I Led 3 Lives

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I Led 3 Lives
Also known as ''I Led Three Lives''
Genre Drama
Written by Lee Berg
Frank Burt
Stuart Jerome
Norman Jolley
Gene Roddenberry
Directed by Eddie Davis
Leslie Goodwins
Jack Herzberg
Henry S. Kesler
Herbert L. Strock
Starring Richard Carlson
Narrated by Herbert Philbrick
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 117
Executive producer(s) Frederick W. Ziv
Producer(s) Leon Benson
Julius J. Epstein
Jack Herzberg
Henry S. Kesler
Lew Landers
Herbert L. Strock
Maurice Unger
Cinematography Monroe P. Askins
Curt Fetters
Robert Hoffman
Editor(s) Ace Clark
Charles Craft
John B. Woelz
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Ziv Television Programs
Distributor MGM Television
Peter Rodgers Organization
Original network Syndication
Picture format Black-and-white
Audio format Monaural
Original release October 1, 1953 (1953-10-01) – January 1, 1956 (1956-01-01)

I Led 3 Lives (also known as I Led Three Lives) is an American drama series which was 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.


It 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.

I Led Three Lives lasted 117 episodes. Philbrick narrated each episode and served as a technical consultant — and all scripts were approved by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Nonetheless, the episodes often had very little to do with the actual events of Philbrick's life, with plotlines taking Philbrick on journeys to Europe and South America. They gradually became more and more outlandish, featuring such supposed "Communist plots" as an attempt to convert vacuum cleaners into bomb launchers.

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 foil Communist plots.

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's an otherwise unrelated comedy-drama about a private detective's three ex-wives who cooperate on cases.

Main cast[edit]

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