense 501109 Blood On Trumpet
    2. Suspense 510827 Report On Jolly Death Riders

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    William Holden Disc A015

    1. Lux Radio 510917 756 Sunset Boulevard

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    William Holden Disc A016

    1. Cavalcade Of America 511204 Sitting Duck
    2. Martin And Lewis 520215 060 William Holden

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    William Holden Disc A017

    1. Lux Radio 520407 785 Union Station

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    William Holden Disc A018

    1. Bob Hope 3955 520429 532 William Holden

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    William Holden Disc A019

    1. Lux Radio 521117 803 Submarine Command

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    William Holden Disc A020

    1. Lux Radio 530119 812 Appointment Danger

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    William Holden Disc A021

    1. Thetaer of Star 530329 0314 Machine Number Nine
    2. Lux Radio 530601 831 High Tor

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    William Holden Disc A022

    1. General Electric 530813 06 Virginian
    2. Suspense 531109 Needle In Haystack

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    William Holden Disc A023

    1. Suspense 540215 Outer Limit
    2. People Are Funny 580716 Observant Man

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