Philo Vance (1945-1950)
Cast: Jose Ferrer, John Emery, Jackson Beck and Joan Alexander
Philo Vance was the central character featured in the crime novels written by S. S. Van Dine, published in the 1920s and 1930s. Vance was an immensely popular character, appearing not only in the books, but also in movies, and on the radio.
He was a stylish, even foppish dandy, a New York bon vivant possessing a highly intellectual bent. Aided in his investigations by his friend Van Dine, who also frequently narrates the stories, Vance often drew upon a vast reservoir of education and training in the more upper class skills and pursuits to help him solve crimes. Vance was often disdainful of those around him, acting as if he were of an aristocratic class, high above the common man. He disdained all but the most archaic speech, often adopting an Oxford accent and diction.
In the radio series Philo's affectations and elitist mannerisms are greatly toned down, making him a bit more personable, and much easier to listen to.