Kitty Keene

Kitty Keene, Inc. was the only soap opera to have a private eye in the leading role (unless you want to count radio's Perry Mason). This series ran for four years, beginning in September 1937. It was sponsored by Dreft and was on CBS for one year and Mutual for the remaining three. Like most soaps, it was a 15-minute serial.

Through the years, at least three actresses played KITTY KEENE: Beverly Younger, Gail Henshaw and Fran Carlon. Day Keene shared the script writing responsibilities with Wally Norman. Kitty was an "ex-Follies gal" who started her own detective business, although since this was a soap, it took her umpteen weeks to solve each crime.

In the four surviving episodes, Kitty sounds tough but tender, with no clue to her age. However by the fourth year on the air, her grown daughter had given birth so this may also be radio's only grandmother detective. No pushover even then, Kitty berates a grand jury who almost exonerated a rackets boss, and gets an indictment.


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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