Earl Derr Biggers
|Born||August 26, 1884|
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||April 5, 1933 (aged 48)|
Pasadena, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
Earl Derr Biggers (August 26, 1884 – April 5, 1933) was an American novelist and playwright. His novels featuring the fictional Chinese American detective Charlie Chan were adapted into popular films made in the United States and China.
The son of Robert J. and Emma E. (Derr) Biggers, Earl Derr Biggers was born in Warren, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard University in 1907, where he was a member of The Lampoon. He worked briefly as a journalist for The Plain Dealer in 1907, and then for the Boston Traveller until 1912, before turning to fiction. Many of his plays and novels were made into movies.
His first novel, Seven Keys to Baldpate, was popular in 1913, and George M. Cohan quickly adapted the novel as a hit Broadway stage play of the same name. Cohan starred in the 1917 film version, one of seven film versions of the play, and a 1935 revival. The novel was also adapted into two films with different titles, House of the Long Shadows and Haunted Honeymoon, but they had essentially equivalent plots.
More than 10 years later, Biggers had even greater success with his series of Charlie Chan detective novels. The popularity of Charlie Chan extended even to China, where audiences in Shanghai appreciated the Hollywood films. Chinese companies made films starring this fictional character. Derr Biggers publicly acknowledged the real-life detective Chang Apana as the inspiration for the character of Charlie Chan in his letter to the Honolulu Advertiser of June 28, 1932.
The Charlie Chan series
- The House Without a Key (1925)
- The Chinese Parrot (1926)
- Behind That Curtain (1928)
- The Black Camel (1929)
- Charlie Chan Carries On (1930)
- Keeper of the Keys (1932)
- Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913)
- Love Insurance (1914); film version: One Night in the Tropics (1940)
- Inside the Lines (1915) (with Robert Welles Ritchie)
- The Agony Column (1916) (also published as Second Floor Mystery)
- Fifty Candles (1921)
- Earl Derr Biggers Tells Ten Stories (short stories, 1933)
- "THE SCREEN". The New York Times. July 4, 1931.
- Goodman, Rebecca (2005). This Day in Ohio History. Emmis Books. p. 258. ISBN 9781578601912. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Warburton, Eileen. "Keeper of the Keys to Old Broadway: Geroge (sic) M. Cohan's Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913)", 2nd Story Theatre, January 32, 2014, accessed October 14, 2014. See also "Play Reviews for Seven Keys to Baldpate", 2nd Story Theatre, accessed October 14, 2014
- "Charlie Chan in China" Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine The Chinese Mirror [n.d.].
- "The Real Charlie Chan", featurette on: Charlie Chan in Egypt (DVD), 20th Century Fox, 2006.
- Works by Earl Derr Biggers in eBook form at Standard Ebooks
- Works by Derr Biggers at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Earl Derr Biggers at Faded Page (Canada)
- Works by Earl Derr Biggers at Project Gutenberg of Australia
- Works by or about Earl Derr Biggers at Internet Archive
- Works by Earl Derr Biggers at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- Works by Earl Derr Biggers at Open Library
- Earl Derr Biggers at IMDb
- Play by Derr Biggers on Great War Theatre