Chester Morris

His Life and Career

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About the Book

The prodigious but humble scion of a New York theatrical family, Chester Morris acted on Broadway as a teenager and earned an Academy Award nomination for his first role in a Hollywood “talkie,” Alibi (1929). He became leading man to filmdom’s top female stars and starred in the popular series of “Boston Blackie” mysteries before creating substantial characters in the theater and the burgeoning medium of television.
This first book about Morris provides a detailed account of his life and career on stage, film, radio and television, and as a celebrated magician. It also constructs a fascinating record of his previously undocumented labor activism during the early years of the Screen Actors Guild and his tireless efforts to aid U.S. troops on the home front during World War II.

About the Author(s)

Scott Allen Nollen was educated in film and history at the University of Iowa. He has written and edited more than 40 books on the history of film, literature and music.

Researcher Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen, a native of Java, is making her English-language debut with this book.

Bibliographic Details

Scott Allen Nollen with Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 349
Bibliographic Info: 100 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7729-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3839-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface by Yuyun Yuningsih Nollen 1
Introduction by Scott Allen Nollen 3
1. Magic Lad of the Morris Family 7
2. A Dignified Life in Hollywood? 17
3. The Big House 35
4. King for a Night 69
5. Public Hero Number 1 97
6. Flight from Glory 124
7. Meet Boston Blackie 152
8. Aerial Gunner 173
9. Boston Blackie Leaves Hollywood 214
10. Unchained 224
11. Double-Breasted Suits to Blue Denim 236
12. From Naked City to Route 66 243
13. The Last Day of the Play 255
14. Requiem for a Working Actor 265
Appendix A: Chester Morris Filmography 267
Appendix B: Television Programs 285
Appendix C: Radio Programs 298
Appendix D: Stage Performances 303
Appendix E: Films Announced for Chester Morris but Produced with Another Actor 308
Chapter Notes 310
Sources and Bibliography 315
Index 319