Box 13

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Box 13 is a syndicated radio drama about the escapades of newspaperman-turned-mystery novelist Dan Holiday, played by film star Alan Ladd. Created by Ladd's company, Mayfair Productions, Box 13 aired in different cities over different dates and times. It first aired in several United States radio markets in October 1947.[1][2][3]


To seek out new ideas for his fiction, Holiday ran a classified ad in the Star-Times newspaper where he formerly worked: "Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything – write Box 13, Star-Times". The stories followed Holiday's adventures when he responded to the letters sent to him by such people as a psycho killer and various victims.


Sylvia Picker appeared as Holiday's scatterbrained secretary, Suzy, while Edmund MacDonald played police Lt. Kling. Supporting cast members included Betty Lou Gerson, Frank Lovejoy, Lurene Tuttle, Alan Reed, Luis Van Rooten, and John Beal. Vern Carstensen, who directed Box 13 for producer Richard Sanville, was also the show's announcer.[4]

Among the 52 episodes in the series were such mystery adventures as "The Sad Night", "Hot Box", "Last Will And Nursery Rhyme", "Hare And Hounds", "Hunt And Peck", "Death Is A Doll", "Tempest In a Casserole", and "Mexican Maze". The dramas featured music by Rudy Schrager. Russell Hughes, who had previously hired Ladd as a radio actor in 1935 at a $19 weekly salary, wrote most of the scripts, sometimes in collaboration with Ladd. The partners in Mayfair Productions were Ladd and Bernie Joslin, who had previously run the chain of Mayfair Restaurants.

Raymond Burr appeared in some episodes.[5]

TV adaptation[edit]

At least one attempt to convert the series for television was tried when Ladd appeared in an adaptation of "Daytime Nightmare" (retitled "Committed") on CBS' General Electric Theater (December 5, 1954). Russell Hughes, who was then working at Columbia, reworked the script for the small screen. "We hope it comes off well", said Ladd. "If so, the other 51 scenarios are on the shelf, waiting."[6]

The show was produced by Jaguar, Ladd's own company.


Dan Holiday is drugged and winds up in an asylum. The staff try to convince him he's someone he isn't. It is part of a scam to claim an inheritance.

Attempted adaptations[edit]

The TV show did not result in a series. In 1956, Ladd announced that Jaguar would still attempt to make a series, but Ladd would not star as Holiday.[7] Ladd's wife Sue Carol was reported as being involved in casting.[8]

In 1958, Jaguar hired Charles Bennett to adapt the series into a television series.[9]

In 1959, it was reported Ladd was working on scripts for a TV series with Aaron Spelling.[10] Bill Leslie was to play the lead,[11] opposite Ann McRae.[12]

Shortly before his death, Ladd announced plans to make a feature film version of the show. He said he would play the lead and the movie would feature 13 cameos from stars that Ladd had worked with in the past. Possible names included William Bendix, Veronica Lake, Brian Donlevy, and Macdonald Carey.[13][14]

Box 13 was also re-imagined (rather than a straight adaptation or continuation) as a comic book series in 2010, by David Gallaher and Steve Ellis, and published by ComiXology. It is published digitally by comiXology and published in print by Red 5 Comics:


# Date Title
01 Aug 22, 1948 "The First Letter"
02 Aug 29, 1948 "The Insurance Swindle Adventure"
03 Sept 5, 1948 "Blackmail Is Murder"
04 Sept 12, 1948 "'The Radio Actress Murder Case"

(aka "'Actor's Alibi")

05 Sept 19, 1948 "Extra, Extra"
06 Sept 26, 1948 "Shanghaied"
07 Oct 3, 1948 "George Flit, Detective"

(aka "'Short Assignment")

08 Oct 10, 1948 "Rendezvous in the Park at Night"

(aka "'Double Mothers")

09 Oct 17, 1948 "A Book of Poems by Sir Walter Scott"
10 Oct 24, 1948 "Maria Theater Ticket Murder"

(aka "'The Great Torino")

11 Oct 31, 1948 "Catherine Daily"

(aka "'Suicide or Murder?")

12 Nov 7, 1948 "Triple Cross"
13 Nov 14, 1948 "Damsel In Distress"
14 Nov 21, 1948 "Diamond in the Sky"
15 Nov 28, 1948 "Double Right Cross
16 Dec 5, 1948 "Look Pleasant, Please"
17 Dec 12, 1948 "The Haunted Artist"
18 Dec 19, 1948 "The Sad Night"
19 Dec 26, 1948 "Hot Box"
20 Jan 2, 1949 "The Better Man"
21 Jan 9, 1949 "The Professor and the Puzzle"
22 Jan 16, 1949 "The Dowager and Dan Holiday"
23 Jan 23, 1949 "Three to Die"
24 Jan 30, 1949 "The Philanthropist"
25 Feb 6, 1949 "Last Will and Nursery Rhyme"
26 Feb 13, 1949 "Delinquent Dilemma"
27 Feb 20, 1949 "Flash of Light"
28 Feb 27, 1949 "Hare and Hounds"
29 Mar 6, 1949 "Hunt and Peck"
30 Mar 13, 1949 "Death is a Doll"
31 Mar 20, 1949 "One One Three Point Five"
32 Mar 27, 1949 "Dan and the Wonderful Lamp"
33 Apr 3, 1949 "Tempest in a Casserole"
34 Apr 10, 1949 "Mexican Maze"
35 Apr 17, 1949 "Sealed Instructions"
36 Apr 24, 1949 "Find Me, Find Death"
37 May 1, 1949 "Much Too Lucky"
38 May 8, 1949 "One of These Four"
39 May 15, 1949 "Daytime Nightmare"
40 May 22, 1949 "Death is No Joke"
41 May 29, 1949 "The Treasure of Hang Li"
42 June 5, 1949 "Design for Danger"
43 June 12, 1949 "The Dead Man Walks"
44 June 19, 1949 "Killer at Large"
45 June 26, 1949 "Speed To Burn"
46 July 3, 1949 "House of Darkness"
47 July 10, 1949 "Double Trouble"
48 July 17, 1949 "The Biter Bitten"
49 July 24, 1949 "A Perfect Crime"
50 July 31, 1949 "Archimedes and the Roman"
51 Aug 7, 1949 "The Clay Pigeon"
52 Aug 14, 1949 "Round Robin"


  1. ^ Amarillo Sunday News Globe. Texas. October 12, 1947. {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Amarillo Daily News. Texas. October 17, 1947 {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Havre Daily News. Montana. October 31, 1947 {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Alan Ladd to Do Adventure Series on WOR ...". The New York Times. December 11, 1947. p. 66.
  5. ^ Hopper, Hedda (May 15, 1960). "The Ladds ARE Hollywood: Daddy Alan, Son David, and Daughter Alana – They're All Making Pictures AND Money". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. f34.
  6. ^ Ames, Walter (December 5, 1954). "Alan Ladd to Make First Appearance on TV in 13 Years". Los Angeles Times. p. E11.
  7. ^ Ames, Walter. (May 2, 1956). "Ray Bolger, Martin, Lewis in New Shows, Levant Gets Slapped". Los Angeles Times. p. B8.
  8. ^ Hopper, Hedda (May 18, 1956). "Looking at Hollywood: Jeff Richards Will Star in Hank Williams' Story". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. a8.
  9. ^ Oscar Godbout (January 22, 1958). "Subliminal Test Planned in West: Los Angeles TV Station to Send 'Unseen' Messages – Marquand Play Planned". New York Times. p. 54.
  10. ^ Joe Hyams. (March 22, 1959). "Ladd Working for Kids". The Washington Post and Times Herald. p. G7.
  11. ^ Hopper, Hedda (February 21, 1959). "TV Appearances to Be Film Actor's Buildup". Chicago Tribune. p. w_a10.
  12. ^ Hopper, Hedda (February 10, 1959). "Heflins May Be Headed for Europe". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. a4.
  13. ^ "Filmland Events: Alan Ladd Plans Filming of 'Box 13'". Los Angeles Times. August 23, 1963. p. C8.
  14. ^ Scheuer, Philip K. (July 5, 1963). "Italian Duo Arrive 'Via Madison Ave.': Levine Lures Mastroianni: Moscow, Israel Send Shows". Los Angeles Times. p. D11.

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