Actor who played Simon Templar, alias The Saint, on Radio
played The Saint in a 1950s South African radio show.
The South African Saint, by The Pumamouse
First, here are the background facts about the classic American radio production of "The Saint".
The first American radio series entitled "The Saint" which aired on NBC from 6 January through 31 March 1945
featured the voice of Edgar Barrier in the role of Simon Templar. From 20 June through 12 September 1945,
"The Saint" radio series which aired on CBS featured the voice of Brian Aherne as Simon Templar.
Then, from 9 July 1947 through 30 June 1948, Vincent Price could be heard in the role of "The Saint" on CBS.
Vincent Price was also heard as "The Saint" from 10 July 1949 though 28 May 1950 on Mutual.
"The Saint" aired again on NBC from 11 June 1950 14 October 1951. During this run, Vincent Price
retained the role of Simon Templar until 20 May 1950, and thereafter Tom Conway was heard in the role.
Another American radio series of "The Saint" is also known to exist with Barry Sullivan as Templar, but no other details are known.
Now, here is the information regarding the South African production of "The Saint".
A version of this popular radio series was produced in South Africa from 1953 to 1957.
Produced by Yolande D'Hotman, sponsored by Lever Brothers, Tom Meehan played the role of Simon Templar.
The series was recorded at the Herrick Merrill Studios in Durban.
The scripts were adaptations of the books, adapted by both Tom Meehan and Yolande D'Hotman.
The series aired on Springbok Radio. Many of the episodes were broadcast live, as was very common in those years.
Sadly, no recordings are known to have survived.
Unlike the American radio series "The Saint" which featured episodes that were a whole story in 30 minutes,
the South African radio series of "The Saint" was serialized, (like a soap opera), 15 minute episodes which
aired every Monday through Friday between 7:15PM and 7:30PM. In addition to this serial, there was also
another South African production of "The Saint" which aired on the English Radio Service Of South Africa
for about six months in about 1970-1971. It was broadcast on Fridays from 7:30PM to 8:00PM, opposite the
extremely popular series "Squad Cars" on springbok Radio, which is probably why it only lasted for six months.
Finally, there was an episode of "Lux Radio Theatre" which was a dramatization of one of "The Saint" stories,
produced around 1965/66 by Michael Silver, but that was a single "one off" production, not a series.
The Saint on Old-Time Radio
The Saint was first brought to life on the radio in 1940 by Terence De Marney (aka Terrance De Marney) on Radio Athlone.
It was then a five-year wait before NBC picked up the option, and featured Edgar Barrier as Simon Templar, alias The Saint.
Later in 1945, Brian Aherne took over the role when the show switched over to CBS.
Then in 1947, probably the most famous
Radio Saint of all-time, Vincent Price, added his golden voice to the role. Vincent Price was once quoted as saying the most difficult thing about the show was coming up with
new and unique ways to get conked on the head.
After a large number of episodes, Price finally left and his replacement Barry Sullivan only lasted a few episodes before the
show was cancelled.
It was resurrected due to public demand, with Vincent Price returning to save the day.
In 1951, Tom Conway (George Sanders' brother), of The Falcon fame,
played The Saint for the last few episodes, with
Lawrence Dobkin stepping in for a single episode when Conway was unavailable.
Between 1953 and 1957, Tom Meehan starred as The Saint on Springbok Radio in South Africa (in English) with fresh adaptations of the original Charteris stories.
It wasn't until 1995 that the Saint returned to radio with new episodes, with Paul Rhys portraying The Saint in three scripts taken directly from the orginal
Other Actors Who've Played The Saint
Portrals of Simon Templar on Film in Movie Motion Pictures: