Virginia Payne


Virginia Payne

Virginia Payne (December 7, 1909 - February 10, 1977) was an American radio actress, best known for her 27-year role as Ma Perkins. In 1939, in addition to "Ma Perkins", she took over the role of Mrs. Carter on the radio soap opera "The Carters of Elm Street".

Noting the 25th anniversary of "Ma Perkins", "Time" described Payne in 1957::Like other daytime heroines, Ma neither drinks, smokes, takes snuff or has affairs with men. Unlike Ma. Cincinnati-born Virginia Payne, 47, has never been married, downs an occasional whisky sour and makes up to $50,000 a year—more than any other actress in daytime broadcasting. Her present writer (she has had ten) lived on the Riviera for two years, now counts his money on Cape Cod. A devout Roman Catholic with an M.A. in literature (University of Cincinnati), Virginia sheds Ma's vocabulary of "ain'ts," "folks" and "Land o' Goshens" with ease, but insists on making personal appearances in wig, makeup, frumpy clothes and spectacles, "though I often feel like a great imposter." She is an accomplished pianist, lives alone in a posh East Side Manhattan apartment decorated with Duveen-collected oil paintings, accumulates antiques, and grows roses (two varieties have been named for her).

After the long run of "Ma Perkins" came to an end, Payne did theater. She appeared on Broadway in the Betty Comden - Adolph Green musical comedy, "Fade Out - Fade In" (1964-65), and Paul Zindel's play, "And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little" (1971).

Listen to

* [http://www.goldenage-wtic.org/34-VIRGINIA_PAYNE.MP3 Dick Bertel interview with Virginia Payne on Hartford's WTIC (January, 1973)]
* [http://www.vintageradioplace.com/ra/heritage070916.ram Tom Heathwood Radio Theatre: "Suspense": "The Companion" with Virginia Payne (November 15, 1959)]


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