George Walsh

Newsman, TV announcer

George Walsh, a longtime newsman and announcer for the “Gunsmoke” radio and television programs, died Dec. 5 of congestive heart failure in Monterey Park, Calif. He was 88.

He became the “Gunsmoke” announcer in 1952, introducing the live, weekly radio series with the following words: “Around Dodge City and in the territory out West, there’s just one way to handle the killers and the spoilers, and that’s with a U.S. marshal and the smell of ‘Gunsmoke.'” He remained the announcer when the show moved to television in 1955.

In the Los Angeles area, Walsh was a longtime fixture at KNX-AM radio, serving as an interviewer, sports reporter, newscaster and announcer from 1952 to 1986. His voice also was used in the Smokey Bear forest fire prevention campaign and on the now-closed Disneyland rides Flight to the Moon and Mission to Mars.

In June 1947, he scored what appeared to be a huge scoop while working at a radio station in Roswell, N.M., breaking a story about a UFO landing based on an Air Force press officer’s claim that a flying saucer had been captured near the city. The military eventually determined that the UFO was in fact a radar target, but the story by then had spread worldwide.

He is survived by his wife Charlotte, three daughters, two brothers, two sisters, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety