We're sad to hear that famed actor, Tony Curtis, passed away yesterday. According to reports, Curtis died at his Las Vegas home on September 29, 2010, of an apparent cardiac arrest.
Tony Curtis co-starred with Roger Moore in the TV series The Persuaders! which was based on The Saint episode titled "The Ex-King of Diamonds". The interesting dynamic between the suave Englishman Simon Templar played by Roger Moore and a crass Texas oilman (played by Stuart Damon) was a great combination that Robert S. Baker and Lew Grade extended to a new series starring Tony Curtis in the role of the texan, while keeping Roger Moore as The Saint series came to an end. The Persuaders also featured a number of other parties to The Saint, including many supporting cast members, many of the same writers, and the same director.
Tony was a good friend of Roger Moore's, and was on-hand via conference call when Roger received a blue plaque at Elstree Studios in October 2006.
"He was a fine actor ... I shall miss him," said British actor Roger Moore, who starred alongside Curtis in TV's "The Persuaders."
"He was great fun to work with, a great sense of humour and wonderful ad libs," Moore told Sky News. "We had the best of times."
Roger has also posted the following on his website, "Hearing the news about Tony deeply saddened me today. He was a great friend and a great co-star, and I will forever remember the laughs and fun we shared on The Persuaders and the friendship which endured ever after. His legacy is huge as was his star. I will miss my friend. My thoughts are with Jill and his children at this sad, sad time and I send them much love."
Moonstone Comics is hard at work on comic books or graphic novels of The Saint's adventures. The early sketches of the Saint are very reminiscent of Gregory Peck, who Leslie Charteris mentioned as a perfect actor to play the role of Simon Templar.
Moonstone is known for publishing fine and distinct comic books, graphic novels, and prose... books that are meant to be read -- featuring both new and classic heroes in thrilling tales of adventure, mystery, and horror from the dark Side to the light...
The Saint is an adventurer, but a gentleman above all else. He reads the paper, eager to find a cause exciting to involve himself in. His moral code is strong, and is motives are also good: he would never hurt, steal from, or kill anyone who doesn't completely deserve it. The Saint is the Robin Hood of modern crime: he robs from the evil and heartless rich, and gives to the wronged and deserving poor--in the process, keeping a percentage for his own expenses. He doesn't work for the law, the government, or anyone else. He is a lone wolf, but he doesn't hesitate to team up or collaborate with anyone, including official agencies, when the need arises. He is also a romantic who believes in the excitement of living.
Very little is known about Simon Templar's background, or how he became the Saint. If his origin and circumstances of his youth seem to be shrouded in mystery, it is because he chooses not to reveal it. He has a great sense of humor as well as a great zest for life. He is well-to-do, well dressed, drives fast cars, goes to the best places with the most attractive girls, all without any visible means of support.
The police, particularly Chief Inspector Claud Eustace Teal, have their own ideas about the sources of his apparent wealth and for years have been unsuccessfully trying to prove it.
But behind the Saint's sophisticated facade there is a very different man.
Had he lived in the Middle Ages you would see him as a knight in shining amour--a Sir Lancelot, a Robin Hood, a Don Juan, or in the great western tradition, a one man vigilante.
His enemy is not so much crime, but injustice. His impetus, the plight of the innocent soul in need of a patron Saint.
In achieving his objectives he can be cold, hard and always independent. Behind the casual banter there is always the aura of a coiled spring. Hating violence, he will not only turn the other cheek he will turn it so fast that all you are going to hit is the wall you thought he was up against.
Simon Templar faces doom with a cavalier disdain. Yet this is not to say he isn't in constant jeopardy. For if he moves in dangerous places and is himself, the most dangerous of men, he is nonetheless only a man. Mortal.
On May 6, 2010, BBC Audiobooks released a CD containing two episodes of The Saint in the UK, and in August they made them available in the USA as well. These are two of the three radio shows that were made in the 1990s and star Paul Rhys as Simon Templar. The episodes included are Saint Overboard and The Saint Plays With Fire. No word yet as to why The Saint Closes the Case has not been included.
This is a two-CD set, with a running time of 2 hours for the two BBC Radio 4 dramatizations of The Saint from 1995.
Neville Teller writes:
Back in 1995 I put up to the BBC the idea of dramatising some of the Saint novels. We agreed on three titles, but the commissioning editor suggested that I dramatise two of them (“Saint Overboard” and “The Saint Plays With Fire”) while the third be given to Roger Danes to dramatise (“The Saint Closes the Case”). The director of all three was to be Matthew Walters, and he cast Paul Rhys as Simon Templar. The three 60-minute plays went on air at the end of August and the beginning of September 1995, and got pretty extensive, and complimentary, coverage on Radio Times and by the national radio critics. Even so, and despite intensive efforts, I have found it impossible to persuade the powers-that-be at the Beeb to accept any further Saint material. The good news is that BBC Radio 7 accepted the three plays onto their schedules quite early on, and listeners have had several chances over the years to hear them again. Now, with my two dramatisations issued by BBC Worldwide as part of their Radio Collection, those two at least are now freely available for people to enjoy.
Paul Rhys stars as The Saint in these two full-cast dramatizations, co-starring Patsy Kensit as Loretta, and Fiona Fullerton as Valerie. The series was dramatized by Neville Teller and Roger Danes. These two thrilling radio dramas of The Saint are full of the charm and verve of the original stories.
Capture The Saint by Burl Barer is quickly climbing the UK Kindle charts. Burl reports on Twitter that it is currently #26 on the Amazon UK charts for British Detective mystery books on the Kindle! Move him up!
Simon Templar, alias the Saint, was only momentarily taken aback by the one unreherarsed question posed by perky television talk-show host Connie Cain during the live afternoon broadcast of Seattle, Washington's most popular local program.
"Mythological characters such as myself seldom age at the going rate," responded the Saint cheerfully. "And if survival is the topic," offered Simon, "I have been shot at, shackled, handcuffed, gassed, and interviewed by trained broadcast journalists -- the relative degree of danger inherent in each being open to debate."
The small studio audience laughed warmly and applauded with approval as the mildly bemused and professionally coiffed hostess signaled for a commercial break.
"You are very good at this, Mr. Templar. Do you do a lot of television?" Her question seemed curiously genuine in contrast to the alternately sanguin and sacharine couching of her on-air delivery.
"I find precious little on television worth watching," stated Simon with disarming honesty. "But this is more fun than being either shackled or gassed, although I was once grilled for information under lights almost as intense as these."
"The Saint--sprung from the pen of Leslie Charteris, his adventures fill thirty books, a dozen motion pictures--and now, by radio, he is yours for the next half hour."
Simon Templar, played by Vincent Price, was wealthy and refined. He was well dressed, well traveled, and well educated. He was also The Saint, the "Robin Hood of modern crime," who was not afraid to break the law if that's what had to be done to ensure that justice was served.
Larry Dobkin, who also stepped in to play The Saint in a single radio epsiode, co-stars in his usual role as Louie the Cabbie in these digitally restored and remastered tales that find Templar sailing, skiing, and delving in to the disparate worlds of mining, baseball, prizefighting, mystery writing, and more. The Saint sets all manner of matters straight, all the while maintaining excellent form.
Includes a Program Guide written by Ian Dickerson, featuring photographs and a series history.
Episodes Include: The Saint Goes Underground 07-31-49, Greed Causes Murder 08-14-49, A Schizophrenic Psychiatrist (a.k.a. The Colorblind Killer) 09-18-49, The Sinister Sneeze 06-11-50, The Problem of the Peculiar Payoff 07-09-50, Follow the Leader 07-16-50, The Frightened Author 07-23-50, The Case of the Previewed Crime 07-30-50, The Corpse Said Ouch 08-06-50, Cupid and the Corpse 08-27-50, Baseball Murder 09-03-50, The Horrible Hamburger 09-10-50, The Ghost That Giggled 09-17-50, Dossier on a Doggone Dog 09-24-50, It's Snow Use 10-29-50, Miss Godby's School for Girls 11-05-50, The Dame on the Doorstep 11-12-50, No Hiding Place 11-19-50, The Terrible Tintype 11-26-50, Martin Hickerson, Private Eye 12-03-50