You're a Good Man, Sister
"You're a damned good man, sister"
Great Gals-Secretarial Division
Stand-up dames and the
eyes lucky enough to have them
- Sam Spade to Effie Perine
in The Maltese Falcon
- Effie Perine
She manned the offices of Sam Spade and Miles Archer, and lit Sam's smokes, and maybe a whole lot more. The "prototype of all private eyes' secretaries," according to Bill Pronzini.
Lucille Ball (pre-I Love Lucy) played a fiercely loyal, strong-willed secretary who stood by her man, private eye Bradford Galt, in the noir classic,
The Dark Corner.
- Della Street
better half, in the office, and possibly elsewhere. Perry proposed
about a half-dozen times, but Della always turned him down. Seems
Perry wouldn't want a working wife, and, well, dammit, Della
wouldn't want to miss out on the action...
- Phyllis Brighton and Lucy Hamilton
Shayne was lucky enough to have two secretaries. He married the first, and when she was killed, he learned his lesson, I guess. Mike and her replacement, Lucy, never got married.
- Sandra Hollis
Served as Jim
Bennett's sounding board, professionally and personally, at times. Ignoring the example set by Mike Shayne, Jim and Sandy eventually got married, and presumably lived happily ever after.
Mike Hammer's beloved
Velda, the only woman he could ever love. Her disappearance in
the middle of a case prompted Mike's disappearance into a bottle,
and when she returned years later, she was almost as hard as
One of the most memorable of the secretaries on the tube was Richard Diamond's Sam, played by Mary Tyler Moore (before she could turn the world on with her smile, she had to make do with the only part of her body ever shown-she had legs, and she sure knew how to use them...)
- Miranda Foxworth
Elderly, crotchety, nagging, half-mother hen, half-secretary, she watched over private richard Pete
Chambers, and couldn't help but worry about him...
- Mary Huston
Secretary at the Morgan & Company Detective Agency. She often aided and abetted, and eventually married reporter and sometime private eye Robin
- Peggy Fair
The widow of a slain police officer and mother of a young son, Peggy had to get a job. She went to work for rough and tough TV private eye Joe
Mannix, and the boob tube was never the same. Not only was
Peggy no ditz, but, even more importantly, she was black. In
fact, more than one wag has suggested that when the cameras weren't
rolling, Joe and Gail were going at it hot and heavy, but the
network just didn't have the guts to show an inter-racial affair.
- Peggy Nettleton
The last great secretary, Peggy served John Marshall Tanner faithfully
and loyally for five novels until their mutual attraction and
a particularly nasty case with some sexual overtones drove a
rather large wedge into their relationship.
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