Marty Ellis Bryan

Radio's The Defense Rests (also known as Defense Attorney) began on NBC in the spring of 1951 with Mercedes McCambridge playing the role of a female lawyer, MARTY ELLIS BRYAN. She spends little time in the courtroom and was usually on the streets, solving crimes. She is somewhat assisted by her boy friend, a reporter, played by Howard Culver (who had just left Straight Arrow where he played the lead and his secret identity, Steve Adams).

After a few months, NBC dropped it so ABC bought it, cast and crew, retitled it "Defense Attorney" and ran it from the August of 1951 (originally as a summer rerplacement for Richard Diamond, Private Detective) and then through December 1952.

McCambridge, by the time she got this role, was so well known in Hollywood that many fans forgot she got her start on radio, in the soaps. Both she and Culver were skilled performers, the writing on the series was crisp and realistic, and its only problem was it came too late in the Golden Age of Radio.

There are a total of seven shows in circulation; one of the NBC series and six of the ABC version. All of them are extremely well done.


NOTE: Publicity photo of Mercedes McCambridge as Marty Ellis Bryan taken from Jack French's Lady Crimefighters, an excellent essay on Marty and other "private eyelashes" of radio.

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