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Les Crane

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Best remembered for his 1971 spoken word smash "Desiderata," Les Crane was born Lester Stein in San Francisco in 1935; after first rising to local success as a rock and roll DJ at Bay Area station KKYA, he moved to KKGO, where station manager Don Curran gave him the new surname Crane, and tapped him to host a late-night talk show. Crane's program quickly became a hit, its star's growing renown further enhanced by his marriage to actress Tina Louise; in 1964, ABC television signed him to host Nightlife, one of the network's many failed attempts to combat NBC's The Tonight Show. The Les Crane Show followed — the Rolling Stones made their American television debut on the program on June 2, 1964 — and in 1966 he made his feature film debut in the little-seen An American Dream. "Desiderata" was inspired by a popular Max Ehrmann poem which Crane encountered on a poster; his spoken word reading of the piece reached the Top Ten in the autumn of 1971, and even won a Grammy. No other hits were forthcoming, however, and he later moved into the computer software field. The LP Desiderata finally saw its CD debut in 1999 for a short time on the Warner Bros label, and was reissued by Collectables in 2003.

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Birth Name:

Lesley Stein


03 December 1933 in Long Beach, NY

Years Active: