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Monday, June 1, 2009

Michael Shayne


One of the most popular private detectives ever, red-haired Miami P.I. MICHAEL SHAYNE has had a long, successful, multi-media career. Shayne was created and first appeared in the 1939 novel, Dividend on Death, by Davis Dresser, published under the pseudonym Brett Halliday. Dresser wrote fifty Shayne novels (with a little help from ghostwriters such as Ryerson Johnson) and twenty-seven more were written by Robert Terrall and published as paperback originals by Dell, still under the pseudonym Brett Halliday. So that's 77 novels, over 300 short stories, a dozen films, radio and television shows and even a few comic book appearances.

A radio show featuring Mike debuted on Mutual as a West Coast regional in October 1944 with Wally Maher in the lead. Although mystery writer Brett Halliday got the credit for creating this detective and bringing him to radio, he never wrote any scripts but was happy enough to pick up the royalty checks. There were three separate versions of this show over the years.

In October 1946 it went coast-to-coast, lasting until November 1947. It was resurrected on Mutual in July 1948, under the title of "New Adventures of Michael Shayne" with Jeff Chandler in the lead, and it ran for two years. The last version began in October 1952 on ABC, first with Donald Curtis playing Shayne, and later with Robert Sterling. This third and last series went off the air in July 1953. (Thrilling Detective)

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