Home Television Drama Martin Kane, Private Eye

Martin Kane, Private Eye

1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 4 (USA)

One of television’s earliest detective/drama series, NBC’s Martin Kane, Private Eye starred four Hollywood leading men during the five years it was on the air.

The series, which was telecast live, originally featured William Gargan (who had played the role on the radio) as Martin Kane. He was replaced in 1951 by Lloyd Nolan, who played the part for one year and then by Lee Tracy and Mark Stevens successively, also playing the role for a year each.

Kane was originally a smooth-talking private detective who worked closely with the New York City police department. As the series progressed, Kane became tougher and less smooth, and his liaison with police diminished.

Most of the crimes investigated by Kane were murders.

In 1953 the title of the show was shortened to Martin Kane, and the programme became more mystery – and suspense – oriented.

Also appearing in the series were Walter Kinsella as Kane’s assistant, Happy McMann, Fred Hillebrand as Lieutenant Bender, Horace McMahon as Captain Willis, Nicholas Saunders as Sergeant Ross, Walter Greaza as Captain Leonard, Frank Thomas as Captain Burke, and King Calder as Lieutenant Grey.

In 1957, three years after it departed network television, the series resurfaced as a syndicated show called The New Adventures of Martin Kane. Kane now had moved to London, and the role was played once again by the original Martin Kane, William Gargan

Martin Kane
William ‘Bill’ Gargan (1)
Lloyd Nolan (2)
Lee Tracy (3)
Mark Stevens (1)
Happy McMann
Walter Kinsella