Sunday, October 14, 2018

Director, Producer, "I Love Lucy" Actor Hy Averback 1997 Westwood Cemetery

Hyman Jack Averback (October 21, 1920 – October 14, 1997) was an American radio, television, and film actor who eventually became a producer and director.

Early years

Born in Minneapolis, Averback moved to California with his family when he was 9.[1]


Averback graduated from the Edward Clark Academy Theater in 1938 [2] and eventually got a job announcing at KMPC Beverly Hills[3] before World War II.[4]

During the War, as part of the Armed Forces Radio Service, he entertained troops in the Pacific with his program of comedy and music, where he created the character of Tokyo Mose, a lampoon of Japan's Tokyo Rose. After his discharge, his big break came when he was hired to announce the Jack Paar radio show, which replaced Jack Benny for the summer beginning June 1, 1947. He became the announcer for Bob Hope on NBC in September 1948 and also announced for other NBC radio shows, The Sealtest Village Store and Let's Talk Hollywood, as well as on the Sweeney and March show on CBS in 1948[5] and appeared as the voice of Newsweek magazine on a weekly radio show on ABC West Coast stations the same year.[6]

Averback was also an actor, appearing a number of times on the Jack Benny radio show, beginning in January 1948.[7]

In 1952, Averback starred in Secret Mission, a transcribed program "dealing with factual stories of escape from behind the Iron Curtain" on AFRS.[8]


Doing comedy on early television, he appeared on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1952), The Saturday Night Revue (1953–54), Tonight (1955) and NBC Comedy Hour (1956). He was a series regular as Mr. Romero on the Eve Arden sitcom Our Miss Brooks.

Averback appeared in CBS's I Love Lucy as "Charlie Applebee" and "Charlie Pomerantz."

He acted in other 1950s comedies, before moving into directing at the end of that decade. 

He directed The Real McCoys, the Walter Brennan sitcom that was created and produced by Irving Pincus and aired on ABC and CBS from 1957 to 1963. Later, Averback shared directing duties with Richard Crenna on The Real McCoys. Crenna had also been a cast member with Averback on Our Miss Brooks.

Averback directed two episodes of the Columbo mystery series: Suitable for Framing (1971) and A Stitch in Crime (1973).

Averback also directed for The Dick Powell Show (1961–1963), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964–1968), The Flying Nun (1967–1970),  McCloud (1971), M*A*S*H (1972), Needles and Pins (1973), Quark (1977-1978), Matt Houston (1982–1983), The Four Seasons (1984), and the miniseries Pearl (1978). For CBS, he produced Mrs. G. Goes to College (aka The Gertrude Berg Show) in the 1961-1962 season.

He co-produced the popular 1960s sitcom F Troop and supplied the voice over the loudspeaker heard on the television series M*A*S*H. His actual recording from a Bob Hope show was used in M*A*S*H episode 63, "Bombed," from season 3 where he announces himself as Hope's announcer.


Averback co-narrated a 62-minute sex educational film, The Story of Life, released by Crusader Productions in June 1948.[9] It featured live action as well as animation by former Walt Disney artists Lester Novros and Robert Moore.

Film credits include his role as Willard Alexander in The Benny Goodman Story (1956), and directing Chamber of Horrors (1966), Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968), I Love You, Alice B. Toklas (1968), The Great Bank Robbery (1969), and Suppose They Gave A War and Nobody Came (1969).  He directed the TV-movie A Guide For the Married Woman (1978) with Cybill Shepherd and the reunion TV-movie The New Maverick (1978) with James Garner and Jack Kelly.


Hy Averback died on October 14, 1997. His ashes are interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park


1. Kleiner, Dick (November 22, 1992). "Ask Dick Kleiner". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, S.C. p. 51.
2. Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1939.
3. Broadcasting magazine, May 8, 1944
4. "The Start of Armed Forces Radio Service". Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation.
5. Daily Variety, Aug. 24, 1948
6. Daily Variety, May 11, 1948
7. 39 Forever, Second Edition, Part 2, by Laura Leff, 2006
8. "AFRS Series" (PDF). Broadcasting. November 10, 1952. p. 76.
9. Daily Variety, June 22, 1948

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