William Bendix initially starred as the main character in the “Life of Riley”
radio program on the Blue Network, later known as ABC, from January 16,
1944 to June 8, 1945. Then it moved to NBC, where it was broadcast from September 8, 1945 to June 29, 1951.The show was adapted for television
on NBC and starred Jackie Gleason, Bendix’s movie contract prevented
him from appearing on the television version. It was only seen for a single
season from October 4, 1949 to March 28, 1950.
A second TV series ran for six seasons, from January 2, 1953 – May 23,
1958 and starred William Bendix. He was supported by Marjorie Reynolds, replacing both Paula Winslowe and Rosemary DeCamp, as wife Peg, Tom D’Andrea as schemer buddy Gillis, Gloria Blondell as Gillis’ wife, Honeybee, Lugene Sanders as daughter Babs, and Wesley Morgan as son Junior. This
Life of Riley series with Bendix, was a ratings hit, ranking at #16 in its first season, with four of its six seasons in the top 30, and ran for a total of 217
episodes. It then went into syndicated reruns.