WINCHELL, WALTER (1897–1972), U.S. newspaper columnist. Winchell, a New Yorker by birth, began contributing theatrical gossip to the house organ of a theater chain when he was a young vaudeville actor. This led the New York Graphic to give him his own column, "On Broadway," in 1924, and in 1929 he moved to Hearst's Daily Mirror. Over the years he gained a position of unmatched power among newspaper writers. His sources included presidents and kings, industrial tycoons, the leaders of show business, and gangster racketeers. His popularity was due mainly to the sensational disclosures for which he became a byword. In the mid-1950s, at the peak of his career, he had an estimated public of more than 35 million readers as a syndicated columnist in more than 2,000 daily newspapers. Winchell ruled the airwaves from 1930 to 1957, when he captivated radio audiences with his colorful, fast-paced, delivery of entertainment news, gossip, and innuendo. In 1956 he debuted on television, hosting The Walter Winchell Show, a weekly variety program; and from 1957 to 1958 he hosted The Walter Winchell File, a series about the crime stories he had covered while working with the New York City Police Department. Most memorable to television viewers at the time was Winchell's rapid-fire narration on the popular crime drama series The Untouchables (1959–63), based on the 1930s exploits of real-life FBI special agent Elliot Ness and his team, and mobster Al Capone and his henchmen. The TV biopic Winchell was made in 1998, directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Stanley Tucci in the title role. Winchell was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2004. His book Winchell Exclusive: Things That Happened to Meand Me to Them was published in 1975. As founder of the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund in 1946 in memory of his writer friend, Winchell raised millions of dollars for cancer research and care. By 2005 the foundation had invested more than $170 million in cancer research, supporting some 3,000 scientists in the U.S. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Weiner, Let's Go to Press: A Biography of Walter Winchell (1955). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Klurfeld, Winchell: His Life and Times (1976); M. Machlin, The Gossip Wars (1981); J. Mosedale, The Men Who Invented Broadway (1981); M. Herr, Walter Winchell (1990); N. Gabler, Winchell: Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity (1994); L. Stuart, The Secret Life of Walter Winchell (2003). (Bernard Lewis / Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Winchell, Walter — orig. Walter Winchel born April 7, 1897, New York, N.Y., U.S. died Feb. 20, 1972, Los Angeles, Calif. U.S. journalist and broadcaster. He entered vaudeville at age 13 and eventually began contributing tidbits to the Vaudeville News. Later, as a… …   Universalium

  • Winchell, Walter — (1897 1972)    Born in New York as Walter Wincheles, he worked as a child actor in vaudeville with Gus Edwards s kid act. Winchell later became the most powerful of the Broadway newspaper columnists. In 1922, Winchell worked as a reporter for The …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Winchell, Walter — (1897–1972)    US gossip columnist. Winchell’s syndicated columns in the New York Daily Mirror from 1929 onwards, with their disclosures on society, show business, politics and crime, were eagerly read by 35 million readers …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Winchell,Walter — Win·chell (wĭnʹchəl), Walter. 1897 1972. American journalist whose newspaper column “On Broadway” (1924 1963) and radio newscasts (1932 1953) reported on entertainment and politics. * * * …   Universalium

  • Winchell, Walter — (1897 1972)    American journalist. He was a vaudeville performer and later contributed gossip material to Billboard and Vaudeville News. Later he worked for the New York Evening Graphic and the New York Daily Mirror. He also had a weekly radio… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Walter Winchell — [Walter Winchell] (1897–1972) a popular US radio and newspaper journalist in the 1930s and 1940s. He began his radio broadcasts with the phrase ‘Good evening, Mr and Mrs America and all the ships at sea’. His style of reading the news was very… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Walter Winchell — Infobox Person name=Walter Winchell thumb caption= birth date=birth date|1897|4|7|mf=y birth place=New York City, New York, U.S. death date=death date and age|1972|2|20|1897|4|7|mf=y death place=Los Angeles, California, U.S.Walter Winchell (April …   Wikipedia

  • Walter Winchell — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Winchell. Walter Winchell en 1947 Walter Winchell est un acteur, journaliste et orateur américa …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Walter — /vahl teuhr/ for 1; /wawl teuhr/ for 2, 3, n. 1. Bruno /brooh noh/, (Bruno Schlesinger), 1876 1962, German opera and symphony conductor, in U.S. after 1939. 2. Thomas Ustick /yooh stik/, 1804 87, U.S. architect. 3. a male given name. * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • Walter Winchell — en 1947. Walter Winchell (n. 7 de abril de 1897 f. 20 de febrero de 1972) fue un periodista estadounidense, considerado como el inventor de la columna de sociedad actual. Biografía …   Wikipedia Español

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