One Man’s Family radio show (1932-1959, United States)

Episode time

30 minutes



One Man’s Family 1932 reviewOne Man’s Family radio show

Stockbroker Henry Barbour is a head of his family - wife Fanny and five children (Paul, Hazel, the twins Clifford and Claudia, and Jack). They live in a Sea Cliff area of San Francisco, where they can see the Golden Gate Bridge from their rear living room window or their garden wall. When Henry sold his company this provided his family with well enough money to support them in comfort and now he likes to spend his time in his garden. His eldest son, Paul, was a pilot during World War 1 and returned home scarred both physically and mentally. He put all his love in adopted daughter, Teddy, and from time to time trying to convince his father to less old-fashioned views on life. Fanny Barbour is the peace keeper in the family, always trying to avoid conflicts between often stubborn Henry and his children.

Carlton E. Morse was inspired by The Forsyte Saga, a British books series about large upper-middle-class English family, to write One Man’s Family, but I guess even he could not foreseen that his soap opera will last 27 years on the air. At the beginning he was struggling to find station that would be interested in broadcasting the soap opera, but once people got hooked to his, sometimes too oversentimental, saga they would stick with it. After two decades the appeal of One Man’s Family was fading and the format was shortened to 15-minutes long episodes, but once a rumours started to spread that NBC plans to shut to production down they received over 50,000 letters from fans. The soap opera ended in 1959 after over 3,000 episodes, which makes it debatably the longest running drama series in history of American radio.

One Man’s Family radio showOne Man’s Family 1932 old time radio

Creators of One Man’s Family

Carlton E. Morse radio shows


Cast of One Man’s Family

J. Anthony Smythe radio shows

as Henry Barbour

Minetta Ellen radio shows

as Fanny Barbour

Mary Adams radio shows

as Fanny Barbour

Michael Raffetto radio shows

as Paul Barbour

Russell Thorson radio shows

as Paul Barbour

Bernice Berwin radio shows

as Hazel Barbour

Barton Yarborough radio shows

as Clifford Barbour

Barbara Fuller radio shows

as Claudia Barbour

Kathleen Wilson radio shows

as Claudia Barbour

Trivia about One Man’s Family

Missing ending

While One Man’s Family ended on 8th May 1959 some of the NBC affiliates decided to stop broadcasting the program two weeks earlier. Could you imagine being among people that listened to the soap opera for over 20 years and at the end they were robbed of the chance to listen to final episodes?

classic radio shows

old time radio shows