3 August 2007 | jwthomte
More about the ladies Michael Shayne got to met
I would like to offer one correction to what Cheyenne-Bodie has written about Michael Shayne, and some additions to his list of the "luscious women" who appeared on the show.
Margie Regan did replace Patricia Donahue as Lucy Hamilton at some point in the 2nd half of the show's only season. But Richard Banke did not replace Herbert Rudley as LT. Will Gentry, and Meade Martin did not replace Jerry Paris as reporter Tim Rourke. Instead, Banke played a new policeman and Martin played a new reporter. If the new actors were cheaper, then every scene with them was cheaper than a scene with Rudley or Paris. But there were scenes with both policemen and scenes with both reporters. To see what I mean, please buy the DVD Michael Shayne Detective V.01 at Critics' Choice Video, or amazon.com (which calls it vol.1). There are 2 episodes on this DVD: "Shoot the Works" with the original cast, and "Marriage Can Be Fatal" with Ms. Regan, and both of the policemen and both of the reporters.
I have an ulterior motive in asking you to buy this DVD: the more people who buy vol. 1, the better the chance of vols. 2,3, etc. appearing. I bought the DVD myself for this reason, even though I already had both episodes on VHS.
Gary Clarke as Lucy's brother Dick Hamilton was apparently fired and not replaced at all. I think Lucy's brother was added to the Patricia Donahue episodes as a chaperon, similar to Aunt Harriet in the '60's TV version of Batman. When Ms. Donahue played Lucy, it was sometimes obvious that Lucy and Mike were a couple as well as private eye and secretary, but they couldn't actually be sleeping together with her brother hanging around. When Ms. Regan played Lucy, the relationship was friendly but strictly professional, and the chaperon was no longer needed.
Two of Roger Corman's leading ladies, Beverly Garland and Betsy Jones-Moreland, were in one episode each. Ellen Burstyn (using the name Ellen McRae) was also in one episode. Donna Douglas, with Ross Martin as her husband, was in "Murder is a Fine Art," one of the 2 episodes with Carol Ohmart (Vincent Price's wife in the original House on Haunted Hill). Grace Lee Whitney (Capt. Kirk's Yeoman in the 1st season of Star Trek) was in 2 episodes, including "No Shroud for Shayne" with Rita Moreno.
Joan Marshall was in the episode "Murder 'Round My Wrist." She was also the leading lady in William Castle's Homicidal, she prosecuted Capt. Kirk in the Star Trek episode "Court Martial," and she played Phoebe (not Lily) in the first pilot for The Munsters.
Yvonne Craig was in the next to last episode, "It Takes a Heap O'Dyin'." Her many other credits include Batgirl in the 1968 season of Batman, and Star Trek's 2nd green-Orion-slave-girl (Marta in the episode "Whom Gods Destroy").
Sue Randall (Miss Landers, the school teacher, in Leave It to Beaver) was in 2 episodes. Nancy Rennick, who looks and sounds a lot like Ms. Randall, was in the episode "Marriage Can Be Fatal," which is on the Critics' Choice DVD. The mansion in "Marriage Can Be Fatal" is the same one that played the Clampett mansion in The Beverly Hillbillies.
Audrey Dalton (the leading lady in William Castle's Mr. Sardonicus) and Merry Anders were in "Dead Air," the last first-run episode of the series. Five years later, Ms. Anders played the woman who drowned in a phone booth in Get Smart. A year after that, she put on a black wig for the recurring role of Officer Dorothy Miller in the revival of Dragnet.
And in 1958, Merry Anders played Lucy Hamilton in an unsold Michael Shayne pilot, made by a different company, with a different cast, and even a different format. Mark Stevens played Michael Shayne and directed this pilot. The Mark-Stevens-pilot and the Richard-Denning-series-episode "The Heiress" are available on a single tape from emoviez at ebay. The guest stars in "The Heiress" include 2 future Star Trek women: Susan Oliver (Vina in "The Cage/The Menagerie") and Celia Lovsky (T'Pau in "Amok Time").
These comments are based on the Michael Shayne episode list available at the Classic TV Archive, and on the episodes that I have acquired through on-line purchases from Hollywood's Attic and from various ebay sellers, including emoviez. I've enjoyed these old shows very much, and hope to find more of them, especially the Patricia Donahue episodes.