Defense Attorney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Defense Attorney
Studio publicity Mercedes McCambridge.JPG
Mercedes McCambridge
Other namesThe Defense Rests
GenreCrime drama
Running time30 minutes
Country of originUnited States
StarringMercedes McCambridge
Howard Culver
AnnouncerOrville Anderson
Created byCameron Blake
Written byCameron Blake
Bill Johnston
Joel Murcott
Directed byDwight Hauser
Produced byWarren Lewis
Original releaseJuly 6, 1951 (1951-07-06) – December 30, 1952 (1952-12-30)

Defense Attorney is an American old-time radio crime drama. It was broadcast on ABC from July 6, 1951,[1][note 1][2][3][4][5] to December 30, 1952.[6][7] It was also known as The Defense Rests.[7]


The title character was Martha Ellis "Marty" Barrett, "a respected attorney who has a reputation for integrity"[8] and "who champions causes of the underdog and unjustly accused."[9] Jud Barnes, a newspaper reporter, was Barrett's boyfriend.[8] Ron Lackmann wrote in his book Mercedes McCambridge: A Biography and Career Record that Bryant "spent more time solving crimes with her boyfriend ... than she did in the courtroom."[10]


Mercedes McCambridge had the title role, and Howard Culver played Judson Barnes. Tony Barrett portrayed Detective Lieutenant Ed Ledis.[8] Supporting actors in the program included Paul Fries, Bill Johnston, Kay Wiley,[7] Harry Bartell, Dallas McKennon, Irene Tedrow, and Parley Baer.[10] Orville Anderson was the announcer.[1]

Warren Lewis was the producer, and Dwight Hauser was the director. Cameron Blake (the program's creator),[11] Bill Johnston, and Joel Murcott were writers. Music was by Rex Khoury[7] and Basil Adlam.[2]


Defense Attorney originated with an audition record, The Defense Rests, which was made for a proposed NBC series in April 1951.[10][1]

TV pilot[edit]

In 1953, the trade publication Billboard reported on work on a television version of Defense Attorney. An article in the magazine's March 28, 1953, issue said that Don Sharpe was in New York "to begin sales efforts on his newest film show, Defense Attorney, starring Mercedes McCambridge, and based on his former radio series of the same name."[12] Fletcher Markle wrote and directed the pilot episode.[12] The proposed series apparently was never developed.


McCambridge's work on Defense Attorney led to her receiving honorary membership in the Los Angeles Women's Bar Association and the Favorite Dramatic Actress Award from Radio-TV Mirror magazine.[10]


  1. ^ Although two old-time radio reference books (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio and Radio Crime Fighters: Over 300 Programs from the Golden Age) give the starting date as August 31, 1951, The Digital Deli Too gives July 6, 1951, as the starting date. Radio listings in contemporary newspapers also show that the program was first aired on July 6, 1951.


  1. ^ a b c ""Defense Attorney"". The Digital Deli Too. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "New Radio Show Starts Tonight". The Winona Republican-Herald. Minnesota, Winona. July 6, 1951. p. 9. Retrieved July 29, 2017 – via open access
  3. ^ "Today's Radio". Tucson Daily Citizen. Arizona, Tucson. July 6, 1951. p. 14. Retrieved July 29, 2017 – via open access
  4. ^ "Radio Highlights". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. July 6, 1951. p. 13. Retrieved July 29, 2017 – via open access
  5. ^ "On The Networks". The Progress. Pennsylvania, Clearfield. July 6, 1951. p. 2. Retrieved July 29, 2017 – via open access
  6. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-09-15. Defense Attorney, crime drama.
  7. ^ a b c d Cox, Jim (2002). Radio Crime Fighters: Over 300 Programs from the Golden Age. McFarland. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-7864-4324-6.
  8. ^ a b c Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 97–98. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  9. ^ "Dial Chatter". The La Crosse Tribune. Wisconsin, La Crosse. October 4, 1951. p. 16. Retrieved July 29, 2017 – via open access
  10. ^ a b c d Lackmann, Ron (2005). Mercedes McCambridge: A Biography and Career Record. McFarland. p. 82. ISBN 9780786419791. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  11. ^ McLeod, Elizabeth. "Mercedes McCambridge for the Defense". Radio Classics. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Sharpe to Boost 'Defense Attorney'". Billboard. March 28, 1953. p. 10. Retrieved 28 July 2017.

External links[edit]