Boston Blackie

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Boston Blackie was created by writer Jack Boyle as a jewel thief and safecracker with a heart of gold. The character was featured in nine silent films. In 1941, Blackie returned to film in the era of talkies. Much like the Saint, the character reformed from a thief into a detective. Blackie was always Inspector Farraday’s prime suspect in any major crime. The films were very popular with fourteen films made starring Chester Morris.

Morris brought Blackie to the radio in a summer replacement radio series for NBC in 1944. Then in 1945, first-run syndication king Frederick Ziv created a new series starring Broadway Actor Richard Kollmar as Blackie and featuring the best talent in New York radio. The series was the most successful first-run syndication program of its era, producing 288 episodes of which at least 190 are in circulation.

Ziv took the series to television in 1951 for two syndicated series featuring Kent Taylor as Blackie.

Throughout his many iterations in the 1940s, Blackie remained a smart and clever crime-solver whose past gave him a slight edge and made him a bit of a lovable rogue who fought on the side of the angels. He was the type of guy you wanted in your corner when the chips were down. “Enemy to those who make him an enemy. Friend to those who have no friend.”

Star Bios:

Chester MorrisChester Morris (1901-70): Chester Morris began his career on Broadway playing alongside the great Lionel Barrymore at age 15, and made his film debut in 1929 in Alibi and was nominated for an Oscar. His career faltered in the late 1930s, but he enjoyed renewed popularity as the Boston Blackie film series. After the Boston Blackie film series ended 1948, the remaining two decades of Morris’ life and career were spent on Television and stage productions.

Richard KollmarRichard Kollmar (1910-71): A Broadway actor and producer, Kollmar was the long-time husband of newspaper columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, with whom he hosted a daily talk show for eighteen years, “Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick.” Kollmar was also the host of the game show, “Guest What.” Kollmar also operated a supper club in New York called, “The Left Bank,” until 1965.

Episode Log:

Chester Morris Episodes:

Richard Kollmar Episodes:

Log Complete

Log source: Digital Deli