Larry Rhine / Comedy Writer / "I Shall Return"

Larry Rhine

Grandson of Charles Rhine, son of Elias Rhine, husband of Hazel Shermet Rhine and father of Robert Steven Rhine and Vicki Rhine

Larry Rhine was a prolific comedy writer who typed through the golden age of radio, television and film. Rhine had a fifty year record as a television staff writer for the top ten runs of such comedy shows as: All In The Family, Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Mr. Ed, Here’s Lucy, Oh Susanna and Private Secretary, The Odd Couple, The Brady Bunch, Sanford and Sons, Tugboat Annie, Gimme a Break, Different Strokes, Bachelor Father and animated shows Pebbles and Bam Bam and The Barkleys, amongst many others.

Born in San Francisco May 26th 1910 (a third generation San Franciscan), Rhine was listed with outstanding grads at Lowell High: Former Governor Pat Brown, Carol Channing, Bill Bixby and Chief Justice Steven Bryer. Rhine received his BA from California Berkeley in 1931, where he had spent time as captain of a renowned debating team which traveled around the world, beating teams as far away as China. After college in 1934, he began in radio at KGB in San Diego alongside Art Linkletter, as a writer, announcer and director. He continued to pursue his radio career as writer of some of the top shows of the day with Ben Bernie (The ‘Ol Maestro), Life Of Riley, G.E. Theater, Colgate Comedy Hour and Duffy’s Tavern where he met his wife (who played Miss Duffy) actress Hazel Shermet.

In 1936, Rhine went to work as a screenwriter for Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. Credits include: “Chip of the Flying U” (1940), “The Devil’s Pipeline” (1940) “The Leather Pushers” (1940), “A Dangerous Game” (1941), “Top Sergeant,” “Timber,” and “Six Lessons From Madame La Zonga” (1941). While at Universal, he was hired to create numerous muscial shorts from the leftover sets of feature films.

A serious war assignment found him Chief of the Philippine Division, Office of War Information, for all shortwave broadcasts. Rhine helped set up MacArthur’s famous “I Shall Return” speech. When Rhine informed MacArthur that he felt he should say, “We Shall Return,” MacArthur removed him from shore boat that was later fired bombed on that fateful day. Rhine received many citations including one from President of the Philippines Manuel Quezon and Foreign Minister Carlos Romulo, along with countless letters of gratitude from the Philippine people.

During his years as a television writer for “All In The Family,” Rhine received two Emmy Award nominations, a Writers Guild Award, a Humanitas Award, a Golden Globe and a Heartfund Award.

Rhine was Trustee to the Producer-Writer’s Pension Plan L.A. 1960-70 (Chairman 1968). In 1974, he received the Founders Award, reading, “With our deepest gratitude to Larry Rhine, whose diligence and wisdom has guided us through the crucial years.” He received the Producer-Writer Pension Plan Founders Plaque in 1980. A member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and Pioneer Broadcasters, he received the Pioneer Broadcasters Diamond Circle Plaque just two weeks before his passing. In 1999, Rhine was filmed as part of the Television Academy of Art and Sciences Archive of American television. The indepth interview series can be viewed here:

During hiatus and semi-retirement, Larry and his wife Hazel were travel journalists. Larry, the writer, and Hazel, the photographer. Their international travel stories appeared on the front page of travel sections in major national papers throughout the United States and Canada for over nine years.