Question: There used to be a television program in the '50s, I think, called Boston Blackie. Could you give me some information on the progam and the actors in it? Thanks much.

Televisionary: Not a problem — what else do I have to do on a weekday afternoon, after all? (Just give me a moment to tear myself away from Timmy and Passions.)

Fifty-eight episodes of the syndicated Boston Blackie were produced from 1951-53, starring Kent Taylor as the "enemy of those who make him an enemy, friend of those who have no friend." An L.A. denizen who'd come around from a life of crime, Blackie was helped by gal-pal Mary Wesley (Lois Collier) and accompanied by faithful canine pal Whitey as he solved mysteries the ineffective Inspector Farrady (Frank Orth) couldn't suss out himself... which was pretty much all of them.

The character was originally conceived by writer Jack Boyle in 1919, appearing in a series of magazine stories before making the jump to silent films and then talkies. Actors such as Bert Lytell, Lionel Barrymore, Raymond Glenn and Chester Morris tried their hand at playing Blackie in various movies and a version also hit radio in the '40s.