Hank Simms, extraordinary announcer, dies

An end titles from the first season of The FBI

An end titles from the first season of The FBI

Hank Simms, an announcer best known for the words “a Quinn Martin production!”, died last month at the age of 90, according to THIS OBITUARY But he did lots of other announcing work, including movie trailers and the Oscars television broadcast.

Simms first work for QM was The FBI in 1965. He went on to be the announcer for other QM hit shows including Barnaby Jones, Cannon and The Streets of San Francisco not to mention less successful series such as Dan August, Caribe and Banyon.

Simms also did “bumpers” for Mannix, as in, “Mannix…brought to you by…” followed by the name of a sponsor.

Simms worked the microphone at the Oscars, including when John Stears got his Oscar for Thunderball (explaining that Ivan Tors was picking it up in Stears’ place) and when Roger Moore and many viewers were surprised when Marlon Brando declined his Oscar for best actor.

His work could also be heard in trailers including movies edited from episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. such as TO TRAP A SPY and ONE SPY TOO MANY as well as THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT, the Doris Day spy comedy, and POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES, the final Frank Capra film.

The announcer’s voice was so distinctive when the makers of the 1982 comedy Police Squad! decided to do a QM-style opening, there was only one man for the job:

Rest in peace, Mr. Simms.

UPDATE: Here is the very first Hank Simms announcing job for Quinn Martin:

UPDATE II (Oct. 13): The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences put up an obituary for Hank Simms on its Web site on OCT. 2.

1966: Doris Day makes a spy movie

By 1966, anyone who could launch a spy project did. One of the more unusal such projects was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s The Glass Bottom Boat, a comedy starring Doris Day.

Subtle, it wasn’t. Much of the humor was slapstick and looks like a cartoon come to life. That wasn’t surprising because the film was directed by Frank Tashlin, who years earlier had directed cartoon shorts for Warner Bros. The film’s trailer (with Hank Simms, the leading announcer for titles of Quinn Martin television shows, handling those honors here) is pretty representative of the movie itself:

Doris becomes involved with Rod Taylor, playing a Tony Stark-type playboy/inventor. Foreign powers are after Taylor’s work. The cast is full of people (Arthur Godfrey, Dick Martin, Eric Fleming, John McGiver, Edward Andrews) who were mostly seen on television by this time while still popping up in the occasional film role.

It also had a very odd, Tashlin-staged cameo. MGM’s big television property at the time was The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Paul Lynde, as a bumbling security officer, disguises himself as a woman and ends up. briefly encountering U.N.C.L.E.’s Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn).