October 02, 2013

Hank Simms, Prolific TV Announcer

Sims worked for years on Quinn Martin productions, including The FBI, The Streets of San Francisco and Barnaby Jones.

Henry F. "Hank" Simms, an announcer whose voice was heard on numerous television programs, died August 7, 2013, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was 90.

Born May 25, 1923, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Simms graduated from Tulsa Central High School in 1940 and went on to attend the University of Oklahoma. 

In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and after basic training in Sheppard Field, Texas, was sent to Officers Training School in Boca Raton, Florida, and later to Yale University, where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. 
Following assignment to a training station in Mountain Home, Idaho, he joined a B-24 Bomber Group, the 456th, in Muroc Dry Lake, California. Shortly afterward, the Group was ordered to Stornara, Italy, where Simms was successively an Assistant Squadron Engineering Officer, Head of the Technical Inspectors at Group Headquarters (in which capacity he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant) and finally a Squadron Engineering Officer. In the later position, he was promoted to Captain. 

When the war ended, he returned to Oklahoma University and later attended Tulsa University. Encouraged by his brother, Frank, he entered the field of radio announcing. After broadcasting jobs in Tulsa, Wichita and Dallas, he moved to Los Angeles, and later to Honolulu, Hawaii. 

In 1951, during the Korean War, he was recalled to the Air Force and promoted to Major. Soon afterward, he met his future wife, Moe, while they were greeting mutual friends at the Honolulu Airport. The two were married in Oklahoma City in 1954. 

The couple later returned to Los Angeles, where SImms worked as an announcer for the next quarter-decade. His many television credits included The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Golden Globes and some 15 Quinn Martin Productions series, including The FBI, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco and Barnaby Jones

The Simmses retired to John’s Island in Vero Beach, Forida, where they lived for ten years and pursued their shared interests in golf and bridge. They then moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas. 

In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to either the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity or to the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation at UCLA.

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