Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy 97th birthday to Zacherley. Part 1

Zacherley caged (credit goes to photographer.)

Zacherley has just turned 97 years over the weekend. I hope he had a spooktacular birthday. And I am looking forward to see what he will do next in his career.

Zacherley aka Roland, whose real name is John Zacherle was born on September 27, 1918 in Philadelphia, PA. He grew up in Philadelphia and spent his early life there throughout his school years. He would move on after graduating from Germantown High School to the University of Pennsylvania. At the University he received a Bachelor degree in English Literature. But his future plans after graduation would have to be put on hold due to the start of World War II. He would enlist and do some tours of duties in North Africa and Europe. During his time in the military he would be award the rank of major. After his tours of duties ended, he came home to Philadelphia looking to continue his life. When he returned, he was pushed by friends to try out acting.

He auditioned and was able to join an acting group called the Stagecrafters. While working with the Stagecrafters and doing performances, he would finally get his big break. He started to play on weekly serial type western show called, "Action in the Afternoon". He played many characters on the show including an undertaker. The role of the undertaker would lead him to the role he is most famous Roland/Zacherley. An executive at WCAU-TV Channel ten in Philadelphia enjoyed the part he played as the undertaker. He was offered to host the show called Shock Theater. It premiered on October 7, 1957. The show would go on until September 13, 1958. After the show ended, it also ended his time in Philadelphia for this part of his life.

Check back tomorrow for the continuation of Zacherley's life story in New York and his ultimate return to Philadelphia. Stay spooky everyone.

Credit goes to photographer

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