I Led 3 Lives
|I Led 3 Lives|
Opening title screen
|Also known as||I Led Three Lives|
|Written by||Lee Berg|
|Directed by||Eddie Davis|
Henry S. Kesler
Herbert L. Strock
|Narrated by||Richard Carlson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||117|
|Executive producer(s)||Frederick W. Ziv|
Julius J. Epstein
Henry S. Kesler
Herbert L. Strock
|Cinematography||Monroe P. Askins|
John B. Woelz
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Ziv Television Programs|
|Distributor||Ziv Television Programs|
Peter Rodgers Organization
|Original release||October 1, 1953 –|
January 1, 1956
I Led 3 Lives (also known as I Led Three Lives) is an American drama series syndicated by Ziv Television Programs from October 1, 1953, to January 1, 1956. The series stars Richard Carlson. The show was a companion piece of sorts to the radio drama I Was a Communist for the FBI, which dealt with a similar subject and was also syndicated by Ziv from 1952 to 1954.
The series was loosely based on the life of Herbert Philbrick, a Boston advertising executive who infiltrated the U.S. Communist Party on behalf of the FBI in the 1940s and wrote a bestselling book on the topic, I Led Three Lives: Citizen, 'Communist', Counterspy (1952). The part of Philbrick was played by Richard Carlson. The "three lives" in the title are Philbrick's outward life as a white-collar worker, his secret life as a Communist agent, and his even more secret life as an FBI operative helping to foil Communist plots.
I Led 3 Lives lasted 117 episodes. Philbrick served as a technical consultant,:37 with Carlson narrating each episode.:86 The episodes often had very little to do with the actual events of Philbrick's life as related in his book—Philbrick is credited with only 5 of the 117 screenplays. Screenplays gradually became more and more outlandish, featuring, for example, such supposed "Communist plots" as the conversion of household vacuum cleaners (1942-1954 Electrolux) into tactical missile launchers with which the Communists intended to destroy America's Nike anti-aircraft defensive missiles, and the manufacturing of untraceable "ghost guns" (unserialized Colt M1911) with which the Communists intended to assassinate their political enemies.
- Richard Carlson – Herbert Philbrick
- Virginia Stefan – Eva Philbrick
- Patricia Morrow – Constance Philbrick
- Charles Maxwell – Special Agent Joe Carney
- William Hudson – Special Agent Mike Andrews
- John Beradino – Special Agent Steve Daniels
- John Zaremba – Special Agent Jerry Dressler
- Ed Hinton – Special Agent Henderson
- Vivi Janiss as Comrade Elaine in "Gun Running" and Comrade Endora in "Counterfeit"
- Eve McVeagh as Miss Cutler in "Commie Dies"
- Ewing Mitchell as Mr. Collins in "Defense Plant Security"
- Victor Rodman as Comrade Arthur in "Commie Dies"
In popular culture
The title of the TV series I Had Three Wives, which aired briefly in 1985, is a pun on the name of the original; it was an otherwise unrelated comedy-drama about a private detective's three ex-wives, who cooperate on cases.
- "Herbert Philbrick, 78, F.B.I. Spy Who Inspired TV Series in the 50s". The New York Times. August 18, 1993. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
- Grams Jr., Martin (2007). I Led 3 Lives: The True Story of Herbert A. Philbrick's Television Program (PDF). BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593930929 – via martingrams.biz.
- "Freedom Awards Given To Host Of Americans". Sandusky Register. Sandusky, Ohio. February 22, 1956. p. 23. Retrieved November 27, 2018 – via newspapers.com.
- Awards for I Led 3 Lives on IMDb
- Geerhart, Bill (January 23, 2011). "The Best of 'I Led Three Lives'". CONELRAD Adjacent. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- Grams Jr., Martin (2007). I Led 3 Lives: The True Story of Herbert A. Philbrick's Television Program. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593930929.
- Kackman, Michael (1998). "Citizen, Communist, Counterspy: I Led 3 Lives and Television's Masculine Agent of History" (PDF). Cinema Journal. 38 (1): 98–114. doi:10.2307/1225737. JSTOR 1225737 – via Middlebury College Language Schools.