Backstage Wife is an American soap opera radio program that details the travails of Mary Noble, a girl from a small town in Iowa who came to New York seeking her future.
Vivian Fridell had the title role from 1935 until the early 1940s. It was then taken over by Claire Niesen, who played Mary Noble for 14 years, until the end of the series. Mary's husband, Larry Noble, was portrayed by Ken Griffin, then James Meighan and finally, Guy Sorel. The music was supplied by organist Chet Kingsbury.
Each episode opened with the announcer (Pierre Andre, Roger Krupp, Stuart V. Dawson) explaining:
- Now, we present once again, Backstage Wife, the story of Mary Noble, a little Iowa girl who married one of America's most handsome actors, Larry Noble, matinée idol of a million other women — the story of what it means to be the wife of a famous star.
In 1946, when the program was in its 12th year, a newspaper article summarized the plot's status as follows:
- When her husband joined the coast guard, Mary tried to carry on his work in the theatre, thereby establishing a reputation for herself as an actress. Now Larry has come home, and the two are encountering the difficulties of peacetime readjustment.
The show was created by Frank and Anne Hummert, who produced many radio daytime drama series, including Amanda of Honeymoon Hill, Front Page Farrell, John’s Other Wife, Little Orphan Annie, Ma Perkins, Mr. Chameleon, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons and Our Gal Sunday.
Backstage Wife debuted August 5, 1935 on the Mutual Broadcasting System, continued on NBC Radio and concluded on January 2, 1959 on CBS Radio. The sponsors included Dr. Lyons Tooth Powder and Procter & Gamble.