Boston Blackie is a fictional character created by author Jack Boyle (October 19, 1881 – October 1928). Blackie, a jewel thief and safecracker in Boyle’s stories, became a detective in adaptations for films, radio and television—an “enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend.”
Actor Chester Morris was the best-known Blackie, playing the character in movies and on radio in the 1940s. Boston Blackie is the role for which Morris is best remembered.
Jack Boyle’s stories first appeared in the early 20th century. “The Price of Principle” was a short story in the July 1914 issue of The American Magazine. Boyle’s character also turned up in Cosmopolitan. In 1917, Redbook published the novelette “Boston Blackie’s Mary”, and the magazine brought the character back with “The Heart of the Lily” (February 1921). Boyle’s stories were collected in the book Boston Blackie (1919), which was reprinted in 1979 by Gregg Press.
Kent Taylor starred in the Ziv-produced half-hour TV series The Adventures of Boston Blackie. Syndicated in 1951, it ran for 58 episodes, continuing in repeats over the following decade. Lois Collier appeared as the inevitable love interest and Frank Orth as the perpetually exasperated Lt. Farraday. This time, Blackie was set in Los Angeles, and the character enjoyed the use of several exotic sports cars as he battled on behalf of those who have no friends. Whitey was the precocious dog. Among the guest stars were veteran actors Roscoe Ates, Russ Conway, and John M. Pickard.