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Original Philip Marlowe Radio header art

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Adventures of Philip Marlowe

Pepsodent Spot Ad for The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, starring Van Heflin, from June 17, 1947
Pepsodent Spot Ad for The Adventures
of Philip Marlowe, starring Van Heflin, from June 17, 1947

Marlowe's 'mean streets'
Marlowe's 'mean streets' like this
photo of Los Angeles' Broadway
at night, ca. 1943
Reviewer's critique of 1947's premiere of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe from  June 24, 1947
Reviewer's critique of 1947's premiere
of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
from June 24, 1947

From the March 13th 1948 Billboard,Toni (home permanent) considered sponsoring a Fall Season of Philip Marlowe, Private Detective, but apparently pulled out after Van Heflin decline to pursue a full season as Philip Marlowe.
From the March 13th 1948 Billboard,Toni (home permanent) considered sponsoring a Fall Season of Philip Marlowe, Private Detective, but apparently pulled out after Van Heflin decline to pursue a full season as Philip Marlowe.
February 28, 1950 Spot Ad for The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
February 28, 1950 Spot Ad for The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

July 13, 1951 announcement of Philip Marlowe's return to the air as a Summer Replacement for Hopalong Cassidy
July 13, 1951 announcement of
Philip Marlowe's return to the air
as a Summer Replacement for
Hopalong Cassidy

Background

The number of actors that have portrayed Raymond Chandler's sardonic private detective, Philip Marlowe reads like a Who's Who of Radio, Television and Film. At one time or another the following actors have 'walked the mean streets' in Philip Marlowe's size tens (in no particular order):

  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Richard Powell
  • Van Heflin
  • George Montgomery
  • Robert Montgomery
  • Robert Mitchum
  • Gerald Mohr
  • William Conrad
  • James Garner
  • Michael Gambon
  • James Caan
  • Elliott Gould
  • Philip Carey
  • Powers Boothe
  • Danny Glover
  • Clive Owen

That's quite an extraordinary list. But by the same token, Philip Marlowe was quite an extraordinary gumshoe. That the list contains no less than eight award-winning actors speaks volumes about the durability of Philip Marlowe's various personae in three major media arts. So what was it about Chandler's everyman sleuth that drew so many noted talents to portray him?

As might become obvious from a reading of John Crosby's 1947 review at left, Radio--even by 1947--was still wary of the blood and guts violence of noir fiction. And yet, despite Chandler's caustic, often cynical view of a private detective's life, Hollywood took to Chandler's most memorable character with a passion. And Philip Marlowe had much to recommend him in his various guises. He was both worldly wise and cynical to be sure, but he was also relentlessly optimisitic. Especially so in his Radio persona. But even in Film, Marlowe was the kind of shamus that would never let his clients--nor his environs--ever truly defeat him.

Philip Marlowe was no stranger to Radio, having been portrayed in several Radio adaptations of the three successful Philip Marlowe films of the era, Murder My Sweet, Lady in The Lake and The Brasher Doubloon. Even more significantly, Chandler-like characters kept cropping up in numerous detective genre programs of the era. Indeed, both Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler exerted a great deal of influence over the detective and crime fiction of the era--and for generations to follow. Hammett's The Fat Man, The Thin Man, and Sam Spade had already preceded The Adventures of Philip Marlowe by two years. Sam Spade, especially had clearly captured the imagination of Post World War II audiences hungry for some escapism.

The success of The Adventures of Sam Spade, Detective served as a natural springboard for all manner of both short-lived and long-running Radio Detectives of the era. But it was the extraordinary success of the three Raymond Chandler penned Philip Marlowe movies that made Philip Marlowe a natural gamble for Radio.

Philip Marlowe premieres over Radio

So it was that The Adventures of Philip Marlowe came to Radio in the Summer of 1947 as a Pepsodent Program replacement for their wildly popular show starring Bob Hope and his ensemble. Both CBS and Pepsodent promoted the first nine programs to the maximum extent. In all likelihood as much to promote Van Heflin himself, as to keep The Pepsodent Program's time slot nice and cozy for Bob Hope's return in The Fall of 1947. Indeed, the fact that Van Heflin got far greater billing than Raymond Chandler himself, demonstrates the relative celebrity of the two diverse talents for their time.

From the June 16, 1947 edition of the Daily Globe:

In Hollywood 

By GENE HANDSAKER
     Hollywood -- It was definitely a large evening that Van Heflin, the movie star, and your correspondent had last night.
     We drove around in the tire-deep water of the Los Angeles River ... munched popcorn in  crummy beer joint while two patrons nearly came to blows ... Why, we actually even wound up in a stinking, filthy flophouse!
     Maybe you're thinking Van and I got gorgeously spifficated.  Nope--we partook of nothing but two bags of popcorn apiece that Van insisted on buying for ourselves--and two policeman escorts.
     Van goes on the air, starting June 17, as the summer replacement for Bob Hope, in the role of Detective Philip Marlowe.
     He always likes to familiarize himself with the surroundings and duties of any new character he plays--says it actually gives a ring of authenticity to the voice--so now he was learning all about cops in radio prowl cars.
     We rode in the back seat of Radio Car 11-A, operated by two pleasant young policemen, John Breisingher, who drove, and Bill Lesner, who kept a log of our maneuvers.
     "Car Eleven-A," the voice of a woman dispatcher droned over the dashboard radio.  That was us!--and sharp-chinned, curly-haired Van (and I) sat forward eagerly.  "In the 200 block on East Seventh Street--merchandise on sidewalk."  That seemed a curious complaint.
     At the address, two men were pushing electric stoves and refrigerators into a store.  Officer Lesner verified that they were the owners, not burglars.
     We drove into the river bed to look for vagrants.  The officers arrested a drunk who turned out to be an ex-convict.
     We broke up a beer joint quarrel--one man claimed another had robbed him.  We went through a second-floor flophouse (beds, 25 cents) where the air reeked, a drunk lay on the corridor floor.
     The stooped and nearly toothless proprietor complained that a nearby rescue mission was keeping his 310 tenants awake with their hymns, piano, and drum.  Officer Bresingher exacted a promise form the revivalists to recess activities henceforth at 9 p.m.
     Van earnest comment was:  "I don't see how this could ever get monotonous!"

And even though Van Heflin's depiction of Philip Marlowe was the first to air on a recurring basis, it was clear to everyone listening to those first thirteen episodes that Van Heflin could deliver a very different Philip Marlowe, indeed. Heflin's naturally throaty expositions throughout the run were as rivetting as the underlying scripts. Those who'd already seen either Richard Powell's Philip Marlowe or Robert Montgomery's, found a very 'new' Philip Marlowe in Heflin's wonderful portrayal.

Heflin took the prospect of depicting Philip Marlowe very seriously. He rode with radio patrols for several weeks both before and during the program's recording sessions. He studied both the police detectives themselves, as well as the often mind-numbing routine of the job. He acquainted himself with their procedures, learned their call signs, and listened to police radio calls while at home. In short, Heflin took a crash course in the crime detecting underbelly of Los Angeles. And in the process, he gained both the respect and admiration of his real-life counterparts in the L.A.P.D..

Heflin's attention to the details of police procedure showed in every program. Indeed, Van Heflin paved the way for a new generation of both Philip Marlowe fans and the actors that would depict him for the next forty-five years in Radio, Television and Film. By the end of that first Summer 1947 run of thirteen episodes, Radio's appetite for more Philip Marlowe had been whetted. But MGM had far bigger plans for Van Heflin and he never returned to the role.

As it was, it took another year to bring Philip Marlowe to the Air in earnest. Extraordinary voice talent Gerald Mohr was tapped for the Philip Marlowe production for CBS. Long a staff talent for all manner of CBS productions, Mohr seemed a natural to reinvigorate the Philip Marlowe character. Mohr, a master of dialects and one of Radio's most versatile leads, forged yet another new take on Philip Marlowe. Mohr could make Philip Marlowe as cynical and hard-bitten as any of the great talents that preceded him. But Mohr also imbued his Philip Marlowe with a humanity and indomitable sense of humor that the character very much needed. Indeed that's precisely how Raymond Chandler most often depicted his seminal character himself.

Gerald Mohr restored the 'dark knight' quality to the Philip Marlowe Radio persona. The formula worked. By the middle of Mohr's first year as Philip Marlowe he was voted Radio's Most Popular Male actor by Radio and Television magazine. Mohr and CBS popularized the Philip Marlowe character for just over a hundred programs before the program left the air for another year.

Gerald Mohr reprised the role in 1951 for eleven more programs as a Summer Replacement for Hopalong Cassidy. Even though a year had passed, Mohr slipped right back into the role as if he'd never left it. Mohr's eleven episode reprise accomplished its primary goal of keeping the slot toasty warm for Hoppy for his return in the Fall of 1951. Mohr was wrapping up principal cinematography for Sirocco (1951) and his Television commitments were growing at an exponential pace.

But 1951 wasn't the end of the line for Philip Marlowe by any means. Philip Marlowe took to the small screen in 1954 in an episode of Climax!, and then in a 1960 Television Series starring Philip Carey as Philip Marlowe. Over the next twenty years James Garner, Elliot Gould and Robert Mitchum brought Philip Marlowe to life four more times in Film. Powers Boothe took yet another stab at Philip Marlowe in Television's Philip Marlowe, Private Eye in 1986, and then James Caan took yet another run at Philip Marlowe in the 1998 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's last novel, Poodle Spring. Even Danny Glover took a run at Philip Marlowe in a 1995 Television episode of Fallen Angels, adapting 'Red Wind' one more time. As of this writing, Clive Owen of Sin City and Sin City 2 fame is still working with producers to bring yet another incarnation of Philip Marlowe to the big screen and ABC Television is considering another Philip Marlowe series for either 2009 or 2010.

And why not? Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe has taken on a life of his own over the past seventy years. The character is as adaptable today as he was when Chandler first penned him. Sherlock Holmes, Charlie Chan, and Sam Spade are all somewhat locked into their respective chronological eras, but Philip Marlowe seems to have been the most successful of the Radio and Film noir detectives to adapt to any era. That's a tribute to Chandler, of course, but it's also a tribute to the notion of an 'everyman' detective that can take everything that's thrown at him, yet bounce back with that one beautiful dawn or that first Spring shower that seems to wash away all the dirt and grime--long enough to tackle just one more case.

Series Derivatives:

AFRS R- Series; The Adventures of Philip Marlowe; Philip Marlowe Investigates [Australia]; BBC Radio 4 -- The Radio Detectives
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Detective Dramas
Network(s): NBC, CBS, The AFRS, ABC [Australia], The BBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 1947 Summer Run: 47-06-02 [Aud] Who Shot Waldo [The Red Wind]
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 1947 Summer Run: 47-06-02 01 The Red Wind
1948 Run: 48-09-26 01 The Red Wind
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 1947 Summer Run: 47-06-02 to 47-09-16; NBC Summer replacement for Bob Hope Pepsodent Show; Thirteen, 30-minute episodes; Tuesdays, 8:00 p.m.
1948 Run: 48-09-26 to 50-09-29; CBS; One-Hundred Three, 30-minute episodes;
1951 Summer Replacement Run: 51-07-07 to 51-09-29; CBS Summer replacement for Hopalong Cassidy; Twelve, 30-minute episodes;
Syndication: AFRS; Philip Marlowe Investigates [Australia]
Sponsors: 1947 Summer Run: Pepsodent, Trim hair tonic with olive oil
1948 Run: Sustaining [with 1950 Model Year Promotional Ford sponsorship and Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum]
1951 Summer Replacement Run:
Director(s): 1947 Summer Run: James Fonda [Producer/Director]
1948 Run: Norman MacDonnell [Producer/Director]
Principal Actors: 1947 Summer Run: Van Heflin, Lurene Tuttle, William Conrad, William Johnstone, Harry Bartell, Gerald Mohr

1948 Run: Gerald Mohr, Luis Van Rooten, Virginia Gregg, Lawrence Dobkin, Jeanne Bates, Gil Stratton, Frank Richards, Tony Barrett, Jeff Corey, William Lally, Jacqueline DeWitt, Lou Krugman, Shepard Menken, Wilms Herbert, Mary Shipp, Theodore Von Eltz, Parley Baer, Don Diamond, Jack Moyles, Ben Wright, Gloria Blondell, John Dehner, Edgar Barrier, David Ellis, Stan Waxman, Paul Frees, Peter Leeds, Lois Corbett, Frances Robinson, Ed Begley, Sylvia Syms, Ken Harvey, Paul Dubov, Laurette Fillbrandt, Junius Matthews, Fay Baker, Lillian Buyeff, Richard Benedict, Bert Holland, Myra Marsh, Howard McNear, Alan Reed, Doris Singleton, Anne Morrison, Jeanne Bates, Jerry Hausner, Yvonne Peattie, Barney Phillips, Byron Kane, Elsie Holmes, Vivi Janis, Clark Gordon, Lynn Allen, Whitfield Connor, James Eagles, Barbara Eiler, Theodore Von Eltz, Peter Proust, Jack Kruschen, Betty Lou Gerson, Michael Ann Barrett, Howard Culver, Frank Gerstle, George Ellis, Ron Brogan, Hans Conried, Nestor Paiva, Alma Lawton, Herb Butterfield, John Stevenson, Charlotte Lawrence, D.J. Thompson, Jack Kerrington, Joan Banks, Bill Bouchey

1951 Summer Replacement Run: Gerald Mohr, Ralph Moody, Bill Shaw, Jerry Farber, Clarke Gordon, Howard Culver, Jane Webb, Don Randolph, Edward MacDonald, Joy Terry, Bud Widom, Rita Lynn, Herb Vigran, Mark Lawrence, Gracie Allen, Harold Dryanforth, John T. Smith, Charles Russell, G.B. Hunter, Olive Deering, Ted Osborne, Sidney Miller, Tom Tully, Verna Felton, Jeanette Nolan, Constance Crowder, Mary Lansing, Tudor Owen, Sam Edwards, Sammi Hill, Elliott Reid, Georgia Ellis, Stan Waxman, Ruth Perrott, Eileen Prince, Bob Sweeney, Lee Millar, Robert Griffin, Dan O'Herlihy, Rick Vallin, Hugh Thomas, Wally Maher, Irene Tedrow, June Foray, Anne Stone, Olan Soule, Fritz Feld, Donna Hehner, June Whitley, Grace Leonard, Eda Reiss Merin, Shirley Mitchell, William Tracy, Arthur Q. Bryan

Recurring Character(s): Philip Marlowe, a 38-year old, Hollywood-based, Private Detective [Van Heflin for the 1947 and Gerald Mohr and William Conrad for the 1948-1950 run and Gerald Mohr for the 1951 Summer Run]
Protagonist(s): Philip Marlowe, a 38-year old, Hollywood-based, Private Detective
Author(s): 1947 Summer Run: Raymond Chandler, [Creator/Writer]
1948 Run: Raymond Chandler, [Creator/Writer]
1951 Summer Replacement Run:
Writer(s) 1947 Summer Run: Raymond Chandler, Milton Geiger [Adapter]
1948 Run: Raymond Chandler [Creator], Mel Dinelli [Adapter]
1951 Summer Replacement Run: Kathleen Hite
Music Direction: 1947 Summer Run: Lyn Murray
1948 Run: Richard Aurandt [Music Director/Conductor]; Ivan Ditmars (Music Scoring, Conductor)
1951 Summer Replacement Run: Wilbur Hatch [Music Director], Pierre Garriguenc [Composer]
Musical Theme(s): 1947 Summer Run:
1948 Run: Richard Aurandt Organ music
1951 Summer Replacement Run: Pierre Garriguenc [Composer]
Announcer(s): 1947 Summer Run: Wendell Niles
1948 Run: Roy Rowan
1951 Summer Replacement Run: Roy Rowan
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
1947 Summer Run: 13
1948 Run: 103
1951 Summer Replacement Run: 11
Episodes in Circulation: 1947 Summer Run: 4
1948 Run: 87
1951 Summer Replacement Run: 11
Total Episodes in Collection: 1947 Summer Run: 4
1948 Run: 91
1951 Summer Replacement Run: 10 [plus three rehearsals]
Provenances:

Billboard magazine review of Adventures of Phillip Marlowe from June 28 1947
Billboard magazine review of Adventures of Phillip Marlowe from June 28 1947
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Martin Grams' Radio Drama, 'The Directory of The Armed Forces Radio Service Series'.

Notes on Provenances:

All above cited provenances are in error in one form or another. The most helpful provenance was the log of the RadioGOLDINdex.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

First off, the series of Philip Marlowe productions span three distinct and totally separate productions:

  • The NBC Sustained 1947 Summer Run of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe starring Van Heflin
  • The CBS Sustained 1948 The Adventures of Philip Marlowe starring Gerald Mohr
  • The CBS Sustained 1951 Summer Run of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe starring Gerald Mohr

They never have been--nor were they ever intended to be--one contiguous run of programs no matter what anyone in the 'commercial otr' world maintains. As such, their program numbering sequence begins anew with each distinct run--Q.E.D.

Note that there are two Programs named Trouble Is My Business in the 1947 run. That is correct according to three dated references--each--from three different large market newspaper listings of the era. Until someone can present a more persuasive proof, this log is as accurate as can be presently ascertained from verifiable provenances.

There is a log circulating that maintains that there was a Philip Marlowe run as early as 1938. Given the fact that Raymond Chandler hadn't even penned his first Philip Marlowe novella until 1938--and he hadn't published it until 1939--we find that it stretches credulity to assert that such a 1938 run of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe actually existed. If it did, then Raymond Chandler was a plagiarist his entire career, Q.E.D..

Program #1, dated 47-06-17, should be Red Wind, not The Red Wind

Program #2, dated 47-06-24, should be Trouble Is My Business, not Pit 13

Program #6, dated 47-07-22, should be Gold Fish, not Goldfish

Program #38, dated 49-06-18, should be The Busy-body or The Busybody, not The Busy Body.

Program #74, dated 50-03-07, should be Monkey's Uncle, not The Monkey's Uncle.

Program #86, dated 50-05-30, should be The Bedside Manner, not Bedside Manners nor Beside Manners.

Program #66, dated 50-01-07, should be The Torch Bearers, not The Torch Carriers.

Program #89, dated 50-06-21, should be The Gold Cobra, not Golden Cobra.

Program #102, dated 50-09-22 should be The White Carnation Mystery, not The White Carnation.


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Original Van Heflin Philip Marlowe cover art
The Adventures of Philip Marlowe [1947] mp3 Cover Art






The Adventures of Philip Marlowe [Pepsodent Summer Show] Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
47-06-02
0
Who Shot Waldo
Y
[Audition]
47-06-17
1
Red Wind
The Red Wind
Y
Premiere Episode
Summer Replacement for Pepsodent Show for Bob Hope
"Philip Marlowe, master detective, makes his debut tonight when he witnesses a chance killing inolving a shady lady whose string of pearls are as questionable as herself. Included in the cast for tonight's premiere are Lurene Tuttle, Olive Deering, Dave Ellis, Bill Conrad and Harry Bartell."
"Van Heflin and Lurene Tuttle did a great Job on their Philip Marlowe air show, which is a summer replacement for Bob Hope's. Van gets increasingly better as an actor— and he always was good. Lurene. Tuttle, radio's first lady, has been practically perfect from the beginning. Ronnie Colman wanted her for a fine part In his new picture. When she auditioned, even the director wept, so powerful was her performance. But she didn't get the role. Some day she is going to make all those people who have passed her up look sick. And that time can't come too soon for me."
47-06-24
2
Trouble Is My Business
N
"8 p. m. — Philip Marlowe (WIBA): "Trouble Is My Business.""
47-07-01
3
Circus Story
N
"PHILIP MARLOWE will match wits with a high-powered gang within the view of thousands on The Adventures of Philip Marlowe on WKBH-NBC tonight at 8:00. The script concerns a gang that tries to move in on a big-time circus."
47-07-08
4
King in Yellow
Y
"Most Hollywood radio shows allow audiences to watch the making of the broadcast, but in the case of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, starring Van Heflin, tonight at 6:00 it has-been ruled no audience. Producers figured a group response was not the right thing for air listeners to this particular detective story program. If you heard a few "ohs" and "ahs" it wasn't the regular stereotyped radio audience, but 18 of Los Angeles' top detectives who came to see the new show built around Raymond Chandler's famous detective character.
Tonight Philip Marlowe gets on the trail of mysterious happenings which end in murder.
The lead takes "private eye" Marlowe from a Hollywood night club to the Big Bear country near Los Angeles, where he succeeds in solving the mystery, which develops around a famous jazz musician with a passion for yellow clothes."
47-07-15
5
The Sandman
N
"PHILIP MARLOWE, played by Van Heflin, will turn to radio for the scene of tonight's mystery play on WKBH-NBC. The plot of the play will center about a radio audience participation show that results in a murder. The drama will be heard at 7:00."
47-07-22
6
Gold Fish
N
"PHILIP MARLOWE, played by Van Heflin, will find himself involved in a murder after tracking down a trivial clue in a jewel theft on WKBH-NBC tonight at 8:00. The title of the mystery, incidentally, is "Gold Fish.""
47-07-29
7
The Orange Dog
N
"RADIO MEN love to experiment with gadgets, and one of the latest will be tried out on the Philip Marlowe mystery program tonight at 8:00 on WKBH-NBC. The plot concerns a dog that was trained for war, and his possible connection with a brutal slaying. One of the sound effects is a highpitched dog whistle that is inaudible to the human ear. Engineers say that when the whistle is blown it should make dogs within range of any radio playing the program pick up their ears and run to the loudspeaker."
47-08-05
8
Trouble Is My Business
Y
"8 p. m. — Philip Marlowe (WIBA): "Trouble Is My Business.""
47-08-12
9
Title Unknown
N
"VAN HEFLIN, in title role of Philip Marlowe, will find that knowing the identity of a murderer doesn't always solve a case. During the broadcast on WKBH-NBC at 8:00 tonight, Marlowe will take on a new case that involves a crooked political ring in a killing, and will be forced to take 'drastic measures'to bring the case to its solution."
47-08-19
10
Title Unknown
N
47-08-26
11
Title Unknown
N
47-09-02
12
Title Unknown
N
47-09-02 Los Angeles Times
9:00 p.m.--KFI--Van Heflin
47-09-09
13
Title Unknown
N
47-09-09 Los Angeles Times
9:00 p.m.--KFI--Van Heflin

[ Last Episode ]

Replaced by Favorite Story






Original Gerald Mohr Philip Marlowe cover art
The Adventures of Philip Marlowe [1948] mp3 Cover Art






The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
48-09-26
1
Red Wind
Y
[Premiere Program for CBS]
Sundays
48-10-03
2
The Persian Slippers
Y
48-10-10
3
The Panama Hat
Y
48-10-17
4
Where There's a Will
Y
48-10-24
5
The Heart of Gold
Y
48-10-31
6
The Blue Burgonet
Y
48-11-07
7
The Flaming Angel
N
48-11-14
8
The Silent Partner
N
48-11-21
9
The Perfect Secretary
N
48-11-28
10
The Hard Way Out
Y
48-12-05
11
The Unhappy Medium
N
48-12-12
12
The Jade Teardrop
N
48-12-19
13
The Three Wiseguys
N
48-12-26
14
The Old Acquaintance

Y
49-01-08
15
The Restless Day
Y
49-01-15
16
The Black Halo
Y
"A pack of matches and black halo help solve murder"
49-01-22
17
The Orange Dog

Y
49-01-29
18
The Easy Mark
Y
"Philip Marlowe (WBBM): trails blackmailer, finds witness slain"
49-02-05
19
The Long Rope
Y
49-02-12
20
The Lonesome Reunion
Y
49-02-19
21
The Flying Trapeze
Y
49-02-26
22
The Big Mistake
N
49-03-05
23
Friend from Detroit
Y
49-03-12
24
Grim Hunters
Y
49-03-19
25
The Dancing Hands
Y
"KNX—Trouble brews on the "Adventures of Philip Marlowe" when he takes on beautiful twin girls as clients—identical in charm and talent . . . but one is deadly."
49-03-26
26
The Green Flame
Y
49-04-02
27
The Last Laugh
Y
49-04-09
28
The Name to Remember
Y
"KNX— Philip Marlowe finds himself tangled up in a murder caper that hinges on "The Name to Remember" when the clues add up to a partner from Mexico, a man "with a cauliflower ear and a corpse on a concrete floor."
49-04-16
29
The Heat Wave
Y
49-04-23
30
Cloak of Kamehameha
Y
49-04-30
31
Lady in Mink
Y
49-05-07
32
Feminine Touch
Y
49-05-14
33
The Promise to Pay
Y
49-05-21
34
Night Tide
Y
49-05-28
35
The Ebony Link
Y
49-06-04
36
The Case of the Unfair Lady
Y
"KNX — "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" lead him to "The Case of the Unfair Lady" . . . a corpse in a closet."
49-06-11
37
The Pigeons Blood
Y
49-06-18
38
The Busy-body
Y
"KNX— The cast ot the "Busy-body" starts out as a strictly routine investigation on the CBS show. "Adventures of Philip Marlowe." The trail leads to a silent house and blood in a cedar closet."
49-06-25
39
The Key Man
Y
49-07-02
40
Dude from Manhattan
Y
49-07-09
41
The Quiet Number
N
49-07-16
42
The Headless Peacock
Y
49-07-30
43
The Mexican Boat Ride
Y
49-08-06
44
The August Lion
Y
49-08-13
45
The Indian Giver
Y
49-08-20
46
The Lady Killer
Y
49-08-27
47
The Eager Witness
Y
49-09-03
48
The Bum's Rush
Y
49-09-10
49
Rushton Hickory
Y
49-09-17
50
The Baton Sinister
Y
49-09-24
51
The Fatted Calf
Y
49-10-01
52
The Tail of the Mermaid
Y
"KNX— A double murder over 75,000 bucks-worth of glitter is the mystery that private eye Philip Marlowe has to solve during the story "The Tale of the Mermaid.""
49-10-08
53
The Open Window
Y
49-10-15
54
The Strangle Hold
Y
49-10-22
55
The Smokeout
Y
49-10-29
56
The Green Witch
Y
"KNX—When Philip Marlowe first encountered "The Green Witch" he thought she was a very beautiful woman . . . until he noticed her cold, green eyes."
49-11-05
57
The Fine Italian Hand
Y
49-11-12
58
The Gorgeous Lyre
N
49-11-19
59
The Sweet Thing
N
49-11-26
60
The Birds on the Wing
Y
"NOBODY WORRIED AS PARACHUTISTS JUMPED FROM, an ancient biplane at 3,500 feet twice a day, until five million bucks—and death—went along for the ride, with "The Birds on the Wing" on KTSA-CBS' "Adventures of Philip Marlowe" Saturday at 7:30" "p.m. Gerald Mohr stars as Marlowe. Norman Macdonnell directs and produces."
49-12-03
61
The Kid on the Corner
Y
49-12-10
62
The Little Wishbone
Y
49-12-17
63
The Lowest Bid
N
49-12-24
64
Carol's Christmas
N
49-12-31
65
The House That Jacqueline Built
Y
50-01-07
66
The Torch Bearers
Y
"6:00 — KNX— A heel, a hero worshiper and a hard-bitten blonde each carried a torch and each was burned by it in "The Torch Bearers" during the "Adventures of Philip Marlowe."
50-01-14
67
The Covered Bridge
Y
50-01-21
68
The Bid for Freedom
Y
50-01-28
69
The Hairpin Turn
Y
50-02-07
70
The Long Arm
Y
"7:00—KNX—"The Adventures of Philip Marlowe" are now heard at this time ... he may be welcome to you but that wasn't the case for the gamblers in Bay City when he extends "The Long Arm.""
50-02-14
71
The Grim Echo
Y
50-02-21
72
The Ladies Night
Y
50-02-28
73
The Big Step
Y
"A mysterious phone call ... a cry for help . . . and it's another Adventure of Philip Marlowe! Listen tonight and every Tuesday for daring and dangerous stories about a private-eye at work!"
50-03-07
74
Monkey's Uncle
Y
"7:00 — KNX — A blonde corpse and a butler who walks on his knuckles set the stage for "Philip Marlowe's" encounter with the "Monkey's Uncle.""
Announcement that Gerald Mohr is named "1949's Best Actor In Radio."
50-03-14
75
The Vital Statistic
Y
50-03-21
76
The Deep Shadow
Y
50-03-28
77
The Sword of Cebu
Y
"KNX—"The Sword of Cebu" becomes a magic carpet for the "Adventures of Philip Marlowe" tonight. In just one half hour Marlowe is shunted from the Philippines to a shrine in Siam without ever leaving Los Angeles."
50-04-04
78
The Man on the Roof
Y
"KTSA, 9 p.m., in which the shamus investigates what happened, and why, to "The Man on the Floor." [sic]
50-04-11
79
The Anniversary Gift
Y
William Conrad fills in as the lead for Gerald Mohr
"Adventures of Philip Marlowe, KTSA, 9 p.m., presenting the story of a killer who would never be caught in "
The Anniversary Gift.""
50-04-18
80
The Angry Eagle
Y
"KTSA, 9 p.m. , runs into two eagles, one gold and the other quick with his fists."
50-04-25
81
The High-Collared Cape
Y
"KTSA, 9 p.m., wherein the shamus finds himself involved In a real mystery thriller in "The High-Collared Cape.""
50-05-02
82
The Sea Horse Jockey
Y
"KNX—A race track provides the locale for the next "Adventures of Philip Marlowe." He assumes the role of a Jockey to find the murderer of a black-bearded sailor, who bleeds to death on a racing form."
50-05-09
83
The Hiding Place
Y
"KTSA, 9:30 p.m., follows the lead of a postmark into a surprising chain of events."
50-05-16
84
Cloak of Kamehameha
Y
50-05-23
85
The Fox's Tail
Y
50-05-30
86
The Bedside Manner
Y
"KTSA, 9:30 p.m.—The play bears the
intriguing title of "The Bedside Manner," and concerns a determined blonde."
50-06-06
87
The Uneasy Head
Y
50-06-14
88
The Face to Forget
Y
50-06-21
89
The Gold Cobra
Y
"KTSA. 9 p.m.—Private Eye Marlowe copes with three snakes, including "The Gold Cobra.""
Sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
50-06-28
90
The Pelican's Roost
Y
50-07-05
91
The Girl from Pitchfork Corners
Y
"KTSA, 9 p.m.— "The Girl from Pumpkin Center" [sic] becomes involved in a murder mystery in the big city in the Adventures of Philip Marlowe."
Sponsored by Wrigley's Spearmint Chewing Gum
50-07-12
92
The Iron Coffin
Y
"KNX— A fantastic murder plot, conceived In a Spanish castle is the "Adventure of Philip Marlowe'' tonight. Marlowe spends an exciting night guarding a tomb, a bloodthirsty caretaker and a seven-footer called Peter The Cruel "
50-07-19
93
The Last Wish
Y
"KTSA, 9 p.m. —A dying man's last wish leads Philip Marlowe from a gunman, past a battered body in a crumbling mansion, to a ruthless redhead playing for keeps."
50-07-28
94
The Glass Donkey
Y
"A little glass donkey provides the key clue for the famous private eye when he investigates a strange set of circumstances that begins with finding an old friend in a morgue."
50-08-04
95
The Parrot's Bed
Y
"KTSA, 7 p.m.—A map to a pirate's treasure in black pearls leads to danger for Philip Marlowe as he meets a beautiful island girl and a conniving Malayan merchant"
50-08-11
96
The Quiet Magpie
Y
"Philip Marlowe KTSA, 7 p.m. —Raymond Chandler's super- sleuth has the aid of a quiet magpie in solving criminal doings."
50-08-18
97
The Dark Tunnel
Y
50-08-25
98
The Collector's Item
Y
50-09-01
99
The Soft Spot
Y
50-09-08
100
The Fifth Mask
Y
50-09-15
101
The Final Payment
Y
"KTSA. 8:30 p.m. — Gerald Mohr is the hard-hitting private detective who tangles with some rough characters in another episode of this continuing mystery series."
50-09-22
102
The White Carnation Mystery
Y
"KTSA, 5:30 p.m.—A corpse in a flower shop, a gypsy who reads her own fortune and a death struggle 20 feet from a crowded merry-go-round are the bizarre Ingredients in "The White Carnation Mystery.""
50-09-29
103
The Big Book
Y
[Last Program of initial CBS run]

-- End of First CBS Run --


Begin CBS 1951 Summer Replacement Run for Hopalong Cassidy

51-07-07
1
The Seaside Sabbatical
Y
[Summer replacement for Hopalong Cassidy]
51-07-14
2
The Dear, Dead Days
Y
51-07-21
3
Life Can Be Murder
Y
51-07-28
4
Good Neighbor Policy
Y
51-08-04
5
The Long Way Home
Y
51-08-11
6
Friday's Child
N
51-08-18
7
Young Man's Fancy
Y
51-08-25
8
Heir for G-String
Y
51-09-01
9
Nether Nether Land
Y
51-09-08
10
The Medium Was Rare
Y
51-09-15
11
Sound and the Unsound
Y
[Last CBS Program]





The Adventures of Philip Marlowe [Rehearsals] Log

51-08-23
8
Heir for G-String
Y
[Rehearsal]
51-08-30
9
Nether Nether Land
Y
[Rehearsal]
51-09-06
10
The Medium Was Rare
Y
[Rehearsal]





The Adventures of Philip Marlowe [Supplementary Recordings] Log

45-06-11
487
Murder, My Sweet
Y
Lux Radio Theatre
48-02-09
602
Lady in the Lake
Y
Lux Radio Theatre
48-01-10
279
Kandy Tooth Caper
Y
Suspense
5x-xx-xx
43
The Lady In The Lake
Y
Philip Marlowe Investigates [AU]
5x-xx-xx
44
The Lady In The Lake
Y
Philip Marlowe Investigates [AU]
58-07-10
--
Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler in Conversation
Y
BBC Light Programme
77-01-16
--
The Long Goodbye
Y
BBC Radio 4
Raymond Chandler
77-09-26
--
The Big Sleep
Y
BBC Radio 4
Raymond Chandler
77-10-17
--
The High Window
Y
BBC Radio 4
Raymond Chandler
77-11-07
--
The Lady In The Lake
Y
BBC Radio 4
Raymond Chandler
77-12-05
--
The Little Sister
Y
BBC Radio 4
Raymond Chandler
85-03-12
--
Raymond Chandler In Hollywood
Y
BBC Radio 4
88-07-23
--
Farewell My Lovely
Y
BBC Radio 4
Raymond Chandler
00-03-07
12
Down The Mean Streets With Philip Marlowe
Y
BBC Radio 4
The Radio Detectives [Jeffrey Richards]
03-03-05
--
The Big Sleep
Y
BBC 7
03-03-06
--
The Big Sleep
Y
BBC 7
03-03-07
--
The Big Sleep
Y
BBC 7






The Adventures of Philip Marlowe Biographies




Gerald Mohr
(Philip Marlowe)

Stage, Screen, Radio and Television Actor, Stage Director and Producer
(1914-1968)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Education: The Dwight School, NYC, NY
Columbia University

Radiography:

1935 That Was the Year
1935 Anne Of the Airlanes
1935 The Adventures Of Jungle Jim
1938 Front Page Drama
1938 Dr Christian
1939 Lux Radio Theatre
1939 The Shadow Of Fu Manchu
1941 Forecast
1941 Cavalcade Of America
1942 Command Performance
1942 The Adventures Of Red Ryder
1942 This Is Our America
1942 Hello Americans
1942 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Mayor Of the Town
1943 The Whistler
1943 The Bob Burns Show
1943 Wings To Victory
1944 Lest We Forget
1944 American School Of the Air
1945 Mystery Is My Hobby
1945 Rogue's Gallery
1945 Arch Oboler's Plays
1945 Suspense
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 Academy Award
1946 The Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players
1946 This Is Hollywood
1946 The Lucky Strike Program
1947 Holiday Wilde (Audition)
1947 The Story Of Holiday Wilde
1947 The Alan Young Show
1947 Family Theatre
1947 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1947 Sound Stage For Joan Crawford
1947 Criminal At Large
1947 The Man Called X
1947 The Judy Canova Show
1948 Damon Runyon Theatre
1948 The Private Practice Of Dr Dana
1948 In Your Name
1948 Shorty Bell, Cub Reporter
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 The Adventures Of Superman
1948 Errand Of Mercy
1948 Guest Star
1948 Let George Do It
1949 Sam Pilgrim's Progress
1949 Our Miss Brooks
1949 My Favorite Husband
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1949 The Adventures Of Frank Race
1949 Box Thirteen
1949 Gunsmoke
1949 Escape
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1949 The Lone Ranger
1949 NBC Little Theatre
1950 For the Living
1950 The Ammident Show
1950 The Scarlet Cloak
1950 The Prudential Family Hour Of Stars
1950 Night Beat
1950 Sara's Private Caper
1950 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1950 Front Page Drama
1950 Screen Guild Theatre
1950 Tales Of the Texas Rangers
1951 Your Voice Of America
1951 The Adventures Of Nero Wolfe
1951 The Amazing Nero Wolfe
1951 The New Adventures Of Nero Wolfe
1951 The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show
1951 Crime Does Not Pay
1951 Adventure Is Your Heritage
1951 Rocky Jordan
1951 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1951 The Railroad Hour
1952 The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet
1952 Freedom U.S.A.
1952 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1953 The First Nighter Program
1953 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1953 You Were There
1954 That's Rich
1954 The Six-Shooter
1955 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1959 The Jack Benny Program
I Was A Communist For the FBI
Little Theatre Workshop Players
The Adventures Of Maisie
Bold Venture
Easy Aces
Mandrake the Magician

Gerald Mohr in recording session for CBS, ca. 1950
Gerald Mohr in recording session for CBS, ca. 1950

Gerry Mohr entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory
Gerry Mohr entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory

Gerald Mohr as the infamous Dr. Zodiac, from 1939's Charlie Chan at Treasure Island
Gerald Mohr as the infamous Dr. Zodiac (uncredited), from 1939's Charlie Chan at Treasure Island

Mohr's first credited Film performance in 1941's Jungle Girl Serial
Mohr's first credited Film performance in 1941's Jungle Girl Serial
Gerald Mohr as The Lone Wolf, ca. 1947
Gerald Mohr as The Lone Wolf, ca. 1947

Gerald Mohr Publicity photo, ca. 1948
Gerald Mohr Publicity photo, ca. 1948
Mohr appeared as both a Film version and Radio version of Michael Lanyard, 'The Lone Wolf'
Mohr appeared as both a Film version and Radio version of Michael Lanyard, 'The Lone Wolf'

Gerald Mohr as Crimp Ward in Bat Masterson, ca. 1961
Gerald Mohr as Crimp Ward in Bat Masterson, ca. 1961

Mohr as Courtney Shepard in Bat Masterson, ca. 1959
Mohr as Courtney Shepard in Bat Masterson, ca. 1959

Gerald Mohr as Doc Holiday in Maverick, ca.
Gerald Mohr as Doc Holiday in Maverick, ca.

Promo still from Foreign Intrigue, ca. 1955
Promo still from Foreign Intrigue, ca. 1955

Mohr as Joe Medici in Perry mason, ca. 1961
Mohr as Joe Medici in Perry mason, ca. 1961

Two great stars of Stage, Screen, Radio and Television--Gerald Mohr and Estelle Winwood, in Perry Mason, ca. 1966
Two great stars of Stage, Screen,
Radio and Television--Gerald Mohr and Estelle Winwood, in Perry Mason, ca. 1966

A native New Yorker, Gerald Mohr was born into comfortable privilege. Educated at the prestigious Dwight Preparatory School in New York, Mohr became fluent in French and German as well as learning to ride horses and play the piano. Upon graduating from The Dwight School, Gerald Mohr attended Columbia University, ostensibly for Pre-Med. Ironically, about the same time, Mohr was stricken with appendicitis. It was while recovering in the hospital that he met another patient--a radio broadcaster. Mohr's ward-mate recognised the potential in Mohr's distnctive baritone voice and suggested Mohr consider a career in Radio.

Mohr joined his new friend's radio station, becoming a junior reporter. By the mid-1930s Orson Welles had invited him to join Welles' and John Houseman's fledgling Mercury Theatre Repertory. It was during Mohr's apprenticeship with The Mercury Theatre that he gained his first theatrical experience on the Broadway--in The Petrified Forest.

By 1935 Mohr had become the co-lead in Anne of the Airlanes, a juvenile adventure serial. That led to his first Radio lead in The Adventures of Jungle Jim (1935). From that point forward there was no stopping Mohr's relentless Radio career. It's estimated that Mohr appeared well over 4,000 times in various Radio roles over his twenty-five year career.

As comfortable with character roles as he was in lead roles, Gerald Mohr was one of Radio's more versatile voice talents. Perhaps best remembered for his numerous radio noir roles, Gerald Mohr enjoyed lead roles in The Adventures of Bill Lance (1947), The Lone Wolf (1948), Philip Marlowe (1949), and Johnny Dollar (1954). But Mohr was also Nero Wolfe's right hand man, Archie Goodwin in The Adventures of Nero Wolfe (1951) . Indeed, Gerald Mohr's frequent recurring roles in a myriad of popular radio thrillers, comedies, westerns and straight drama anthologies, made him Radio's go-to guy for any role.

Mohr made several appearances each in The Whistler, The Adventures of Maisie, Dr. Christian, Rogue's Gallery, Suspense, The Man Called 'X', The Damon Runyon Theatre, The Adventures of Superman, Our Miss Brooks, Escape, The Lone Ranger, Night Beat, Richard Diamond, The Adventures of Rocky Jordan, Box 13 and Gunsmoke, to mention only a notable few. In several of the above programs, Mohr was heard so often that he was considered more an ensemble player in them.

Rarely skipping a beat in his numerous careers, Mohr did take some time out for a three year tour with The Army Air Forces from 1942-1945, which explains the absence of his appearances in Radio for that period. But his Radio voice wasn't silent during his time in the Service. Mohr voiced several public service announcements (P.S.A.s), training recordings, and appeared in several patriotic specials and appeals during the period.

Indeed the only career his Service time slowed a bit was his Film career. He'd gotten his start in Film as the villain in the fifteen-part Serial Film Jungle Girl (1941). Upon his return to civilian life he jumped right back into Film, picking up from Warren William as Michael Lanyard in the long running franchise, The Lone Wolfe. Mohr starred in three of The Lone Wolfe films between 1946 and 1947. He also appeared in the critically acclaimed Rita Hayworth vehicle, Gilda (1946) and co-starred in The Magnificent Rogue (1946).

Busy now on several fronts, the 1950s found Mohr starring in two Radio dramas, Humphrey Bogart's Sirocco (1951), The Detective Story (1951), and The Sniper (1952). It was reported at the time that Mohr was so concerned that The Lone Wolf films and Radio role had typecast him that he had some minor facial surgery performed to narrow his nose a bit and he began wearing something of a crew-cut. Whether either step was really needed was open to conjecture, but success is its own reward, and doors began opening for him on Stage, in Film, in Radio and on Television.

His leap into Television was as prolific as his other media successes had been. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Mohr appeared in over 200 Television episodes in character, co-star or starring roles in every genre imaginable. His numerous guest appearances in many of the formulaic situation comedies of the era showed his natural comedic versatility to a new generation of fans. By the mid-1950s Mohr had been seen on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1951), I Love Lucy (1953), Our Miss Brooks (1952), My Friend Irma (1952), Private Secretary (1953), and The Red Skelton Show (1957).

From 1954 to 1955, Gerald Mohr starred as Christopher Storm in 41 episodes of the third series of Foreign Intrigue, a critically acclaimed espionage pot-boiler produced in Stockholm, Sweden for American distribution. His contribution to Foreign Intrigue saw it nominated for Emmy Awards in 1954 and 1955.

The second half of the 1950s saw him appearing--and reappearing--in most of the more popular adult westerns of the day. But throughout, Gerald Mohr continued to appear in most of the more prestigious straight dramatic anthologies of the early Television era.

Gerald Mohr soon became a Warner Bros. Television staple, as well as one of Dick Powell's--and his Four Star Productions--favorite performers. Those relationships paved the way for Mohr to appear in virtually every significant production from both of the Television giants for their day.

As busy as Gerald Mohr had become in Radio and Television, his Film career stalled at the 'B' Movie stage. For the remainder of his Film career, Mohr appeared in no less than twelve more 'B' Movie horror, terror, thriller, sci-fi and psychological Saturday afternoon churners. But clearly he was laughing all the way to the bank.

Hoping to strike out on his own, Mohr and his wife Mai, began developing their own international Film company based out of Stockholm. With a ready supply of gifted American and Swedish writers, performers and technicians, the stars seemed aligned for a very successful production company. The company planned to feature syndicated comedy, adventure, crime and drama shows for worldwide distribution. Mohr, already fluent in his fourth language--Swedish--was also preparing to star in a made for Television film for Swedish audiences.

He'd already co-produced--and acted in--a comedic Western called Wild West Story (1964) and he continued to market his amazing voice via important voice credits in several animated super-hero series'. In 1968 Mohr appeared in a cameo role as Tom Branca in Funny Girl and was preparing to guest star in another The Big Valley episode with friend Barbara Stanwyck.

He'd flown back to Stockholm, Sweden, in September 1968, to star in the pilot of a proposed new TV series called Private Entrance. But not long after completing principal cinematography for theTV film, Mohr succumbed to a massive heart attack in Södermalm, Stockholm, at the age of only 54.

Gerald Mohr was one of those actors who left an indelible impression on the viewer or listener. Given the dizzying array of villains Mohr portrayed over the years, likely as not, for many of his most ardent admirers he was the man they loved to hate. But there are just as many of his admirers that watched and listened to the greater range of his roles, loving both his villainous roles and heroic and comedic roles with equal gusto.

I'd have to say we fall into the latter category. Mohr's Radio work especially, was some of the finest work ever aired over Radio. And without diminishing Mohr's lifetime body of work in the least, it goes without saying that his Radio fans are unquestionably his most ardent. He was a giant in Radio--or should that be is a giant in Radio. We still have literally thousands of his recordings from which to remember his incomparable voice and his amazing talent.

And we do . . . and we will continue to.



Emmett Evan 'Van' Heflin Jr.
(Philip Marlowe)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1910-1971)

Birthplace: Walters, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Education:
University of Oklahoma
UCLA Film School

Radiography:
1944
Cavalcade of America
1945
Prudential Family Hour
1945
Philo Vance Summer Program
1945
Textron Theatre
1947
Suspense
1949
Turning Points
1950
Academy Awards
1950
The Big Show
1951
March of Dimes
1951
Hear It Now
1954
Anthology
1955
Biography In Sound

Van Heflin publicity photo, ca. 1938
Van Heflin publicity card,
ca. 1938

Van Heflin, ca. 1948
Van Heflin, ca. 1948



Van Heflin, Greer Garson and James Cagney as they all hold the Motion Picture Academy's coveted 'Oscars' after being awarded top acting honors for 1942, from March 8, 1943
Van Heflin, Greer Garson and James Cagney as they all hold the Motion Picture Academy's coveted 'Oscars' after being awarded top acting honors for 1942, from March 8, 1943
Van Heflin advertising shot, ca. 1954
Van Heflin advertising shot, ca. 1954

Van Heflin at post-Oscar party with Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart, ca. 1959
Van Heflin at post-Oscar party with Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart, ca. 1959

One of M-G-M's classic 'Where's Waldo?" photos from 1949.  Where's Van?
One of M-G-M's classic 'Where's Waldo?" photos--this one from 1949. Where's Van?

Hepburn and Heflin in Philadelphia Story on Broadway
Hepburn and Heflin in Philadelphia Story on Broadway

Van Heflin's Trailer credit from Presenting Lily Mars (1943)
Van Heflin's Trailer credit from Presenting Lily Mars (1943)

Helen Hays and Van Heflin in Heflin's last major role in Airport (1970)
Helen Hays and Van Heflin in Heflin's last major role in Airport (1970)

Emmet Evan 'Van' Heflin, Jr. was born in Walters, Oklahoma to Fannie B. and Dr. Emmett E. Heflin, Sr., a dentist. He was reportedly of Irish and French ancestry. Heflin's sister was Daytime Emmy-nominated actress Frances Heflin. The Heflins later moved to Oklahoma City, and when young Evan was in the seventh grade, the family pulled up stakes and moved to Long Beach, California.

According to friends, Van Heflin’s "first sight of the Pacific ocean kindled a love of the sea and seafaring that lasted the rest of his life." Heflin resolved to become a sailor while enrolled at Long Beach Polytechnic High School. During summer vacations Van shipped out on schooners bound for ports in Hawaii, South America, and Mexico.

After graduation, young Heflin signed up to crew a tramp steamer bound for Liverpool, England. The freedom of the open seas stoked his wanderlust, but the call of the seven seas failed to overcome his parents' encouragement to continue his education. So it was that Heflin returned to Oklahoma to attend the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of the national fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. By all accounts, Heflin was a good student with little or no interest in acting or theater.

There are various accounts of just how Heflin did finally catch the acting bug, but they're as much Broadway lore as fact. The common theme among them is that--however he got his first interview--he impressed both Channing Pollock and Richard Boleslavski, the first the author and the second, the Director of Broadway's Mr. Moneypenny, then in the auditions phase. Director Richard Boleslavski, intrigued by Heflin's apparent juxtaposition of college gentleman and two-fisted seaman, cast Heflin as "Junior Jones" in Mr. Moneypenny (1928). Heflin was billed as Evan Heflin.

Though the play soon folded, Heflin received better than average notices. Despite the notices, the young actor took his first closed play particularly hard. Heflin became disillusioned, once reportedly observing,
"It’s like Hawaii. You dream you can reach up and pick mangoes or beautiful babes out of the trees. You find it’s just another place."

For the next two years, Heflin returned to his first passion, sailing on voyages that took him to the Far East, South America, and Alaska. He became an able enough seaman to earn his Third Mate’s ticket. But yet again, parental pressure got the better of his sea legs and he returned to the University of Oklahoma to complete his degree. Upon graduating in 1931, Heflin decided to take another run at Acting.

Van Heflin enrolled at Philadelphia’s Hedgerow Theatre, and later at the
Yale School of Drama. He gained stock company experience with a summer theatre company in Denver. Heflin took on the good, bad, and indifferent as it came and after years of apprenticeship, he found himself back on Broadway as an understudy for the play--irony of ironies--Sailor Beware (1935).

But another play, End of Summer (1936), was a hit, and gained him the attention of Katharine Hepburn. At her urging, RKO cast Helfin in her film, A Woman Rebels (1936). In yet another irony, Van Heflin’s screen debut almost ruined his Film career before it started. A Woman Rebels was the story of a woman who throws off Victorian convention when she has an affair with a young suitor (Heflin). She goes on to raise her daughter on her own, and becomes the crusading editor of a magazine.

Still heresy for its day, the film failed at the box office. Indeed the film's failure seemed destined to doom Heflin to a purgatory of RKO 'B' movies. After completing such 1937 films as Annapolis Salute and Saturday’s Heroes, Heflin asked RKO to release him from his contract. RKO Radio Pictures granted his request. "What I thought of them," he later reminsced, "was exactly what they thought of me."

Again disillusioned, Heflin returned to Broadway in a vain attempt to recapture a career on The Stage. A quixotic and proud mistress, Broadway spurned her prodigal supplicant. Enlisting in the Army Air Forces during WWII, Heflin served as a combat cameraman with the Ninth Air Force in Europe. Upon his return to civilian life and still blessed with a natural rich, deep speaking voice, Heflin caught the attention of Radio. Van Heflin became a radio soap opera regular three times a day, eventually, clocking some 2,000 performances on both coasts. Heflin was making a living, but felt his was simply one voice among so very many talented voices.

But playwright Philip Barry had remembered Heflin and asked Van to consider a role in his new play, Philadelphia Story. Helfin's performance as the cynical left-wing reporter was the break Heflin needed to get Hollywood to take another look at him in earnest. MGM signed him and cast him in two otherwise 'B' movies of their own, but the two films--Santa Fe Trail (1940) and Johnny Eager (1942) netted Heflin an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the latter.

While continuing to position him for leading roles in 'B' movies, MGM wisely cast him in supporting roles in several of their more prestigious productions. Among his more notable film credits were Presenting Lily Mars (1943), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), Possessed (1947), Green Dolphin Street (1947), Act of Violence (1948), The Three Musketeers (1948), The Prowler (1951), Shane (1953), and 3:10 to Yuma (1957).

Heflin also performed on Stage throughout his acting career. His stage credits include The Philadelphia Story on Broadway opposite Katharine Hepburn and Joseph Cotten, and the Arthur Miller plays A Memory of Two Mondays and A View From the Bridge.

Heflin's last major role was in Airport (1970). He played "D. O. Guerrero", a failure who attempts to blow himself up on an airliner so his wife (played by Maureen Stapleton) can collect on a life insurance policy.

On July 6, 1971, Heflin was stricken by a heart attack. He lay unconscious for days, apparently never regaining consciousness. Van Heflin died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital on July 23, 1971. Heflin left instructions forbidding a public funeral. A seaman to the end, his cremated remains were scattered over the ocean.



Raymond Chandler
(Author/Creator)

Novelist, Short-story writer, and Screenwriter
(1888-1959)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Radiography:

1945 Suspense
1945 Lux Radio Theatre
1947 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1948 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1948 Romance

Raymond Chandler, ca 1924
Raymond Chandler, ca 1924

Early Black Mask pulp periodical
Early Black Mask pulp periodical
The Chandlers' passport photo, ca. 1952
The Chandlers' passport photo, ca. 1952

Raymond Chandler in Hollywood, ca. 1943
Raymond Chandler in Hollywood, ca. 1943

Raymond Chandler in Hollywood, ca. 1953
Raymond Chandler in Hollywood, ca. 1953

Raymond Chandler circa 1955
Raymond Chandler circa 1955

Raymond Chandler circa 1957
Raymond Chandler circa 1957

Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888, but was raised in England after the divorce of his parents. Chandler attended public schools, then studied writing at Dulwich College, London, and in France and Germany. Raymond Chandler became a naturalized British citizen in 1907 so as to work in civil service. He resigned after 6 months, returning to Dulwich to teach. He also worked as a journalist for the Daily Express and Western Gazette. Prior to his 1912 return to the United States, Chandler published twenty-seven poems and his first story, The Rose-Leaf Romance.

Back in America he worked in St. Louis, then on a ranch, in a sporting goods firm, and as a bookkeeper in a creamery. During the World War I he served in the Canadian Army (1917-18), and was later transferred to the Royal Air Force (1918-19). At the age of 24, Chandler returned to the U.S. and in 1924, at the age of 36, he married divorcee Cissy Hurlburt, 54--18 years his senior. With the support of his wife, Chandler began penning detective stories in 1933. His first detective fiction novella, Blackmailers Don't Shoot, took Chandler five months to write, and was first published by Black Mask, the leading crime pulp of its time. Black Mask also published Dashiell Hammett's early stories.

Chandler's writing soon proved quite lucrative. He enjoyed the independent income as much as the intellectual and creative elements. Raymond Chandler fashioned his Philip Marlowe character into a 38-year-old private investigator--a college-educated man of honor and modern day knight. Philip Marlowe's first appearance came in Chandler's short story, Killer in the Rain, later forming part of Chandler's first novel, The Big Sleep (1939)

Raymond Chandler turned to screenwriting in 1943. He met with great initial success writing for Hollywood--And Now Tomorrow (1944), Double Indemnity for Billy Wilder (1944), The Unseen (1945), his original script, The Blue Dahlia (1946), and Strangers On A Train for Alfred Hitchcock (1951).

As the reigning Master of the hard-boiled school of Crime Fiction, Chandler openly criticized classical mystery writers for their lack of realism in his much quoted essay, The Simple Art of Murder.

Chandler was not a particularly prolific writer, himself. Between 1933 and 1939 he produced a total of nineteen pulp stories, eleven for Black Mask, seven for Dime Detective, and one for Detective Fiction Weekly. Unlike most of his pulp-writing colleagues, Chandler always attempted to push the limits of the pulp genre formula in a more humane direction.

Chandler and his wife, Cissy, moved to La Jolla, California (just north of San Diego) in 1946. There, he continued his writing while caring for his beloved wife, who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. That same year Chandler received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for one of his screenplays, and another Edgar in 1954 for one of his novels.

In 1954 Cissy--Chandler's wife of 30 years--passed away from complications of her lengthy illness. Chandler, long afflicted with alcoholism, plunged more deeply than ever into drink. Though he still managed to produce some of the English language's greatest crime fiction, two months after Cissy's death Chandler attempted a widely reported suicide--the bullet caused major damage to his bathroom.

During the last year of his life Chandler was President of the Mystery Writers of America. Playback, Chandler's last completed novel, appeared in 1958. Chandler went into a slow decline, though it was reported that he had a romantic interest in his secretary, Jean Fracasse. Indeed, Chandler was later reported to have been making preparations to marry his agent, Helga Green. But before he could make their bans public, Raymond Chandler died of pneumonia, complicated by a particularly heavy drinking binge. Chandler passed on March 23, 1959, at the age of 70.

His unfinished novel Poodle Spring was completed by famed mystery writer, Robert B. Parker, who has also written a sequel to The Big Sleep, entitled Perchance to Dream (1990).



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