Leland (Lee) Hansen, (born in Spokane, Washington) is an American radio personality and voice actor best known for creating the
popular Alien Worlds radio
drama in the late 1970s.
Lee Hansen Background
Lee Hansen began his entertainment career as a
ventriloquist in eastern Washington near Spokane. He later began his radio career
in the early 60's at KCLX radio in Colfax, Washington while still attending High School
in Tekoa, Washington. After graduation he joined the Army and was assigned to radio
operations school at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. He was among the first troop deployment under
President Kennedy to Vietnam and assigned to the 119th Aviation Company in Pleiku,
Vietnam as a radio operator. At the time American Forces Radio (AFRS) was
just beginning and they were in need of a morning DJ. Lee sent an air-check of his
on-air work to the commanding officer at the station, Air Force Lieutenant Donald
Kirtley. His commanding officer in Pleiku, Army Major
Donald Smith however, refused to grant Lee's request for transfer to Saigon three
times. It was finally through the efforts of AFRS commanders and a high ranking general
that facilitated (at that time in Vietnam) the first third Army inter-theater transfer of its
kind. As a result, Hansen became a founding member of Armed Forces Radio Saigon (AFRS)
in the spring of 1963. The radio network would eventually spread and serve over 500,000 GI's,
and Hansen hosted the station's very first morning show in Saigon, "The Dawnbuster." This
program was the predecessor to The movie "Good Morning Vietnam" and countless other radio
personalities followed in his footsteps throughout the Vietnam war. Ironically,
Major Donald Smith from Pleiku (who earlier refused Lee's initial transfer request 3 times)
later called upon Lee to help arrange to get musical instruments and entertainment
for the first anniversary of the 119th Aviation Company. Earlier efforts by the Major
to do so had failed. Lee answered the call and arranged not only the musical
instruments, but the musicians to play them. He then secured a C-140 Air Force
Transport to fly himself, the instruments, musicians and Lee's morning news man Bob
Andresen, from Saigon north to Pleiku. Lee MC'd the show and
performed a ventriloquist act and carried on comical banter with Bob Andresen.
The resounding successful USO show for all the troops was followed by an
accommodation letter to Lee from Major Smith regarding the event in October
1963. Click to view See Hansen's AFRS tribute here (scroll half way down the page).
Hansen returned to Ft. Benning from Vietnam and
worked part time as the morning DJ at WGBA in Columbus, Georgia. Following an honorable
discharge from the Army in 1965, he worked as a disc jockey for major Top 40 radio
stations around the country and was later invited to join Mel Blanc Audio Media in
Hollywood. Lee was thrilled to work with Mel Blanc, and served as Creative
Director and Studio Operations Manager and as a voice-over director. A year later
he was appointed Director of The Mel Blanc School of Voice and Commercials which trained many
top talent in the industry.
He later was invited by Tom Rounds to join Watermark Studios working as a co-director and
recording engineer for the newly created nationally syndicated "American Top Forty" with Casey
Kasem. Soon Hansen was appointed studio manager and worked as a producer and
co-producer for several syndicated radio shows including "American Country Countdown" with Bob
Kingsley; The "Special of The Week" with Robert W. Morgan; "Soundtrack of The Sixties"
with Gary Owens; "The Elvis Presley Story" with Wink Martindale and other special
features. While at Watermark, in 1977 he became best known for creating, producing,
and directing the popular dramatic radio series "Alien Worlds – On The Threshold of The Unknown."
The stories were written by Hansen and Ron Thompson with a variety of other co-writers
including providing the debut of the first scripts ever written by writer J. Michael Stracynski who
went on to write "Murder She Wrote", "Babylon 5" and "The Changeling." The hit science fiction
drama, syndicated by Watermark, was eventually picked up by more than 1500 radio stations
worldwide, including 600 top rated FM stations in the US. It most recently re-aired on Sirius
XM Satellite Radio.
Following Alien Worlds, Hansen went on to
UCLA Film School. He later gained prominence with his production company “GDE” as a writer,
producer and director for film and TV features centered around the US Space Program and
Aerospace Industry. Hansen is currently the CEO of Addlink, LLC, a Hollywood production firm
for radio and TV commercial production.
Radio work As a DJ
• KCLX Colfax, Washington
• AFRS Saigon, Vietnam (Founding
• WGBA Columbus, Georgia
• WQXI Atlanta, Georgia
• KJRB Spokane, Washington
• KASH Eugene, Oregon
• KENO/KLUC-FM Las Vegas, Nevada
• KORK AM Las Vegas, Nevada
• KUTE FM Los Angeles, California
As a Producer
• American Top 40 with Casey Kasem
• American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley
• The Robert W. Morgan Special of The Week
• The Elvis Presley Story
• Murray The K Mysteries
• Soul Train With Don Cornellius
• Soundtrack of the '60s with Gary Owens
• Alien Worlds with Linda Gary
• Straczynski, J. Michael. "The Complete Book of
Scriptwriting." Writers Digest Books, 1996. ISBN 0-89879-512-5.
• "Who's Who In Entertainment." Marquis Who's Who, 1990. ISBN 0-8379-1850-2.
Hansen at AFRS In Saigon,
ARMED FORCES RADIO
STATION's popular LEE HANSEN, host of the lively DAWN BUSTERS morning show, is snapped going
over his program schedule with HEDSUPPACT Special Sevices Recreation Director, MISS ROSALIE
LENAHAN, of W. Palm Beach, Florida. LEE HANSEN brings to AFRS considerable professional
civilian experience in radio broadcasting. MISS LENAHAN tapes radio spots of Special Services
activities for dissemination to US troops over AFRS.
ARMED FORCES RADIO STATION, located on the ground floor of the BRINK
BOQ, operates 18 hours per day from 0600 to 2400 daily, presenting a variety of programs from top
United States Radio Networks as well as complete local music and news programming. Visiting hours
are not standard, but the station will take small groups through the studios if prior arrangements
are made with the station manager, Navy Chief BRYANT ARBUCKLE.