David Brooks -journalist and commentator
David Brooks, who grew up in North Wayne, has become a nationally known journalist. He is a senior editor of the Weekly Standard and in September 2003 became a columnist for The New York Times.
Brooks is best known, at least locally, for his 2000 book “Bobo’s in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There.” In this book he uses how Wayne has changed over the years as an example of the book’s main point. An excerpt about Wayne from the book was reprinted in Newsweek.
Brooks’ parents still live in North Wayne.
Fritz Coleman actor, comedian and weatherman
Fritz Coleman, who lived in Wayne and attended Radnor schools, became a well known stand-up comedian and actor on the west coast.
Coleman started as the NBC4 weekend weatherman in 1983 and moved to weekdays 2 years later. He’s been called the “#1 weathercaster in Southern California” and was named one of Los Angeles’ treasures by the city. He recently starred in the one-man stage show “The Reception” in Los Angeles.
In addition, Coleman is the honorary mayor of Toluca Lake, California. He appeared on the Tonight Show a number of times and was once Master of Ceremonies for a Bob Hope special.
Al Hunt journalist and commentator
Al Hunt is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and grew up in Wayne. Hunt was a 1960 graduate of the Haverford School where he was classmate of future Las Vegas mayor Oscar B. Goodman. Before he graduated from Wake Forest University Hunt worked locally for the Philadelphia Bulletin.
In addition to being the executive Washington editor for the Wall Street Journal since 1993, he has been a commentator for CNN’s Capital Gang since 1988. Hunt also previously co-hosted CNN’s Novak, Hunt & Shields and Evans, Novak, Hunt & Shields. He is married to fellow CNN newsperson Judy Woodruff.
Randal Kleiser motion picture director
Randal Kleiser, who graduated from Radnor High School in the 1960′s, was the director of some of the most memorable motion pictures of the past few decades. Though his most well-known directorial work is 1978′s “Grease,” Kleiser also directed “The Blue Lagoon,” “White Fang,” and “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid,” among many others.
Ed McMahon entertainer
McMahon is a man who hardly needs an introduction. He gained incredible fame as Johnny Carson’s sidekick on The Tonight Show, was host of the long-running Star Search, and is recognizable for a multitude of other appearances.
McMahon lived in Wayne in the 1950′s, the same time that he hosted a late-night interview show in Philadelphia for WCAU-TV. He had to move from the area to work on the Tonight Show, though he never forgot the Main Line and still comes back frequently.
Thomas F. Wilson actor
Thomas F. Wilson, who attended Radnor High, became an actor in Hollywood. His breakthrough role is considered to be that of Biff Tannen, the villian in the three “Back to the Future” movies. Though he starred in a few lesser-known films, Wilson has lately been working as a voice actor. His first role as a voice actor was as “Biff” in the “Back to the Future” cartoon; it could be that this role inspired him to do more voice acting. He has provided his voice for such shows as “Gargoyles” and “The Pink Panther,” as well as the upcoming “Spongebob Squarepants Movie” and video games such as “Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force.”
Quita Brodhead contemporary artist
Quita Brodhead, an abstract painter with Main Line roots, gained notable status in the contemporary art world. She was born Marie Waggaman Berl in Wilmington, DE and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She married Truxtun Read Brodhead in 1927 and thus moved to Wayne. In 1930 she and a friend began the Wayne Art Center.
As Quita gained notoriety, she moved to Europe, where she stayed for many decades. Her work is displayed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among many other museums. In March, 2001 a retrospective of her work opened at the Hollis Taggart Galleries in New York, to commemorate her 100th birthday.
Quita Brodhead died at Bryn Mawr Hospital in September 2002 of colon cancer. She was 101.
Charles Cajori contemporary artist
Charles Cajori, a Wayne native and Radnor High School Graduate, has become a nationally known contemporary artist. He graduated from Radnor in 1939. His yearbook states that his nickname was “Corky” and he added the caption: “Great thoughts, great feelings came to him, Like instincts, unawares.” Cajori was already a noted artist by the time he graduated from High School. He painted a series of large murals for the Radnor High School auditorium while still attending the school. The paintings were somewhat odd in subject matter, and about a decade later they were replaced by the work of a different student.
Cajori’s work became more and more well known throughout the art world. His work is now in the collections of many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has also received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001.
Local controversy began in 2001 when Cajori revisited Wayne and mentioned his RHS auditorium murals. A frenzy ensued, because Cajori’s murals had been forgotten for years. The school district admitted that the murals were lost, but soon afterwards a few photographs of the murals surfaced.
A. B. Frost illustrator
Arthur B. Frost is considered one of the finest American illustrators. At one point in his life, he lived in Wayne. His illustrations, which still remain popular today, appeared in many turn of the 20th century magazines, including Life and Harper’s Weekly, and he even illustrated Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus stories.
Interestingly, Frost is now considered a forgotten master of the comic strip. The humorous nature of his illustrations transferred perfectly to the comics pages, and strangely, little attention is given to his comics today.
Anna Moffo soprano vocalist
Award-winning soprano and Metropolitan Opera star Anna Moffo came from a family who were longtime residents of Wayne. Her father, Nicholas Moffo, succeeded Robert Caig in the shoemaking business. Her mother was Regina Cinti Moffo. She was born June 27, 1932 and began singing at a young age. Radnor schools gave her the opportunity to express her talent early, and it is said that her first public performance was at the age of 7, when during a school assembly she sang “Mighty Lak’ a Rose.” She continued singing in academic as well as extracurricular functions. After high school Moffo intended on becoming a nun, therefore giving up a chance to act in Hollywood films. Her stage debut came in 1955 in Spoleto, Italy. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut on November 14, 1959, as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata. Her popularity in Italy grew, where she was named one of the ten most beautiful women in that country and earned her own television show, “The Anna Moffo Show,” from 1960-73. Despite the fact that she turned down film roles in her early career, she did appear in a few, most of which have been put into obscurity because they’re disliked by critics. Moffo’s second marriage was to RCA chairman Robert Sarnoff, son of broadcast mogul David Sarnoff.
Moffo never forgot Radnor, and visited her hometown in 1963. She corresponded frequently with her high school music teacher, Mr. Zerr. Anna Moffo is still alive and can be written to at:
Anna Moffo / c/o Metropolitan Opera Guild Board of Directors / 30 Lincoln Center / New York NY 10023 U.S.A.
Jane Barkman Olympic swimmer
Jane Barkman was a class of 1969 Radnor High School graduate. In 1968 (before graduating from Radnor), Jane represented the United States in the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics for swimming. She won both gold and bronze medals at the event. In the 1972 Munich, Germany Summer Olympics she won yet another gold medal.
Mary Ellen Clark Olympic diver
Mary Ellen Clark was a 1981 Radnor graduate. She was a seven time United States Diving National Champion and won two bronze medals in platform diving in the Summer Olympics of Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996).
Ted Dean football player
Ted Dean, a 1956 Radnor Graduate, played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1960-64. He played runningback and fullback and was #35.
One of the highlights of Dean’s football career was his 5-yard rush and touchdown in the 1960 NFL Championship Game against Green Bay. The score ultimately decided the game (which the Eagles won 17-13).
Joe Iacone football player
Joe Iacone graduated from Radnor High in 1959. He continued to play football at West Chester University, and eventually became a sixth round draft choice of the Eagles.
Emlen Tunnell football player
Emlen Tunnel was in the Radnor High class of 1942. He began playing football at Radnor and continued football at the University of Toledo. His attempts to join the army and navy were denied because Tunnell broke his neck early in his college career. This injury almost ended his football days forever.
From 1948-58 Tunnell played professionally for the New York Giants. He was the first post-war African-American on the team and one of the first defense-only players. He earned the nickname “Emlen the Gremlin.” Tunnell then played for the Green Bay Packers from 1959-61.
Emlen Tunnell was selected for nine Pro Bowls. He became the first African-American to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. He also became the first black assistant coach in the NFL when he was assistant to Vince Lombardi at Green Bay.
Emlen Tunnell died on July 22, 1975.
Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. astronaut
“Pete” Conrad was the third person to walk on the moon as a part of Apollo 12 in 1969. He was a Radnor resident, and attended the Haverford School. He would have been one of the class of 1948, but he was asked to leave before graduation. His lifetime enthusiasm for aviation did in his Haverford School career, for he often skipped school to learn to fly. After his death, one friend of his from school said “We used to meet at St. Davids Station to take the train to school, and half the time he wouldn’t be there. He’d be over at Wings Field in Norristown.” Despite his disciplinary problems at school, Conrad obviously did something right, because he later attended Princeton University and was a member of NASA’s second group of astronauts to be selected.
At 5’6″, Conrad was one of the shortest astronauts, which prompted him to declare on the surface of the moon: “It may have been small for Neil but it was a big one for a little fella like me.” Conrad also commanded the Gemini 11 flight in 1966 and went to Skylab 2 in 1973. On July 8, 1999, Charles “Pete” Conrad Jr. died after a motorcycle accident in Ojai, California. He was 69.
The following is a short list of some of the prominent people (dead or alive) who visited Wayne and Radnor.
Presidents Abraham Lincoln (corpse in funeral train), Ulysses S. Grant, Richard Nixon, George W. Bush;
Admiral Richard E. Byrd;Actors George C. Scott, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Timothy Hutton