Mildred Clarice Funnell was born in Honeyeye Falls, New York in 1901, daughter of Alfred Jennings Funnell and Louella Yates.
Her father was born in East Varick soon after his parents arrived in New York from England. He was a Presbyterian Minister ordained in 1898. Chaplain with Ohio’s National Guard in 1916, he served in the First World War with Ohio’s 37th Division. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington Cemetery, Washington D.C. in July 1942. Louella died some twenty years later on the 3rd of April 1964 and was laid to rest one week later on the 10th, alongside her husband.
Mildred had two sisters, Margaret and Aura. Margaret married Hal Hetzger (?) and lived on a farm in Alfred Station, New York. Aura became Mrs. Ohliger and lived in Detroit, Michigan.
Just ten years after women “earned” the constitutional right to vote in elections; Mildred was at work and spearheading women’s presence in the media.
Graduate of the Schuster Martin School of Drama in Cincinatti (Ohio) along with Tyrone Power Junior, Mildred was a student of Patia Power, Tyrone’s mother. She held lead roles in “Mr Pim passes by”, “You and I”, “Dover Road” and “Smilin’ Through” as well as several theatrical and secondary cinema roles, before joining the radio station WTAM in 1930.
Her first radio role was in 1933 on the Ford Dealers Network as “Evalena” with “Lum and Abner” on Friday nights.
She married Clyde Grey Goodman, a sales representative in June 1936. They lived in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Mildred petted her two cats Hattie and Tini and indulged herself with her favorite hobbies such as golf, needlework and gardening.
In 1940, she took a role as “Lady of the House” with Jane Weaver until 1943 and then Jean Colbert in the same series, until 1945.
She hosted WTAM radio’s “Women’s Club of the Air,” until “Mildred and Gloria” started on the 22nd of October 1945 (with Gloria Brown) and it’s television counterpart, the “Idea Shop” in which Mildred starred from March 1st 1950 until the same date in 1954.
Her on-air partnership with Gloria Brown lasted for 11 years.
Mildred achieved great longevity as a Cleveland-based talk show host of both radio and television. She concluded her broadcasting career by hosting a series called “Take Five” over WJW radio in Cleveland in 1959.
Mildred passed away in 1977.
More about Mildred and more pictures here.
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