Elsie May Gordon

Elsie May (Mae) Gordon was an actress whose impersonation and monolog skills earned her time on radio as early as the mid-1920s. She later recounted that a job in a five-and-dime gave her the opportunity to study a wide variety of men and women, allowing her to build her impersonation repertoire. Whereas many of her contemporary radio stars of the late 1920s had washed up in the medium by the mid-1930s, Gordon managed to turn her early job experience into a long if undistinguished career on various dramatic programs through the 1930s and 1940s. Her earliest identified series credits are Hank Simmons’ Showboat (as Maybelle through at least 1932) and Real Folks, both ca. 1929. Some of her other programs that can be dated are Wallace Silversmith Show (1931), Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour (1934), Tony and Gus (1935), Dreams of Long Ago (1936), Columbia Workshop (1938, 1939, 1942), March of Time (1938), Star-Spangled Theatre (1941), Hasten the Day (1943, for the Office of Civilian Defense), Treasury Star Parade (1943), Anything Can Happen (1944), and The Gardeners (1944). Gordon also appeared on Al Jolson, Aldrich Family, Easy Aces, Fred Allen, Report to the Nation, Shadow, Stage Door Canteen, Saturday Night Barn Dance, and When A Girl Marries. By the end of the 1940s Gordon was performing on stage in such productions as “Gentleman from Athens” (1947). She was married to Norman White and had a son, Graham White-Gordon.

The University of Iowa has a late 1940s promotional pamphlet with highlights of her career here.




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