Mar 25, 2017
Actor Ed Begley was born March 25, 1901. An Oscar winner for Sweet Bird of Youth, Begley was a mainstay on the big and small screens, with credits including 12 Angry Men, The Fugitive, Billion Dollar Brain, The Wild Wild West, and more. Begley’s son, Ed Jr., has continued in the family business.
Old time radio fans may know him best as the irascible but lovable Lt. Walt Levinson on Richard Diamond, Private Detective, where he co-starred opposite Dick Powell from 1949 to 1950. The first (and best, in this writer's opinion) of the actors to play Levinson, Begley had wonderful chemistry with Dick Powell. Levinson clearly loved his old partner, but he could also be easily vexed by Diamond's wordplay and attitude. Elsewhere on the dial, he played another police confidant to a private eye - Lt. O’Hara on The Fat Man - and he starred on radio as Charlie Chan. You can hear one of his adventures as the Honolulu-based detective in Episode 145 of the podcast. Begley turned in supporting roles on The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, The Whistler, Tales of the Texas Rangers, and more.