Michael Shayne

Michael Shayne Information

Michael Shayne is a fictional private detective character created during the late 1930s by writer Brett Halliday. The character appeared in a series of seven films starring Lloyd Nolan for Twentieth Century Fox, four films from the low-budget Producers Releasing Corporation with Hugh Beaumont, a radio series under a variety of titles between 1944 and 1953, and later in 1960-1961 in a 32-episode NBC television series starring Richard Denning in the title role.

Novels and short stories

Shayne debuted in the novel Dividend on Death first published in 1939, written by Halliday, a pseudonym of Davis Dresser. Dresser wrote fifty Shayne novels. Twenty seven more were written by a variety of ghost-writers for a total of 77; 300 short stories, a dozen films, radio and television shows, and a few comic book appearances have included the character.

The books were typically very well plotted, with Shayne always gathering the suspects at the end and explaining the crime and naming the murderer. Shayne was initially married in the novels, his wife being Phyllis Shayne, who was a somewhat limited character, and was often out of town. Dresser "killed her off" when he sold the movie rights to the series. In the book Blood on the Black Market, the comedy aspect of the earlier novels disappears, and Shayne is forced to deal with his wife's death.


Halliday later created Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, first introduced in 1956 by Renown Publications under the title Michael Shayne Mystery Magazine. The magazine continued for nearly three decades, always having at least one Shayne novella included in each edition. Very few were written by Halliday.


The 1940 film Michael Shayne, Private Detective was the first in a series of 12 films. Lloyd Nolan starred as Shayne until the series was dropped by Twentieth Century Fox and picked up by PRC. At that point, Hugh Beaumont took over the role.

Twentieth Century Fox films with Lloyd Nolan

  • Michael Shayne, Private Detective (1940)
  • Sleepers West (1941)
  • Dressed to Kill (1941)
  • Blue, White and Perfect (1942)
  • The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1942)
  • Just Off Broadway (1942)
  • Time to Kill (1942)

PRC films with Hugh Beaumont

  • Murder Is My Business (1946)
  • Larceny in Her Heart (1946)
  • Blonde for a Day (1946)
  • Three on a Ticket (1946)
  • Too Many Winners (1946)


Jeff Chandler and Wally Maher were among the actors who starred as Shayne in a weekly radio series.


In 1960, the 32-episode Michael Shayne television series began on NBC, with Richard Denning, formerly of the series Mr. and Mrs. North, playing Michael Shayne. Patricia Donahue originated the role of Lucy Hamilton, Shayne's secretary. She was replaced by Margie Regan after more than half of the episodes had been filmed.

Herbert Rudley played Lieutenant Will Gentry of the Miami Police Department, and Jerry Paris played reporter Tim Rourke of the fictitious Miami Tribune. Gary Clarke, later of The Virginian, played Dick Hamilton, Lucy's younger brother, a character who does not appear in Halliday's books.

William Link and Richard Levinson wrote a number of episodes of the series, including "This Is It, Michael Shayne", which was based on Halliday's novel of that name. Julie Adams, who had previously worked with Richard Denning in Creature from the Black Lagoon, guest starred in this episode. Richard Arlen guest starred as Vincent Rinker in the 1961 episode, "Murder Is a Fine Art."

Beverly Garland appeared in "Murder and the Wanton Bride." She and Denning had previously starred in the 1957 Roger Corman feature film, Naked Paradise. Garland and Denning later costarred with Vincent Price in "The House of the Seven Gables" segment of the film Twice-Told Tales (1963). Warren Oates, Joan Marshall, and David White guest starred in the episode "Murder Round My Wrist." Margie Regan played a nurse in this episode, while Patricia Donahue was still playing Lucy Hamilton. On December 2, 1960, Robert Knapp portrayed Arthur Hudson in the episode "Blood on Biscayne Bay".

The hour-long series ran at 10 p.m. Fridays, opposite CBS's The Twilight Zone with Rod Serling and ABC's The Detectives with Robert Taylor and The Law and Mr. Jones, starring James Whitmore, Conlan Carter, and Janet De Gore. The series can still be seen on the Detective Channel of TV4U.Com.


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* Unknown


Dell Comics picked up the character for a comic book series, Mike Shayne - Private Eye.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Michael_Shayne" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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