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Dick Lane (1899 - 1982)

Real NameRichard Lane

Lifespan - 5/28/1899 - 9/5/1982

Rice Lake, WI

Occupational BackgroundVaudeville Performer, Actor, News Anchor

Promotional BackgroundLos Angeles(`43-`73), San Francisco

Peak Years1950s-1960s

Place in HistoryThe Golden Age of Pro-Wrestling in the mid-twentieth century was born with the rise of the television, the ease of broadcasting a ring and the bombastic characters and action of the sport.  It was the perfect marriage and it became an outlet for many broadcasters around the country.  The Los Angeles office, due its proximity to Hollywood, had access to a wide variety of stars over the years, but it was Dick Lane whose connection to the sport became most memorable.  A Midwesterner who grew up fast working on carnivals, touring with performing troupes and developing his talking skills on vaudeville, Lane found his way to Hollywood and made his name.  His accomplishments in film, radio and television are varied and numerous, suffice to say that when the Hollywood Walk of Fame was started, his star was among the first laid.  Dick Lane started calling pro-wrestling in the 1940s and roller derby in the 1950s and he became closely associated with both into the 1970s.  Like many of the best pro-wrestling announcers, Lane had a charismatic and likable personality that came across strongly on the television.  He had his catchphrases, “Whoa Nellie” being the most memorable, and had a knack for dressing up names of the moves and holds.  While his act might not stand up as well as some of the announcers who followed him, Dick Lane was the best of that Golden Age and was the voice to those generations of pro-wrestling (and roller derby) fans that heard his calls for the better part of thirty years.