A Quinn Martin Production

Does anybody know who the "announcer" was for all those great ’70s Quinn Martin detective shows?
Barnaby_jones
I can hear him now…

"Barnaby Jones, a Quinn Martin Production. Starring Buddy Ebsen, Also starring Lee Meriweather, Mark Shera. With guest stars Peter Haskell, Burr DeBenning, Joanne Linville, Andrew Duggan,  and with special guest star, Trisha Noble.  Tonight’s episode ‘Mother of Mercy, Child of Death”"

UPDATE:  The mystery is solved. The announcer was Hank Simms aka Henry Fry Simms. Where is his statue at the TV Academy?

40 thoughts on “A Quinn Martin Production”

  1. Hello Hank Simms fans. I have admired Hank’s work since I was a little boy. I too am announcer and have 2 guys who were my inspiration…Hank Simms and Dick Tufeld (former ABC and Disney announcer, and Lost In Space robot voice). I remember the first time I heard Hank. I was hooked. I used to catch the openings of all the Quinn Martin shows just too hear him. Also, I looked forward each year to hear him announce the Academy Awards shows which he did for about 25 years as memory serves me. Just last year, I received a very nice letter from….yes, Hank. For those of you wondering, he is living in Arkansas these days. Sadly, Mrs. Simms passed away last year I believe. Hank was born in Oklahoma so he’s in his element. I thought it strange for a Los Angeles guy to move to Arkansas until I learned more about him. Based solely on his nice letter to me and a phone conversation with T-J Lubinsky in Pittsburgh (T-J lured Hank out of retirement to do the voiceover intro to a show he does on public t-v there and it’s T-J I have to thank for helping me make contact with Hank), Hank is a very humble man. I believe he doesn’t realize how much of an impact he had on younger announcers like me. Thanks for the high standard of announcing you have set for us. It gives me a goal to shoot for.
    Regards,
    Tom Wahl
    WEAR-TV
    Pensacola, Florida.

    Reply
  2. Hey all interested in the great voice of Hank Simms. I just ran across this site and noticed the admiration of my father’s voice which I think is well deserved as well! Yes I am his son and I to think he deserves more credit for his great work with Quinn Martin and for his great work announcing the Academy Awards for 25 years.
    As Tom Wahl mentioned in his very kind words towards my father, my loving mother passed away in 2003 from cancer and we miss her plenty. My dad is relaxing in retirement in Hot Springs, Arkansas in his young year of 82. His voice still sounds great even though he is so humble he won’t tell you that himself.
    Frank Simms

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    • Frank,

      I am deeply saddened to have just learned of the passing of your dad. My heartfelt condolence to you and your family. I believe you’ll recall my sharing with you that your dad and Dick Tufeld were my inspirations to become a voiceover guy/announcer. As you know, we lost Dick last year. I had the great pleasure of talking with Dick on the phone several years ago and he spoke very highly of your dad. Most of the great voiceover guys are gone now and our business is emptier without them. Your dad was kind enough to write a letter to me a few years ago. It was my great privilege to have corresponded with him. Somehow I feel a bit lonely now that your dad is gone. He has had a huge influence on my life and career.

      God Bless.

      Tom Wahl

      Reply
  3. Hi, i’m a big fans of all series made by QM Productions. I collect ABC TV Photos from the series The Invaders. Over the years i found a lot of pics from actors who play in the serie. I have 3×5 index cards autograph of mr thinnes, mr. kent smith and Quinn Martin. i also have a pics of these 3 person =) I never found a pics of Hank Simms or William Woodson =(
    So i ask here to mr frank simms if it’s possible to see a pics of your father in the 60’s ? or maybe you can contact me ? i am just a fans who want to complete a great collection of pictures from the people who works for QM Production.
    Thanks in advance from a fans in Montreal Quebec

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  4. Hi,
    I am looking for the announcer who did the opening introduction of The Rifleman…..
    The Rifleman Starring Chuck Connors.
    It has been brought to my attention that this could be Quinn Martin’s announcer Henry Fry Simms.
    Here is the link to a clip that someone had made up for me with Henry Fry Simms annoucing some TV shows. They have included “The Rifleman” to compare it with.
    http://rifleman-branded.com/wavs/rifleman_announcer_clip.mp3
    I have been searching for this information for some time, hope you can help me in this matter.
    Thank you,
    Margie aka Cowgirl

    Reply
  5. Back in the late 70’s, I was working for a radio station in Vero Beach, Florida. I was an advertising rep, and one day when I came back into the station there was a gentleman recording , believe it or not, an ‘audition’ tape. He was applying for the possibilty of doing some ‘free-lance’ work, since he had retired recently and was now living in Vero Beach. Well, after he left, and I heard the tape..I knew immediately it was the same person who had done all the Quinn Martin shows. I later learned his name was Hank Simms. I had heard him do the Academy Award Show for years as well, and couldn’t believe we were lucky enough to have this giant in the industry wanting to cut commercials for our clients. He was a heck of a nice guy, and I, for one, am glad to have had the opportunity to watch , listen and learn from him. Thanks for being so nice to me, Hank. I’ll never forget you.

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  6. Hank Simms’ son Frank has said that his father was the announcer for Barnaby Jones, The FBI, Streets of San Francisco, and Cannon, but NOT for The Fugitive, The Invaders, or 12 O’Clock High (even though the senior Mr. Simms is often credited with being the announcer on these shows). A good listen reveals it is a different voice (and this is not to be confused with the Narrator). Does any QM Production afficianado know who this narrator is?? Thanks!

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  7. Dick Wesson was the earlier QM announcer who did THE FUGITIVE. Wesson may have also done THE INVADERS and 12 O’CLOCK HIGH. All began production before the shows which Hank Simms did.
    This can be evidenced by listening a FUGITIVE opening and comparing that voice to this one heard on WALT DISNEY’S WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR, a show which Wesson definately did:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kBBVcgvMZU

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  8. Thanks, Chris. We read an imdb message that stated the same thing about Dick Wesson and also saw the reference in a book about Quinn Martin; plus Frank Simms related the same thing — all these things converged yesterday. For me, it was a pleasant surprise as I wasn’t sure if the announcer could ever be verified. Dick Wesson was a classy announcer and an important part of The Fugitive!
    Ken

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  9. Greetings
    Did Frank and Hank Simms sing in a group called the Gay Robins in the late 40’s. I have come across a stack of home made recordings of this group, including rehersal takes. One recording announces the members of the group as Frank Simms, Hank Simms, Sally Simms, and Bobby Higgins. Any information would be appreciated.

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  10. Mr. Simms, My father, Russ Stewart, was an announcer in the same era as your dad. I have a piece of history in a device called a “Handy Prompter” that was made for your father by a person named J. Larraher. It is probably the earliest example of a teleprompter and was manually operated. I don’t recall the stiry of how my dad wound up with this thing but thought you might be interested in having it since it has your dad’s name on the front as the person that it was made for. Tim stewart

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  11. Hello. Do you know, with certainty, if your dad was the announcer at the beginning of every episode of “T.H.E. Cat”? (It was not Hank Simms.)

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  12. The entry on imdb regarding the death of Hank Simms is wrong. Hank Simms is still living. Apparently, Hank Simms is sometimes confused with Hal Simms, the longtime CBS staff announcer in New York. Hal Simms was the one who died in Brookline, Massachusetts in 2002. I saw a book about the history of the Tonight Show that mentions Jack Paar’s CBS Morning Show and it mentions HANK Simms as the announcer. The announcer on the CBS show was HAL Simms. Incidentally, Hal Simms’ son is named Hank, who is a doctor.

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  13. Mark Atnip & timemachinesg2
    Frank Simms left his email addy above and could perhaps respond to your requests directly.
    I recently became interested in the VO phenom of the early days of TV at the passing of Dick Tufeld, voice of the Lost In Space robot & VO intro to Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea. I was surprised he was not credited with VO to many of the programs mentioned above, esp QM ones, all currently running on METV. Margie adds another bit of intrique with Rifleman & Branded, also on METV.
    I also took note of so manyin charge of production credits to William Self and upon research found he had passed in Nov 2010.
    Dick Tufeld’s passing was preceeded by several other notable deaths of stars related to METV programming during 2011; Anne Francis, Dan Frazer, Peter Falk, James Arness, Harry Morgan….and now Peter Breck. I’m hoping METV will honor a request and set aside Memorial Day weekend as a marathon tribute to these great faces andd voices of tv’s rich past.
    Thank you all above for your interest and providing footnotes to the past and METV for keeping it alive.
    White Tornado

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  14. Hello Frank, I’m Barbara Simms, I am your father’s nephew Paul Simms Jr. daughter. I was reading how everyone loves your father’s voice. His brother Paul Sr. was my grandpa,he always talked about what a nice person Hank is. We used to sit together and listened to Hank announce Barnaby Jones,Grampa listened with a big proud smile on his face. I have a question Frank, I was wondering where Hank was born, I thought all the siblings where born in MO. Also wasn’t his father a railroad man with the Missouri Pacific ? I’ve asked my Dad, but he didn’t know too much about it. I wanted to follow the railroad that the brothers where so fond of and spent their childhood riding on. I believe your grandfather named depots after his sons across the states. Do you know where your father’s depot is or if he had one named after him? I could ask question all day but I’m going to stop now! Hope this note finds you and your family will and thank you Barbara Simms

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  15. That was great reading about my dad.
    He does have an iconic voice. One you can’t forget.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Simms

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    • Shannon,

      I have enjoyed reading about Hank Simms too! He sounds like a wonderful father and was admired by many people. He is going to be missed!

      Reply
  16. Hank Simms is my father. He passed away August 7 2013 and yes I remember his voice on the Academy awards and Quinn Martin productions. At least I can always go to YouTube to hear his voice

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  17. I was just listening to some old reruns and thought I would research who the QM announcer was. My condolences on the passing of your father. I listened to him for many years and it’s great to read that he had such a wonderful life and career.

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  18. LEE: TO HELP WITH AN FBI TRIBUTE SITE,I AM LOOKING FOR PRODUCTION NUMBERS FOR THE EPISODES. I NEED
    ABOUT 70 OF THEM FROM SEASONS 1,3,5,6,7,AND 8. ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE ME WILL BE APPRECIATED, YOU CAN
    E-MAIL ME AT billiard1234@hotmail.com OR CALL ME AT 270-854-4619, THANKS BILL

    Reply
  19. I have stumbled my way onto this site and am so glad to read and learn about Hank Simms and his iconic voice resonates today as it did in all our yesterdays. His work for QM is legendary for so many, as memorable or even more so than the stars of those shows. He was an influence on my chosing a career path into radio, though I knew going in my pipes couldn’t hold a candle to his. I had a great run, a mere twinkle in the sky compared to Hank’s full Harvest moon. I never had a chance to say ‘thank you’ for his inspiration, one of so many who wanted to follow in his footsteps despite his shoes being way too big for all of us. Thanks for this site and its wonderful read …

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  20. Thank you for such a wonderful comment you said regarding my father. I grew up watching all the Quinn Martin shows! Also each and every Academy Award. I still watch the Awards but they are not the same without hearing his great voice with his intro. Thank you Shannon Simms

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  21. Hank Simms was my father. He worked on all Quinn Martin productions. Yes I am very luck to still be able to hear him. Also his brother Frank Simms worked on the east coast the one I remember is passive, with Campbell soup commercials.

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  22. He did “The FBI, ” too. I agree, the announcer voice of Hank Simms remains as great a memory as all those great Quinn Martin productions. He was copied even, in “Police Squad, ” Leslie Nielsen’s 6 episode hilarious series that spawned the”Naked Gun” movies.

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  23. My understanding is that Hank did the Police Squad opens as, sort of, a parody of himself. He was born here in Tulsa and went to Central High School. At least three of the greatest voices in broadcasting history went to Tulsa Central High School: Mr. Simms, Danny “Dark” Croskery – voice of NBC in 80s & 90s, “Sorry, Charlie…”, “Beechwood aged Budweiser…for that clean, crisp taste that makes Bud, the king of beer.” He was also the voice of Superman on Superfriends AND Paul Harvey, one of the most listened to voices in radio history + The great John Doremus was from Sapulpa which is a suburb of Tulsa. Must have been something in the water or a great, inspiring teacher or three!

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    • Hi, Loren! I suspect that inspiring teacher was likely Miss Isabelle Ronan, who taught speech at Tulsa Central. Danny Dark’s obituary in the New York Times mentions her, and both Paul Harvey and Tony Randall spoke fondly of her influence and encouragement.

      I first became familiar with Frank Simms (Hank’s brother) through radio transcriptions of Johnnie Lee Wills broadcasts from 1951, circulating on the internet; Frank was the announcer and often traded quips with Johnnie Lee and the band. I thought his voice seemed familiar. It’s fascinating to learn about this extended family of voice talent!

      Reply
  24. Hank Simms Was Announcer Of QM Series Such As The FBI,The Outcasts,Harold Robbins The Survivors,Dan August,Cannon,Banyon,The Streets Of San Francisco,Barnaby Jones,Griff,The Manhunter,Caribe,Bert D’Angelo Superstar.The Runaways/Operation Runaway,He Was Announcer Of Morning Star,Paradise Bay Replaced On December 27,1965 By A Game Show The Hollywood Squares,Death Valley Days 1969-70,The World Of Survival,Jabberwacky,The Academy Awards,The Emmy Awards,He Was A Newsman On The Fugitive,The Invaders,Marcus Welby,M.D.,Hank Simms Announced All The Cartoons,The Dating Game,The Newlywed Game,Dream House,Operation Entertainment,The Music Scene,Police Squad,Hank Simms Was Announcer Of Hondo,The Hollywood Palace,

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  25. Add to all those above credits…Honey West (if you have the Honey West DVD set, there’s a teaser for “The Abominable Snowman” episode with Hank’s distinctive voice doing narration), The Felony Squad (he did the ‘brought to you by…’ and also at the end of the first episode, he says ‘Here are some exciting scenes from upcoming episodes of The Felony Squad!’), and later on, he did the ‘…will return after station identification’ for Mannix, Mission: Impossible, Police Woman and Baretta, as well as the voiceover for the NBC Mystery Movie (i.e., ‘Tonight…Peter Falk as Columbo!’).

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