Richard Diamond
Created by Blake Edwards (1922-2010)

Dick Powell was known as a song and dance man until his rebirth as a movie tough guy in Murder My Sweet, where he played Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe. He then appeared in a string of crime and detective flicks, and eventually parlayed it into a successful radio show. Powell played RICHARD DIAMOND, "radio's singing gumshoe", an ex-OSS man turned New York City private detective who was tough when he needed to be, but tried to have a little fun while on the job. He often closed the show with a song to his uptown girlfriend, Helen. The show was a hit, the first of many for writer/director Blake Edwards, who went on to create Peter Gunn and the Pink Panther movies.

And when that upstart new medium television beckoned, deciding at this point he was too busy (or a bit long in the tooth) to star, Powell became a producer, formed Four Star Productions, and unleashed Richard Diamond, Private Detective on the world, with newcomer David Meyer (who changed his name to Janssen, at Powell's suggestion) as Diamond (pictured). He remained in New York, but the former OSS operative became an ex-cop. He remained in New York for two seasons, but the third season began with Diamond moving to Los Angles where he gets a girlfriend, Karen (Barbara Bain), a spiffy car with a phone in it, and an answering service, run by Sam (played by Mary Tyler Moore's legs). And what LA gumshoe needs is an eccentric fading movie star as a client. In this case, former film queen Laura Renault (Hillary Brooke) filled the bill.

The gimmick of viewers never seeing Sam's face is what the show is chiefly remembered for these days. In fact, when Moore revealed her role as Sam, and posed in TV Guide modelling hoisery, she was replaced by Roxane Brooks.

Both Moore and Janssen went on to considerable success in television. Moore in sitcoms such as The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Janssen in Roy Huggin's The Fugitive and as a private eye once more in Harry O.

FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY

  • "The Pete Rugolo-scored episodes of television's Richard Diamond, Private Detective are particularly memorable. Contrast David Janssen's Diamond with his Harry O. Rugolo, the great jazz composer, record producer, Stan Kenton arranger, etc., scored the series third season and the music added much to the proceedings."
    -- Ted Fitzgerald
    .
  • And now, a report from the Voyeurs' Club: "I think Roxane Brooks (the woman who succeeded Mary Tyler Moore in the role of Sam) has a really exciting voice and face, and I would like to find out more about her. So I checked a few reference books looking for info on Roxane Brooks--Nada! Do you suppose Moore is behind this conspiracy? I mean, nobody's that perky!
    Ms. Brooks' face reminds me of Miss Kitty's from Gunsmoke. The one glance of her face that I ever saw was a shot was from the left and slightly behind. Her nose was the highest point on her face that was visible. She had a small beauty mark, and was wearing a headset. I get the feeling that Wilson from Home Improvement is trying for the same effect. There was a second shot down the front of her blouse, high-necked. It was these views, and her voice and banter, that got me interested in Sam. I was really confused when I first learned that Sam was Mary Tyler Moore, and that all you ever got to see were her legs. I have never seen Sam's legs."
    -- Alan Pitts
    .
  • "Poor Mr. Pitts must have missed the many episodes where "legs" were featured. A prerequisite for replacing Ms. Moore was a deep voice and good legs. I am happy to report the voice and the legs are still working; in legitimate theatre productions. I did almost all the detective shows that were on television circa Peter Gunn/Richard Diamond. I was almost always the gal on the wrong side of the law. The old saw says you play best that which you are not. You realize I was only 11 years old at the time!"
    -- Roxane Brooks, 2004

RADIO

  • RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE DETECTIVE
    (1949-1953 NBC)
    30 minutes, weekly
    Written by Blake Edwards
    Directed by Blake Edwards
    Producer: Dick Powell
    Starring
    Dick Powell as RICHARD DIAMOND
    with Ed Begley as Lieutenant Walt Levinson
    Virginia Gregg as Helen Asher
    and Wilms Herbert as both Desk Sergeant Otis and Helen's butler, Francis
  • "The Betty Moran Case" (February 29, 1949)
  • "Tom Waxman Murdered" (June 26, 1949)
  • "Hat and No Body (July 2, 1949; AKA "George Watkins Framed" )
  • "Pictures of Killers Club" (August 6, 1949)
  • "Central Park Murder" (August 20, 1949)
  • "Harry Baker Kills His Voice" (September 3, 1949)
  • "The Professor Leonardo Case" (September 10, 1949)
  • "The Gibson Murder Case" (October 8, 1949)
  • "The Newspaper Boy and the Counterfeit Ring" (October 15, 1949)
  • "A Christmas Carol" (December 24, 1949)
  • "The Thomas Jason Case" (December 31, 1949)
  • "Joyce Wallace Loves Her Husband" (March 12, 1950)
  • "Private Eye Test" (March 19, 1950)
  • "Photographer's Card" (March 26, 1950)
  • "The Statue of Kali" (April 5, 1950)
  • "The Man Who Hated Women" (April 12, 1950)
  • "Messenger Service, Patty Clark" (April 19, 1950)
  • "Ralph Baxter Escapes From Jail" (April 26, 1950)
  • "Mary Bilman Killed" (June 28, 1950)
  • "Cross State Trucking" (July 5, 1950)
  • "Diane and Martha Campbell" (July 26, 1950)
  • "Fight Manager Commits Suicide" (August 2, 1950)
  • "The Woman Who Cried Wolf" (August 9, 1950)
  • "The Carnival Killer" (August 16, 1950)
  • "The Story of George Farmer" (August 23, 1950)
  • "Big Foot Grafton" (August 30, 1950)
  • "The Wrong Laundry Tag" (September 6, 1950)
  • "The George Lexington Murder" (September 9, 1950)
  • "Pat Stence, Death in the Hair Salon" (September 20, 1950)
  • "The Hat Pin Case" (September 27, 1950)
  • "Mrs. X, Pete Rocco breaks Jail" (October 4, 1950)
  • "Blackmail By Carrier Pigeon" (October 11, 1950)
  • "Lieutenant Levinson Kidnapped" (October 18, 1950)
  • "The Casebury Case" (February 2, 1951)
  • "The Blue Serge Suit" (February 9, 1951)
  • "The Gray Man" (February 16, 1951)
  • "Lady in Distress" (February 23, 1951)
  • "Red Rose" (March 2, 1951)
  • "The Butcher Shop" (March 9, 1951)
  • "Monsieur Beauchand" (March 16, 1951)
  • "Little Cheeve" (March 23, 1951)
  • "Carnival" (March 30, 1951)
  • "A Christmas Carol" (December 21, 1951)
  • "The Plaid Overcoat Case" (December 28, 1951)
  • "The Merry-Go-Round murder Case" (January 4, 1952)
  • "The White Cow Case" (January 11, 1952)
  • "The Simpson Case" (January 18, 1952)
  • "The Al Brenner Case" (January 25, 1952)
  • "The Garabaldi Case" (February 1, 1952)
  • "The Eddie Burke case" (February 8, 1952)
  • "The Dixson Case" (March 14, 1952)
  • "The Hank Burton Case" (March 21, 1952)... Listen to it free!
  • "Mr. Walker's Problem" (March 28, 1952)
  • "Enigma of Big Ed" (April 4, 1952)
  • "The Missing Night Watchman" (June 21, 1953)
  • "The Rifle Case" (June 28, 1953)
  • "The Kidnapped Policeman" (August 2, 1953)
  • "The Wheat Germ Case" (August 9, 1953)
  • "Hollywood Story" (August 23, 1953)
  • "The Baseball Matter" (1953)
  • "Murder at the Stork Club".

TELEVISION

  • CHEVRON HALL OF STARS
    (1956)
    Drama anthology series
    36 30-minute episodes
    Produced by Four Star
  • "Double Cross" (1956)
    Based on characters created by Blake Edwards
    Written by
    Blake Edwards

    Starring Don Taylor as
    RICHARD DIAMOND
    Also starring Marian Carr, Andrew Duggan, Barbara Nichols
  • RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE DETECTIVE
    (aka "Call Mr. D")
    (1957-1960, CBC, NBC)
    77 30-minute episodes
    B&W, mono
    A Four Stars Production
    Writers: Ed Adamson, Don Brinkley, Richard Carr, Ellis Marcus, Edmund Morris, David T. Chantler, Arnold Kadison, David T. Chantler, Edmund Morris, Ellis Arnold Kadison, Rita Moreno, Donn Mullally, Ellis Arnold Kadison, Richard Carr , Jack Kelsey, Albert Ruben, Jack Kelsey, John Robinson, Dan Ullman
    Directors: Thomas Carr, Roy Del Ruth, Tom Gries, Oscar Rudolph Ellis, Oscar Rudolph, Leigh Jason, Hollingsworth Morse, Ted Post, Alvin Ganzer, Andrew McCullough

    Starring David Janssen as RICHARD DIAMOND
    Regis Toomey as Lt. Dennis "Mac" McGough (seasons 1 - 2 )
    Russ Conway as Lt. Pete Kile (seasons 3 - 4 )
    Barbara Bain as Karen Wells (season 3 )
    Mary Tyler Moore as Sam (season 3)
    Roxane Brooks as Sam (seasons 3 - 4)
    With Bill Erwin, Hillary Brooke, Richard Devon
    Guest Stars: Claude Akins, Jack Albertson, Joey Bishop, Dan Blocker, Charles Bronson, Jack Cassidy, Stephen Chase, James Coburn, Russ Conway, Ellen Corby, Dan Haggerty, DeForest Kelley, Keye Luke, Joyce Meadows, Vic Morrow, Harry Lauter, Ross Martin, Gordon Polk, Mort Sahl, Lee Van Cleef
    ..
  • 1st Season (CBS)
  • "The Mickey Farmer Case" (July 1, 1957)
  • "Custody" (July 8, 1957 )
  • "Escape from Oak Lane" (July 15, 1957)
  • "The Homicide Habit" (July 22, 1957)
  • "Picture of Fear" (July 29, 1957)...Buy this episode on DVD
  • "Hit and Run" (August 5, 1957)
  • "The Big Score" (August 12, 1957)
  • "The Chess Player" (August 19, 1957) ...Buy this episode on DVD
  • "The Torch Carriers" (August 26, 1957)
  • "The Pete Rocco Case (a.k.a. Prison Break)" (September 9, 1957)
  • "Venus of Park Avenue" ( September 16, 1957)
  • "The Merry-Go-Round Case" (September 23, 1957)

  • 2nd Season (CBS)
  • "The Space Society" (January 2, 1958)
  • "The Dark Horse (January 9, 1958; aka "The Allison Garvey Case")
  • "The Payoff" (January 16, 1958)
  • "Double Jeopardy" (January 23, 1958)
  • "Arson" (January 30, 1958
  • "The Ed Church Case" (February 6, 1958)
  • "Chinese Honeymoon" (February 13, 1958; aka 'Trouble in Chinatown")
  • "Rodeo" (February 20, 1958 )
  • "A Cup of Black Coffee" (February 27, 1958)
  • "The George Dale Case" (March 6, 1958 )
  • "Juvenile Jacket" (March 13, 1958)
  • "Pension Plan" (March 20, 1958)
  • "Short Haul" (April 10, 1958 )
  • "Another Man's Poison" (April 17, 1958)
  • "The Purple Penguin" (April 24, 1958)
  • "Lost Testament" (May 1, 1958 )
  • "The Percentage Takers" (May 8, 1958 )
  • "Widow's Walk" (May 22, 1958)
  • "The Bungalow Murder" ( May 29, 1958)
  • "One Foot in the Grave" (12 Jun 58)
  • "Snow Queen" (June 26, 1958)

  • 3rd Season (CBS)
  • "The Sport" (February 15, 1959; also known as "The Larry Forsythe Case")
  • "Pack Rat" (February 22, 1959))
  • "Soft Touch" (March 8, 1959; also known as "The Revolution")
  • "Boomerang Bait" (March 15, 1959)
  • "Matador Murder (a.k.a. "Mexican Art Swindle") (March 22, 1959)
  • "Murder at the Mansion"(March 29, 1959)
  • "Marineland Mystery" (April 5, 1959)
  • "Charity Affair" (April 12, 1959
  • "Two for Paradise" (April 19, 1959)
  • "Crown of Silla" (May 3, 1959)
  • "Jukebox" (May 10, 1959
  • "Echo of Laughter" (May 17, 1959)
  • "The Limping Man" (May 24, 1959 )
  • "The Hideout" (May 31, 1959)
  • "Rough Cut" (June 7, 1959)
  • "Family Affair" (June 14, 1959)
  • "Design for Murder" (June 21, 1959)

  • 4th Season (NBC)
  • "The Hoodlum" (October 5, 1959)
  • "Act of Grace" (October 12, 1959)
  • "The Bookie" (October 19, 1959)
  • "The Client" (October 26, 1959)
  • "The Runaway" ( November 2, 1959)
  • "No Laughing Matter" (November 9, 1959)
  • "The Messenger" (November 16, 1959)
  • "The Counselor" (November 23, 1959)
  • "The Image" (November 30, 1959)
  • "The Adjustor" (December 7, 1959)
  • "Marked for Murder" (December 14, 1959)
  • "The Caller" (December 21, 1959)
  • "One Dead Cat" (December 28, 1959)
  • "Dead to the World" (January 11, 1960)
  • "Seven Swords" (January 18, 1960)
  • "The Fine Art of Murder" (January 25, 1960)
  • "The Popskull" (June 28, 1960 )
  • "And Whose Little Baby Are You?" (July 5, 1960 )
  • "Fallen Star" (July 19, 1960 )
  • "Coat of Arms" (August 2, 1960)
  • "Double Trouble" (August 9, 1960)
  • "The Lovely Fraud" (August 16, 1960)
  • "Accent on Murder" August 23, 1960)
  • "East of Danger" (August 30, 1960)
  • "Running Scared" (6 September 6, 1960)
  • "The Mouse"

DVDs

  • RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE EYE...Buy this DVD:
    This bargain-priced 2006 release features two episodes from 1957, "Picture of Fear" and "The Chess Player"

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks to The Episode Guides Page for helping to fill in the blanks.


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