S6 E9 Ernest J. Dick

Season 6, Episode 9.

Would you like an insider’s view of how radio, TV, and the movies evolved in the 20th century? Then follow the career of Austin Willis.

Starting with theatre and early radio in Halifax, he moved to Toronto as a staff announcer with CBC Radio (just in time to announce the start of World War II). Soon, Austin was hosting Victory Bond shows with visiting Hollywood stars. With live TV on the horizon, he moved to London and polished his acting skills in long-running West End shows. In the 1950s, Austin appeared in dozens of groundbreaking CBC Television dramas, series, and variety shows. When he moved to Hollywood to concentrate on a film career, he worked alongside everyone from Orson Welles and Bob Hope to Clint Eastwood. Back in Canada in the 70s, he became the urbane host of CTV’s popular quiz show, “This Is The Law”.

After retiring to Dartmouth, Austin graciously agreed to share stories from those decades. Archivist Ern Dick has transcribed the interviews – a rich and often hilarious trove of anecdotes from behind the scenes that convey the achievements (and misadventures) of an extraordinary Canadian performer.

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