Ed Herlihy, voice of the newsreels, lived in Forest Hills 1

The building at 75-40 Austin St., Forest Hills, in the 1940s. Ed Herlihy, “The Voice of America,” lived there.

Before Ed McMahon there was Ed Herlihy.

Edward Joseph Herlihy was born in Boston on Aug. 14, 1909. He came to New York in 1935, working for the Columbia Broadcast ing System. His mellifluous voice made him an instant success.

In January 1940, he married top illustrators’ model Jeanne Graham in New York. They set up home in a apartment building at 75-40 Austin St. in Forest Hills. Within a year, however, they purchased a home in the neo-Tudor style at 111-33 76 Ave. in a country-like setting.

When World War II broke out, Herlihy’s voice reported the events of the war in the famous Universal Newsreels of the day, as there were no television sets. The Queens Boulevard subway got him to work in a prompt fashion. Herlihy had four children, and would be the “Tonight Show” announcer for host Jack Paar.

With great success can come great tragedy, too. Jeanne passed away of cancer at age 50 in 1970. He headed out to Hollywood. Woody Allen loved his voice so much he used him in three of his movies. He passed away on Jan. 30, 1999, of natural causes, a few months short of his 90th birthday.

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