The Casebook of Gregory Hood began as a summer replacement for Sherlock Holmes over Mutual written by Sherlock Holmes writers Denis Green and Anthony Boucher. When Sherlock Holmes didn’t return, the series continued to air through the whole 1946-47 season and would return in 1948 with Elliot Lewis in the lead before moving to ABC and continuing to air episodes into the 1950s.
The series followed the adventures of Gregory Hood, a suave bachelor San Francisco importer who also found himself often constantly involved homicides. He’s aided in his adventure by aide the more down to earth company attorney Sanderson Talor.
Gale Gordon (1906-95): For fans of classic television, Gale Gordon earned a reputation for playing crochety authority figures. He was the second Mr. Wilson on the classic Dennis the Menace series and in his association with Lucille Ball in programs like Theodore Mooney in The Lucy Show and Harrison Carter in Here’s Lucy.
Some of this began over radio with his role of Osgood Conklin in Our Miss Brooks as Rudolph Atterberry. However as memorable as these roles were (particularly Conklin), Gordon’s repertoire was more multi-faceted than that. He was the first actor to play Flash Gordon over the radio. He played Mayor La Trivia on Fibber McGee and Molly. He also was chosen to play the suave amateur detective Gregory Hood in 1946 for Petri Wine and Mutual. There were countless other appearances in a wide variety of character roles that established Gordon as equally talented as a dramatic and comedic actor on programs ranging from Tarzan to Burns and Allen, and Suspense.
Elliot Lewis (1917-90) was often known as Mr. Radio. His career over the air was multi-faceted and has left an indelible mark. He was a talented dramatic actor. He played Captain Philip Kearney in the well-remembered Voyages of the Scarlet Queen. He also took his turn as a radio detective in both The Casebook of Gregory Hood and played Archie Goodwin in Mutual’s Amazing Nero Wolfe, and then starred with his then-wife Cathy Lewis in On Stage which pushed him into a wide variety of genres.
He was also a great comic actor, providing fantastic character work on Burns and Allen, in addition to enjoying a memorable recurring role on the Phil Harris and Alice Faye show.
Yet, with all that said, Lewis did not particularly enjoy acting. He wanted to produce and direct radio. In the 1950s, this happened as he served as producer/director of Broadway is My Beat, a program that captured the full flavor of New York’s diverse population and where characters often spoke in memorable and brooding poetry. He took the helm at Suspense and pushed the show in different directions including adapting Othello and the Moonstone in multi-part episode, doing a two part episode that proposed an ending to Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and giving guest spots to comedy actors like Bob Hope and Jack Benny who rarely got dramatic roles.
While he worked in television, his dedication to radio and his reputation for excellence continued. When Rod Serling experimented with radio drama in 1973 with his Zero Hour series, Lewis once again found himself as producer/director. And he also got the call for 1979’s Sears Radio Theater.
Jackson Beck (1912-2004): Jackson Beck had many roles in radio. He starred for Ziv as that once-popular private detective Philo Vance. However, where he really distinguished himself was on Superman. He’s best known as the announcer of that program who delivered the show’s memorably opening. However, Beck showed flexibility by not only announcing, but also acting in the show. As the Jimmy Olsen character grew up on the radio, he took on the role of Beany Martin, a copyboy. He also had the distinction of being the first actor to portray Batman’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth. His contributions to radio drama continued long after Superman left the air in 1951. He was probably the biggest to appear on the radio in the September 30, 1962 golden age of radio finale as he appeared in “The Tip Off Matter” on Yours Truly Johnny Dollar. He continued to make radio appearances frequently with numerous appearance on radio revival shows such as Theater Five, the General Mills Adventure Theater, and The CBS Mystery Theater.
Gale Gordon Episodes:
- Three Silver Pesos (Original Air Date: June 3, 1946)
- The Black Museum (Original Air Date: June 10, 1946)
- The Murder of Gregory Hood (Original Air Date: June 17, 1946)
- The Adventure of the Beeswax Candle (Original Air Date: June 24, 1946)
- Murder in Celluloid (Original Air Date: July 1, 1946)
- The Derringer Society (Original Air Date: July 8, 1946)
- South of the Border (Original Air Date: July 15, 1946)
- Death from the Red Capsule (Original Air Date: July 22, 1946)
- The Forgetful Murderer (Original Air Date: July 29, 1946)
- The Double Diamond (Original Air Date: August 5, 1946)
Elliot Lewis Episodes:
- Gregory Hood, Suspect (Original Air Date: September 30, 1946)
- The Sad Clown (Original Air Date: October 7, 1946)
- The Eloquent Corpse (Original Air Date: October 14, 1946)
- The White Masters (Original Air Date: November 26, 1946)
- Fifth Avenue* (Original Air Date: May 5, 1947)
Jackson Beck Episodes:
- The Carnival of Death (Original Air Date: October 15, 1949)
Log source: Digital Deli
*Played out of order
End of Log