LES LYE (1988 Inductee)

Les Lye was born in Toronto, Ontario on November 18, 1924. Following a stint in the armed forces after high school, he attended the University of Toronto, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, and then enrolled in Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts. In 1948, he moved to Ottawa to join Frank Ryan’s CFRA team.

As a radio announcer, Les worked with the station’s popular groups, including Mac Beattie and The Ottawa Valley Melodiers and the Happy Wanderers, and was also in demand as an MC at their many live appearances. He went back to Toronto to work for a short time at CKEY, returning to Ottawa and CFRA with his alter ego, Abercrombie. Les became one of radio’s top personalities before turning to the new medium of television in 1958. His first job, as a co-host on the talk show "Contact", lasted three years.

In 1961, CJOH Television went on the air with Les as a freelance writer and performer. Here, he soon teamed with Bill Luxton to form a relationship that was to last decades. Les became the MC and had creative responsibilities for Shor Gas Barn Dance, where he worked with the many guests and continued to make appearances with the host band, the Happy Wanderers.

Over the years, Les has worked for the CBC, CTV and Global networks. In addition to his ongoing partnership with Bill Luxton, he has worked with Don Harron, Ruth Buzzi and Orson Bean. Les and Bill’s "Willy & Floyd" show ran for more than 20 years and was followed by "You Can’t Do That on Television" which enjoyed a ten-year run. Among his many accomplishments, Les has appeared in a number of stage shows and was a major contributor to Rich Little’s career.

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