Richard Diamond, Private Detective

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Richard Diamond, Private Detective
David Janssen Richard Diamond 1959.JPG
David Janssen as Richard Diamond (1959)
Also known as Call Mr. D
Genre Crime drama
Written by Blake Edwards
Directed by Thomas Carr
Don McDougall
Tom Gries et al
Starring David Janssen
Regis Toomey
Barbara Bain
Russ Conway
Composer(s) Frank DeVol
(season one & two)
Pete Rugolo
(season three)
Richard Shores
(season four)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 77
Producer(s) Mark Sandrich Jr.
David Heilweil
Vincent M. Fennelly
Richard Carr
Editor(s) Arthur Hilton
Chandler House et al
Location(s) New York City
Los Angeles
Cinematography George E. Diskant
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes per episode
Production company(s) Four Star Television
Distributor Fox Television Studios
Original channel CBS Television (1957-1959)
NBC (1959-1960)
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Mono RCA Sound System
Original run July 1, 1957 (1957-07-01) – September 6, 1960 (1960-09-06)

Richard Diamond, Private Detective is an American detective drama which aired on radio from 1949 to 1953, and on television from 1957 to 1960.


Dick Powell starred in the Richard Diamond, Private Detective radio series as a light-hearted detective who often ended the episodes singing to his girlfriend, Helen (Virginia Gregg). Other regular cast members included Ed Begley as Rick's friend and former partner on the police force, Lt. Walter Levinson, and Wilms Herbert as Walt's bumbling sergeant, Otis. It began airing on NBC Radio on April 24, 1949, picked up Rexall as a sponsor on April 5, 1950, and continued until December 6, 1950. Many of the shows were either written or directed by Blake Edwards. Its theme, "Leave It to Love", was whistled by Powell at the beginning of each episode.

With Camel cigarettes as a sponsor, it moved to ABC from January 5, 1951, to June 29, 1951, with Rexall returning for a run from October 5, 1951, until June 27, 1952.

Substituting for Amos 'n' Andy, it aired Sunday evenings on CBS from May 31, 1953 until September 20, 1953.

Television series[edit]

Dick Powell's company, Four Star Television, produced the television version of Richard Diamond, Private Detective, which premiered in the summer of 1957 on CBS. It returned to CBS in January 1958 for the second season and in February 1959 for the third season, again on CBS. In the fall of 1959, the fourth and final season aired on NBC.

David Janssen, prior to The Fugitive, starred as Diamond, a former officer of the New York Police Department and a hard-boiled private detective in the film noir tradition. His secretary, "Sam", was shown only from the waist down to display her beautiful legs. Initially, these were the legs of Mary Tyler Moore for seven episodes, but later the legs of other actresses were seen. Don Taylor played the title role in a 1956 television pilot, broadcast as an episode of the anthology series Chevron Hall of Stars.

In the series opening, Diamond in hat, suit and tie, walks down a dimly-lit street toward the camera and lights up a cigarette, the light from which shows his face. In syndicated rebroadcasts of the series, the revised title, Call Mr. D., flashes on the screen. Regis Toomey was cast in eight episodes in 1957-1958 as Lt. McGough. Russ Conway appeared in six episodes from 1958 to 1960 as Lieutenant Pete Kile. Early in 1959, the setting of the series was switched from New York City to Los Angeles, California, where Diamond drives a convertible with a car phone. In Los Angeles, he acquires a girlfriend, Karen Wells, played in five episodes in 1959 by Barbara Bain, later a mainstay of CBS's Mission Impossible.

Original music by Frank De Vol provided the theme for the first and second seasons. The third season featured a jazz score by Pete Rugolo with a new theme. The final theme was by Richard Shores.

In the last part of the final season, the series was aired opposite Kate Smith's attempted return to network television, The Kate Smith Show on CBS.


Television guest stars[edit]

External links[edit]