United States Steel Hour, The


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

The series originated on radio as Theatre Guild of the Air. The hour-long television version aired from 1953 to 1955 on ABC, and from 1955 to 1963 on CBS. Like its radio predecessor, it was a live dramatic anthology series. During its first season on television, the program alternated bi-weekly with The Motorola Television Hour.

By 1963, the year it went off the air, it was the last surviving live anthology series from the Golden Age of Television. It was still on the air during President John F. Kennedy's famous April 11, 1962 confrontation with steel companies over the hefty raising of their prices. The show featured a range of television acting talent, as its episodes explored a wide variety of contemporary social issues, from the mundane to the controversial.

Notable guest actors included Martin Balsam, Tallulah Bankhead, James Dean, Keir Dullea, Andy Griffith, Rex Harrison, Celeste Holm, Sally Ann Howes, Jack Klugman, Peter Lorre, Walter Matthau, Paul Newman, George Peppard, Suzanne Storrs, Albert Salmi, and Johnny Washbrook. Washbrook played Johnny Sullivan in "The Roads Home" in his first-ever screen role. Griffith made his onscreen debut in the show's production of "No Time For Sergeants," and would reprise the lead role in the 1958 big screen adaptation. In 1956-57, Read Morgan made his television debut on the Steel Hour as a young boxer named Joey in two episodes entitled "Sideshow". Child actor Darryl Richard, later of The Donna Reed Show, also made his acting debut on the Steel Hour as Tony in the episode "The Bogey Man," which aired January 18, 1955. In 1960 Johnny Carson starred with Anne Francis in the presentation "Queen of the Orange Bowl."

Episodes were contributed by many notable writers, including Ira Levin, Richard Maibaum and Rod Serling. The program also telecast one-hour musical versions of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." The United States Steel Hour telecast "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" on November 20, 1957 with a cast starring Jimmy Boyd, Earle Hyman, Basil Rathbone, Jack Carson and Florence Henderson. Boyd had previously played Huckleberry in the earlier telecast of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."

Highlights
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their commercials as spokespeople for The U.S. Steel Hour
03:27
Cliff Robertson on The U.S. Steel Hour's   "The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon" and the feature film "Charly"
06:08
Ellen M. Violett on writing "Counterfeit" for The U.S. Steel Hour
01:38
Lighting Director Imero Fiorentino on mishaps on live TV including one he briefly recalls from U.S. Steel Hour: "Fearful Decision"
02:58
Who talked about this show

Edie Adams

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Edie Adams on appearing with Wally Cox on "The American Cowboy" on The U.S. Steel Hour
01:21

Erik Barnouw

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Erik Barnouw on getting involved with writing for television by adapting "Hedda Gabler" starring Tallulah Bankhead for The U.S. Steel Hour
02:44

Paul Bogart

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Paul Bogart on directing Armstrong Circle Theatre and U.S. Steel Hour
01:04

Dann Cahn

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Editor Dann Cahn on not cutting The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour down and consulting with CBS executives to take time from The U.S. Steel Hour
03:04

Joan Ganz Cooney

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Joan Ganz Cooney on getting a job at The U.S. Steel Hour
01:02
Joan Ganz Cooney on publicizing The U.S. Steel Hour
03:28
Joan Ganz Cooney on live television and later taping on The U.S. Steel Hour
03:14

Dick Van Dyke

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Dick Van Dyke on appearing on The U.S. Steel Hour with George C. Scott

Norman Felton

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Director Norman Felton on working on The U.S. Steel Hour
02:05

Imero Fiorentino

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Lighting Director Imero Fiorentino on mishaps on live TV including one he briefly recalls from U.S. Steel Hour: "Fearful Decision"
02:58
Imero Fiorentino on lighting The U.S. Steel Hour at ABC and the people he worked with on the program
02:24
Lighting Director Imero Fiorentino on a shadow thrown on the actors from a microphone on live TV, during the first U.S. Steel Hour production "P.O.W." with Richard Kiley
03:05

Horton Foote

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Horton Foote on writing for The United States Steel Hour, and on his feature film "Storm Fear"
02:13

John Forsythe

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John Forsythe on his early experiences on live television including Studio OneSuspense, and The  U.S. Steel Hour
03:37

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Leonard Goldenson on changing the sponsorship model for television
02:09

Andy Griffith

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Andy Griffith on appearing on The United States Steel Hour in "No Time for Sergeants", and on the first time he saw television
08:09
Andy Griffith on the production of "No Time for Sergeants" for The United States Steel Hour, and how it impacted his career
05:31

Florence Henderson

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Florence Henderson on appearing on The U.S. Steel Hour in 1957
01:58

Lucille Kallen

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Lucille Kallen on writing for Max Liebman Presents and The United States Steel Hour with people like Carol Burnett and Buddy Hackett
06:16

Abby Mann

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Abby Mann on writing The United States Steel Hour production of "Give Me My Son"
00:45

Joyce Randolph

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Joyce Randolph on appearing on The U.S. Steel Hour
01:15

Cliff Robertson

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Cliff Robertson on The U.S. Steel Hour's   "The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon" and the feature film "Charly"
06:08
Cliff Robertson on being nominated for an Emmy for The U.S. Steel Hour production of "Charly" and why he wanted to make a film version of "Charly"
04:15

Mary Kay Stearns

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Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on becoming spokespeople for The U.S. Steel Hour and U.S. Steel
03:52
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their commercials as spokespeople for The U.S. Steel Hour
03:27
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the directors of their commercials for The U.S. Steel Hour
00:47

Johnny Stearns

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Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on their commercials as spokespeople for The U.S. Steel Hour
03:27
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on becoming spokespeople for The U.S. Steel Hour and U.S. Steel
03:52
Mary Kay and Johnny Stearns on the directors of their commercials for The U.S. Steel Hour
00:47

Ellen M. Violett

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Ellen M. Violett on writing "Counterfeit" for The U.S. Steel Hour
01:38
Ellen M. Violett on remaking "The Duchess and the Smugs" for The U.S. Steel Hour
01:05
Ellen M. Violett on writing "The Many Ways of Heaven" for The U.S. Steel Hour
02:33

Ethel Winant

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Ethel Winant on difficulties she encountered in casting minority actors for shows like Playhouse 90 and The United States Steel Hour's production of "Doomsday at Noon"
04:51

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