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Ned Wever

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Ned Wever (April 27, 1889 – May 6, 1984) was a New York radio actor who was a frequent supporting voice on The Adventures of Superman from the beginning, playing a range of Superman's friends and foes.

Wever played Superman's Kryptonian father Jor-L in both the 1939 audition record and the first aired broadcast (February 12, 1940). He was also the first villain on the series, playing an enemy agent known as the Shark in the same set of audition programs, and the first aired villain, the Wolf, who plagued Superman in a few of the early serials. Wever continued to appear semi-regularly, and in the 1945 "Atom Man" serial, he played the chuckling fat man Sidney who abets the Atom Man.

Outside of Superman, Wever was an active radio player from the early 1930s, in a career that ran the gamut from speaking lines for baritone singer Conrad Thibault on the variety/melodrama Show Boat in 1934 to the title roles on Dick Tracy and Bulldog Drummond in the 1940s. He played romantic leads on the anthology The Love Story Hour (1931-1932), which was narrated by an early incarnation of the Shadow, and opposite former silent star Irene Rich in the mid 1930s, in addition to the likes of The Court of Human Affairs and Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing. On soaps, Wever usually played the spouse or love interest of the long-suffering heroines who then dominated the dial, with regular roles on Manhattan Mother (husband Lawrence Locke, 1938 Chicago shows), Her Honor Nancy James (DA Anthony Hale, 1938-1939), Big Sister (newspaperman Jerry Miller, ca. 1940s-1952), and especially Young Widder Brown (as Anthony Loring, who pursued the title character from around 1940 until a final, successful proposal in 1956).

As radio drama began to die off in the 1950s, Wever transitioned to on-camera character roles (often as doctors or judges), with supporting parts in films like The Shaggy Dog and Anatomy of a Murder (both 1959) and appearances on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Millionaire, Perry Mason, Bonanza, and Get Smart, among others.

Superman roles

  • The Adventures of Superman
    • "The Baby from Krypton" (1939 audition/1940 broadcast version): Jor-L
    • "Clark Kent, Reporter" (1939 audition): Professor; Phone Voice (both versions)
    • "The Wolf" (Feb. 16-21, 1940), "The Mystery of Dyerville" (March 18-March 22, 1940): The Wolf
    • "The Atomic Beam" (February 26-March 4, 1940): Dr. Sven Dahlgren, crowd voices
    • "The North Star Mining Company" (March 6–15, 1940): Bartley Pemberton
    • "The Emerald of the Incas" (April 3–12, 1940): Dr. Beachum
    • "The Atom Man" (Oct. 11-Dec. 03, 1945): Sidney (pts. 20-32), Mayor Elbridge Thomas (pts. 32-34), General Niles (pt. 38)

External links


  • Dunning, John. On the Air. Oxford University Press. 1998.
  • Tollin, Anthony. Superman on Radio (1997), World's Finest Classics: Superman with Batman & Robin on Radio (1997), Superman vs. Atom Man on Radio (1999), Superman with Batman & Robin on Radio (1999). Booklets accompanying tape/CD sets. Radio Spirits Inc.

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