MYSTERY SERIES CHARACTERS: FROM THE PRINTED PAGE TO TELEVISION
by Marvin Lachman
Once again, any additions and corrections are very welcome.
Part 4: L - O
Le Carré, John: GEORGE SMILEY, played by Alec Guinness in the television version of several of his novels on Masterpiece Theatre, beginning in 1980 with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
Lockridge, Frances and Richard: JERRY and PAM NORTH in the title roles of the 1952-1954 series Mr. and Mrs. North were played by Richard Denning and Barbara Britton. Francis De Sales was their police friend, LT. BILL WEIGAND.
Lovesey, Peter: SGT. RICHARD CRIBB was played by Alan Dobie in the British-made Sgt. Cribb series (1980-1983). William Simons was CONSTABLE EDWARD THACKERAY.
Lyons, Arthur: JACOB ASCH was played by Eric Roberts in a 1980s TV movie based on his novel Castles Burning.
MacDonald, John D.: In a 1983 television movie (intended as a pilot film) based on the novel The Empty Copper Sea, Sam Elliott played TRAVIS McGEE, and Gene Evans was his friend MEYER.
Macdonald, Ross: LEW ARCHER was played by Peter Graves in a 1974 TV movie version of his novel The Underground Man. In 1975 Brian Keith played him in the short-lived series Archer. The anthology series Pursuit televised a Macdonald story circa 1958 as “Epitaph for a Golden Girl” with Michael Rennie. I do not know on which Macdonald story it was based and whether Rennie played the Archer character.
Marsh, Ngaio: INSPECTOR RODERICK ALLEYN was played by Patrick Malahide on the 1990s British series Inspector Alleyn. Belinda Lang was AGATHA TROY. George Baker played Alleyn on an earlier British series, but I do not know the dates or title.
McBain, Ed: In the 1961-1962 series The 87th Precinct, STEVE CARELLA was Robert Lansing; TEDDY CARELLA was Gena Rowlands; MEYER MEYER was Norman Fell; and BERT KLING was Ron Harper. There was a 1996 television movie 87th Precinct with Dale Midkiff as Carella, Andrea Ferrell as Teddy, Joe Pantoliano as Meyer, and Paul Johansson as Kling. Two other regulars from the books were portrayed: Hugh Thompson as COTTON HAWES and Philip Akin as DETECTIVE ARTHUR BROWN.
McDermid, Val: Psychologist TONY HILL was played by Robson Green in the British series Wire in the Blood, beginning circa 2000. DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CAROL JORDAN was Hermione Norris.
McInerny, Ralph: Though not resembling the original from the books, Tom Bosley was his FATHER DOWLING in an American series The Father Dowling Mysteries in 1989-1991. Mary Wickes played his rectory housekeeper MARY MURKIN.
Mitchell, Gladys: In a British series airing early in the 21st century, Diana Rigg played MRS. ADELA BEATRICE LESTRANGE BRADLEY.
Mitchell, James: Edward Woodward was his character CALLAN in a British series with that name that began in 1967. That character was based on the character John Craig that Mitchell had created under the pseudonym “James Munro.” Mitchell later published Callan novels under his own name.
Morrison, Arthur: His private investigator MARTIN HEWITT was played by Peter Barkworth in two 1972 episodes of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes: “The Affair of the Tortoise” and “The Case of Laker, Absconded.” That year, in another Morrison story about Hewitt, “The Case of the Dixon Torpedo,” Ronald Hines played the detective, with the name changed to Jonathan Pryde. In a 1971 episode of this series, Peter Vaughan played another Morrison series character, HORACE DORRINGTON in “The Mirror of Portugal.”
Murphy, Warren: In novels he created two very similar detectives, both insurance investigators, TRACE and DIGGER . On television they were combined into a character named Daedalus Murphy, played by George Segal on the American series Murphy’s Law (1988-1989). His colleague and love interest, KIMIKO was played by Maggie Han. With Richard Sapir, Murphy had created THE DESTROYER (REMO WILLIAMS). In a 1988 TV pilot called Remo Williams, the hero was played by Jeffrey Weeks. Roddy McDowell played CHIUN, a martial-arts expert.
Oppenheim, E. Phillips: On The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes in 1973, Bernard Hepton played JOHN T. LAXWORTHY in “The Secret of the ‘Magnifique’.”
Orczy, Baroness Emma: In a 1972 episode of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, “The Woman in the Big Hat,” Elvi Hale played her LADY MOLLY OF SCOTLAND YARD. Another Orczy story, “The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway,” was televised on that series in 1973. Judy Geeson was reporter POLLY BURTON, but Orczy’s detective and best known series character, The Old Man in the Corner, was omitted.
To be continued ...
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