Box 13 was a syndicated radio series about the escapades of newspaperman-turned-mystery novelist Dan Holliday, played by film star Alan Ladd. Created by Ladd’s company, Mayfair Productions, Box 13 premiered August 22, 1948, on Mutual’s New York flagship, WOR, and aired in syndication on the East Coast from August 22, 1948, to August 14. 1949. On the West Coast, Box 13 was heard from March 15, 1948 to March 7, 1949.
To seek out new ideas for his fiction, Holliday ran a classified ad in the Star-Times newspaper where he formerly worked. “Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything — Box 13.” The stories followed Holliday’s adventures when he responded to the letters sent to him by such people as a psycho killer and various victims.
Sylvia Picker appeared as Holliday’s scatterbrained secretary, Suzy, while Edmund MacDonald played police Lt. Kling. Supporting cast members included Betty Lou Gerson, Frank Lovejoy, Lurene Tuttle, Alan Reed, Luis Van Rooten and John Beal. Vern Carstensen, who directed Box 13 for producer Richard Sanville, was also the show’s announcer.
Among the 52 episodes in the series were such mystery adventures as “The Sad Night,” “Hot Box,” “Last Will And Nursery Rhyme,” “Hare And Hounds,” “Hunt And Peck,” “Death Is A Doll,” “Tempest In a Casserole” and “Mexican Maze.” The dramas featured music by Rudy Schrager. Russell Hughes, who had previously hired Ladd as a radio actor in 1935 at a $19 weekly salary, wrote the scripts, sometimes in collaboration with Ladd. The partners in Mayfair Productions were Ladd and Bernie Joslin, who had previously run the chain of Mayfair Restaurants.
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