Lee was the game show host for the Preferred Stock Spelling Bee in 1940. Preferred Stock was a manufacturer of canned foods. The show featured a live studio audience and a set that included a “man in the moon” wearing a cone hat behind the host. When the cartoon character’s eyes lit up, the audience was encouraged to applaud.
The popular radio announcer did a stint in the army after the war. When he got out, he tried his luck in Hollywood. For many years Boiseans were proud of their “hometown” boy (he was actually born in Illinois) as he went on to gain a measure of fame as actor Byron Keith.
Keith appeared in in the 1946 movie The Stranger, alongside Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, and Orson Welles, with Welles directing. He was in several other movies, and had a recurring role as police lieutenant Roy Gilmore in the TV’s 77 Sunset Strip. He may be best known for his ten episodes in the original Batman TV series as Mayor Linseed.
Byron Keith/Clete Lee/Cletus Leo Schwitters passed away at age 78 in Los Angeles in 1996.