Ed Bryce, 78, well-known actor, singer and announcer, died Sunday, December 5, 1999, in Norwalk hospital after a long illness.
Mr. Bryce was a pioneer of early live television, appearing as Captain Strong on the first television space adventure, "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet," now a cult classic, and in many other early live television productions. He may be remembered best for his fourteen years as "Bill Bauer" on "The Guiding Light," and also was an award winner for his performances on Broadway.
Born in Allenport, Pennsylvania, Mr. Bryce was the 11th of 12 children of an immigrant Scottish coal mining family and the first to be born in the United States. Raised in Detroit, Michigan, he was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served during World War II as a radar officer in Italy and southern France. He briefly attended the University of Denver, but after playing the leading role in "Everyman," he found his calling as an actor and immediately moved to New York.
One of his first auditions was for founder/producer Dorothy Mayne of the 13 Players at the Greenwich Mews Playhouse, who hired him to be her leading man, a role that became one for life as it expanded into a 51 year marriage. He very quickly went to Broadway, where his 1948 performance as the replacement for Sir Alfred Drake in Mark Blitzstein's "The Cradle Will Rock," under the musical direction of Leonard Bernstein, won him the Theater World Award as one of the "Most Promising Young Actors on Broadway." Other Broadway appearances in his early years included "Darkness at Noon" with Claude Rains, "Fair Game" with Sam Levene, and "The Liar" with William Eythe, directed by Alfred Drake.
Mr. Bryce was an integral part of the meteoric growth of early television. He was featured in one of the first shows on CBS Television, "Battleship Bismarck" with Charlton Heston, and appeared on Kraft Theater, Alcoa Philco Theater, Robert Montgomery Presents, Studio One, Suspense, and Danger. Fans of his work as Captain Strong still gather on "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet" websites like "www.solarguard.com," where Ed is a member of the Hall of Fame, and followed him to his starring role as Bill Bauer on "Guiding Light," beginning when it was a 15- minute live production. He also appeared on other soap operas, including "Secret Storm," "Love of Life," and "As The World Turns."
As an announcer, he was the voice of Time Magazine for fourteen years, recording over 3000 radio commercials, was an announcer for "David Brinkley Reports," and for several years was the host of NBC's "Monitor." He appeared in hundreds of corporate videos for General Electric, GTE, IBM, AT&T and many other fortune 500 companies.
Mr. Bryce continued working until shortly before his death. Some of his more recent appearances were as Jeter Lester in the World Premiere of "Tobacco Road" at the Westport Country Playhouse, "The Subject was Roses" with his wife and son, Philip, and "Mass Appeal" with his son Scott. His last stage performance was in the New York premiere of "On the Waterfront" with his son, Philip.
The Bryce family moved to Westport 33 years ago and with his wife, Dorothy, Ed was immersed in community affairs and produced many theatrical and fund raising events to benefit worthy causes, including the Alcoholism Council of Mid-Fairfield County, the Interfaith Council, the Child Care Council, and the Westport Historical Society. Last year Ed was an honorary member of the Bread and Roses fundraiser.
Ed was a member of and served on the Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Church of Westport where he taught Sunday School and was part of the search committee for the Rev. Frank Hall. He was a founding member of Westport's Theater Artists Workshop. For the last six years Ed tutored in the Maplewood School in Bridgeport, but his favorite community service was with Bridgeport's CATCH Program.
He is survived by Dorothy Bryce, his actress wife of 51 years, and three sons, the Rev. David Macalister Bryce of Weston, Connecticut, Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Society of Hastings on Hudson, New York, Philip Russell Bryce, a lawyer/producer in New York City, and Scott Macalister Bryce, an actor currently co-starring on the WB Network's weekly series, "Popular." He also leaves his daughter-in-law Eugenia Kogan Bryce and granddaughter Heather Ashley Bryce of Weston, his brother, Alec Bryce, of Detroit Michigan, his sister, Isabelle McDowell of Roseburg, Oregon, and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Unitarian Church of Westport's general fund or to the Unitarian Church's minister's discretionary fund for support of the CATCH Program in Bridgeport.
Arrangements are being handled by Edmund W. Dougiello Funeral Home in Fairfield, Connecticut. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 11 at 11:00 A.M. at the Unitarian Church at 14 Lyons Plains Road in Westport.