At left is Carlton E. Morse, creator of ILAM, with some of his many scripts. Balding and be-spectacled, Mr. Morse not only created "I Love a Mystery", but also the famous radio soap opera, "One Man's Family", also known as OMF. OMF was so successful that Morse was placed on a long term contract with his players for the series. This contract allowed for little room for salary increases, however. To get around this, using many of the same actors and radio people used to create OMF, Mr. Morse created ILAM. Even the characterizations of Jack, Doc and Reggie were based on the personalities of the actors playing their parts. Morse wrote and produced the majority of the ILAM stories, and directed many from the second NYC run of the show.
This is Michael Raffetto, the actor who lent his voice to the role of Jack Packard during the initial Hollywood run of "I Love A Mystery." Raffetto also gained fame for his role of Paul Barbour in Morse's famous radio soap opera, ONE MAN'S FAMILY.
Mercedes McCambridge played many roles in both the Hollywood and the New York runs of "I Love A Mystery." Some of her ILAM roles included that of Sunny Richards (from THE RICHARD CURSE and TEMPLE OF VAMPIRES), as well as Charity "Cherry" Martin (from THE THING THAT CRIES IN THE NIGHT). She has also appeared in many Hollywood films, and even won a "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar in one of her roles.
Lobby Card, for the ILAM movie, eponymously named "I Love A Mystery". To the far left of the photo is Barton Yarborough, who played lanky Texan Doc Long not only in this movie, but also lent his voice to the role of Doc for the ILAM radio show. In the centre is Jim Bannon, on contract at the time with Columbia (perhaps explaining why Michael Raffetto did not win the role). Jim Bannon not only played Jack in the three movies, but I believe he was also the announcer for part of the first run of the ILAM series.
Two more Lobby Cards, from the ILAM movie. Many thanks to my friend Jim Farst, for providing these images for everyone to enjoy.
At left is from a photocopy sent to me from one of my web-site visitors, who reproduced it from a microfilm image of the Sunday March 21 issue of the New York Times. Although degraded somewhat from the many steps removed from the original photo (which was then turned into a news image, then microfilmed, then photocopied, then scanned by my fumbling hand), you can still make out the images and the attached comment, "From top to bottom, here are Barton Yarborough, Gloria Blondell and Micheal Raffetto of "I Love A Mystery," opening tomorrow at 7 P.M. on WABC-Columbia in the niche once occupied by Amos'n'Andy." Thank you very much, Keith!
Another image of Mr. Morse, taken in his later years (1973, to be exact). This image was submitted to me by my friend and fellow ILAM-ophile, Jim Farst.