Dr. Kildare

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Dr. Kildare
First appearance Internes Can't Take Money
Created by Frederick Schiller Faust
Portrayed by Joel McCrea
Lew Ayres
Richard Chamberlain[1]
Aliases James Kildare
Gender Male
Occupation Physician
Title Dr
Nationality American

Dr. James Kildare is a fictional character, the primary character in a series of American theatrical films in the late 1930s and early 1940s, an early 1950s radio series, a 1960s television series of the same name and a comic book based on the TV show, and a short-lived second 1970s television series.[2][3] The character was created by the author Frederick Schiller Faust, under the pen name Max Brand.[4][5][6][4][4]


The character begins the film series as a medical intern; after becoming a doctor, he is mentored by an older physician, Dr. Leonard Gillespie. After the first ten films, the series eliminated the character of Kildare and focused instead on Gillespie, played by Lionel Barrymore.[7] Lew Ayres, who had played the young doctor beginning in the second movie, was a conscientious objector and then a medical corpsman in World War II.[8] He was replaced in the series by Van Johnson and Keye Luke, portraying young interns. Previously, Luke had become well known as Number One Son in the Fox Film Corporation Charlie Chan series, and he later became known for the role of Master Po in the TV series Kung Fu.[9]

Later films without Kildare[edit]


Novels tied to the films were published at the time of the film releases, and subsequently reprinted in later decades, not as movie tie-ins.

Dr. Kildare's Search, Max Brand-1940, 1942, 1943. 216 pages. Gosset & Dunlap Publishers New York. Contents: Dr. Kildare's Search page 1, Dr. Kildare's Hardest Case page 155.


Lionel Barrymore and Lew Ayres performed a scene from their soon-to-be-released film, Young Dr. Kildare, on MGM's "Good News of 1939" program, October 13, 1938[citation needed].

In the summer of 1949, MGM reunited Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore to record the radio series, The Story of Dr. Kildare, scripted by Les Crutchfield, Jean Holloway and others. After broadcasts on WMGM New York from February 1, 1950 to August 3, 1951, the series was syndicated to other stations during the 1950s. The supporting cast included Ted Osborne as hospital administrator Dr. Carew, Jane Webb as nurse Mary Lamont and Virginia Gregg as Nurse Parker, labeled "Nosy Parker" by Gillespie, with appearances by William Conrad, Stacy Harris, Jay Novello, Isabel Jewell and Jack Webb.


Dr. Kildare was an NBC medical drama television series inspired by the original Kildare film series. The television show ran from September 27, 1961 until April 5, 1966,[citation needed] encompassing a total of 190 episodes in five seasons. Kildare told the story of a young intern, Dr. James Kildare (Richard Chamberlain), working in a fictional large metropolitan hospital while trying to learn his profession, dealing with the problems of his patients, and winning the respect of the senior doctor, Dr. Leonard Gillespie (Raymond Massey).


Dell Comics' short-lived comic book based on the television show lasted nine issues from 1962 to 1965. The first two issues were part of the Four Color Comics line.

Ken Bald drew the Dr. Kildare comic strip for 21 years. Premiering on October 15, 1962, it ran until 1983. [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haydon, John (26 May 2012). "The List: Top 20 TV medical shows". The Washington Times. The Washington Times, LLC. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Movies News Desk (21 January 2014). "Dr. Kildare Among Warner Archive's New Releases". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Mavis, Paul (16 March 2014). "Dr. Kildare Movie Collection (Warner Archive Collection)". DVD Talk. DVDTalk.com. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Midge Decter: Who killed Dr. Kildare, In: T. William Boxx and Gary M. Quinlivan (Her.): Culture in Crisis and the Renewal of Civil Life, Rowman & Littlefield 1996, ISBN 0847682889, S. 49f., 52f.
  5. ^ Ann B. Shteir, Bernard V. Lightman: Figuring it out: science, gender, and visual culture, University Press of New England 2006, ISBN 1584656034, S. 328.
  6. ^ Alex McNeil: Total Television: Revised Edition, 4. Auflage, Penguin 1996, ISBN 0140249168, S. 225.
  7. ^ "Lionel Barrymore Has Title Role in 'Calling Dr. Gillespie,' of the Dr. Kildare Series, at Loew' s Criterion Theatre". The New York Times. July 9, 1942. 
  8. ^ "Ayres Backs His Project Religiously : Film: Actor best known for 'Dr. Kildare' says his documentary, 'Altars of the World,' represents the bigger part of his life today.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Gevinson, Alan, ed. Within Our Gates: Ethnicity in American Feature Films, 1911-1960. Vol. 2. Univ of California Press, 1997.
  10. ^ "1962 Timeline: October 15. Dr. Kildare, a comic strip by Ken Bald based on the TV series, begins its 21-year run.” American Comic Book Chronicles by John Wells. TwoMorrows Publishing, 2012, Page 77."

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