Murray Forbes; Radio Drama Veteran Who Ran ‘Ma Perkins’ Lumberyard


Murray Forbes, who ran the lumberyard for “Ma Perkins” during the entire 7,065-broadcast history of that fabled radio show, died Wednesday.

He was 80 and died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center of the complications of cancer.

A veteran of the Chicago radio scene that dominated broadcasting in the 1930s, Forbes was selected as Willy Fitz, Ma’s son-in-law, for the premiere performance on Dec. 4, 1933. He continued acting the role until the show went off the air on Nov. 25, 1960.

Virginia Payne played Ma Perkins during the 27 years the program was on the air, and she and Forbes were also featured together on “Today’s Children,” a story of neighborhood families and their ongoing turmoils.


Forbes, who wrote the novel “Hollow Triumph,” on which the 1948 film “The Scar” was based, also was heard out of Chicago on “Foxes of Flatbush,” “Lonely Women” “The Story of Mary Marlin” and many other serial dramas that highlighted radio’s Golden Age.

He is survived by several nieces and nephews.