Most are familiar with “Father Knows Best” as it appeared on television starting in 1962, but a relative few know that the program originated as a radio series in 1949 on NBC Radio.
Like its television counterpart, the radio version of “Father Knows Best” portrays an idealized, middle-class family with each episode depicting “regular” ever day problems. A total of 203 radio episodes were produced before the show moved to television.
Robert Young originated the role on radio he would continue to play on TV, Jim Anderson – the one who knows best. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl with Jane Wyatt taking over the role in the television incarnation. On the radio the Anderson children were Betty (played by Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson), and Kathy (Norma Jean Nillson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran and Sam Edwards. For the complete cast listing of the “Father Knows Best” television series, go here.
As a special Father’s Day treat here’s a “Father Knows Best” Old-time radio Double Feature:
Burns & Allen radio show from 1940 “Grandpa’s 92nd Birthday”
Happy Father’s Day!