Esse Willem Ljungh

Esse Willem Ljungh, radio-drama producer, actor, director, teacher (b at Malmö, Sweden 1904; d at Kingston, Ont 9 Feb 1991). Educated in Sweden in arts and law, he immigrated to Canada in 1927, worked as a farmhand for 2 years and acquired his own farm near Radville, Sask. After losing his farm during the Depression, he moved to Winnipeg to edit a small Swedish-language farm paper. He acted in the Winnipeg Little Theatre and during the late 1930s became interested in radio, first as an actor, then as audio technician, producer and director. He became famous for his imaginative use of sound, artistic integration of music and inspiring direction of actors.

He joined the CBC in Winnipeg in 1942 and was transferred to Toronto in 1946. With Andrew ALLAN and J. Frank Willis, he became one of Canadian radio's leading producers. His work ranged from the prestigious "Wednesday Night" series to the popular "Jake and the Kid" programs written by W.O. MITCHELL, the long-running soap opera "Brave Voyage" and the musical "G.E. Hour." He tried TV in the late 1950s but returned to radio and was national supervisor of radio drama when he retired in 1969. He was awarded the Diplôme d'honneur by the Canadian Conference of the Arts and the John Drainie Award for distinguished contribution to Canadian broadcasting. He was a Member of the Order of Canada.