Petite, red-headed character actress Lurene Tuttle was born in Pleasant Lake, Indiana on August 29,1907 and raised on a ranch close to the Arizona border. As a child, she studied acting in Phoenix and was known for her scene-stealing comedy antics even at an early age. When she was 15, the family moved to Monrovia, California, where Tuttle pursued her career. She received dramatic training at the Pasadena Playhouse and appeared in many of their productions .She subsequently became a troupe member of Murphy’s Comedians, a vaudeville company, and then eventually extended her range in stock shows. Although making it to Broadway somehow slipped through her fingers. Tuttle worked on stage consistently throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s. Known for her fine speaking voice and mastery of dialects, she found a new avenue in radio during the Depression and became one of that medium’s most recognized voices and became known as the “First Lady of Radio.” Her best-remember role came as Effie, the compassionate “Girl Friday,” on “The Adventures of Same Spade” opposite Howard Duff. Red Skelton also admired her versatility and used her frequently in a variety of parts on his radio show. In the 1950’s, she began to fit comfortable in to film and TV roles, fitting in comfortably whatever the genre.
Tuttle was also a well-respected drama and diction coach throughout her career. She began teaching radio technique in 1940’s and re-trained some prominent actors who were returning from extensive WWII duty. Following a lengthy departure in the 1950’s due to TV commitments, she returned to teaching acting almost to the end. Some of her more famous students included Red Skelton, Orson Welles, Milton Berle, Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows. She lived out the rest of her life in Southern California and succumbed to cancer at age 78.