Created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts
LUCIUS CRANE was a corpulent, harpsichord-playing gourmet and private detective hired by the friends of a murdered women to find her killer in the failed 1966 TV pilot The Fat Man: The Thirty-Two Friends of Gina Lardelli.Crane was played by "hefty, beetle-browed character actor" Robert Middleton He had an associate, a thin fast-talking young assistant, and the great Rita Moreno also starred.
The show was apparently an attempt to merge Dashiell Hammett's The Fat Man radio show (which Hammett apparently had very little to do with, anyway) with more than a few elements of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, and seemed to foreshadow Cannon. According to Dick Lochte, the show was "competently made and Middleton was able to be both tough and effete." But, he adds, there was "no mention of Hammett."
The writers were Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts who were responsible for both Mannix and Mission Impossible, among others.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith, based on a post from Dick Lochte on Rara-Avis.
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