Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Lloyd Douglas Roberts, October 7, 2016

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - First meeting with Don Galloway

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Partial Transcript: And here we go.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about the circumstances surrounding his first meeting with Don Galloway. He met Don in his freshman year at University of Kentucky. They met in the green room at the student theater. He found Don to be confident and funny, and they became good friends very quickly.

Keywords: Drama students at University of Kentucky; Green rooms

Subjects: Galloway, Don, 1937-2009; Television actors and actresses; University of Kentucky

00:04:57 - Meeting James King

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Partial Transcript: Now, during our years--our college years, Don and I were i, were in, I don't know, maybe four shows together.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about some of the plays in which he and Don Galloway acted, including "Dark the Moon." He soon noticed that Don Galloway had an extraordinary ability to attract the audience. He talks about how he and Galloway met a music professor named Jim King, who later became a famous opera tenor.

Keywords: Dark the Moon (Play); James King; University of Kentucky Student Theater

Subjects: Galloway, Don, 1937-2009; King, James, 1925-2005; Opera; University of Kentucky

00:07:54 - "The Stephen Foster Story"

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Partial Transcript: During our junior years, Don and I learned that "The Stephen Foster Story," a very popular summer outdoor musical...

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about working in the musical "The Stephen Foster Story" in Bardstown, Kentucky. He was surprised at being selected for the cast after his dismal dancing performance during audition. Don Galloway got the lead role along with another University of Kentucky student, Marie Warner. He talks about Galloway's stage presence, which, he recounts, made many ladies in the audience swoon. They played six nights a week, some of which were outdoor performances.

Keywords: Kentucky musicals; Outdoor musicals; Stephen Foster Story (Musical)

Subjects: Bardstown (Ky.); Galloway, Don, 1937-2009

00:12:02 - One act play

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Partial Transcript: Our senior year in college--hang on I'm going to take another sip of water.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about directing a one-act play for his senior year class. He worked on a new play that wasn't approved by his professor. The play, based on Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale," involved scenes of fornication. He describes the excitement the staging of the play, in which Galloway was to play the lead, generated on campus. He also talks about the plot of the play and how he got a 'C' in the class.

Keywords: Drama Department at University of Kentucky; Geoffrey Chaucer; The Miller's Tale

Subjects: Chaucer, Geoffrey, -1400; One-act plays; University of Kentucky

00:17:10 - Going to New York

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Partial Transcript: And I was just about through with the University of Kentucky.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about Galloway leaving for New York and how they talked on phone. He also describes the "party lines" in the telephone system in the 1950s. It was difficult for actors to get jobs in New York at that time, but Don Galloway stayed and became an NBC page along with other aspiring actors. Galloway finally got an opportunity to play the lead in an off-Broadway play called "Bring me a warm body." This role became the springboard for more opportunities.

Keywords: Bring me a warm body (Play); Martinique Theater; Off-Broadway plays

Subjects: Galloway, Don, 1937-2009; NBC Productions; Off-Broadway theater; Telephone systems

00:24:30 - Galloway's rise in television

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Partial Transcript: Okay, the play "Bring me a warm body" was written by Robert Dale Martin, I think.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about Galloway's success with the off-Broadway play called "Bring me a warm body." Galloway got good reviews and also won the Daniel Blum Theatre World award for the most promising new actor. Galloway was then cast in a soap opera and was liked by the TV audience too. The writer of the off-Broadway play connected Galloway to casting agents for television shows in Hollywood. He got opportunities to do guest appearance on CBS television shows. This led to more opportunities, including sustained roles in TV shows like "Perry Mason" and "Ironside."

Keywords: Daniel Blum Theatre World Awards; Theatre World Awards

Subjects: CBS Broadcasting Inc.; Hollywood; Perry Mason; Redford, Robert; Television; Television actors and actresses

00:31:19 - Roberts' own career

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Partial Transcript: Well, Don and I continued to talk back and forth.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about directing a play in the years Galloway was acting on television. He met Galloway in Hollywood at that time to get his suggestions on a possible career change. Roberts had done a demo for a radio commercial voice-over and wasn't sure if he should switch over to that kind of work. Galloway liked the demo and encouraged him to pursue that career. Roberts has had good success in that field and credits Galloway's faith in him for that.

Keywords: Voice-over artists

Subjects: Galloway, Don, 1937-2009; Voice actors and actresses; Voice-overs

00:34:11 - Losing touch with Galloway

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Partial Transcript: Sometime around that time, Don stopped acting.

Segment Synopsis: Roberts talks about the time Galloway stopped getting acting jobs. Soon after that, Roberts and Galloway lost touch with each other. Roberts talks about how Galloway loved working in television and the accompanying financial security. He talks about knowing Galloway's wife, Linda, from whom he had once rented an apartment in New York City. He recounts some of the ways Galloway had helped him.

Keywords: Don Galloway; Kentucky actors

Subjects: Galloway, Don, 1937-2009; New York (N.Y.); Television; Television actors and actresses