David Janssen stars as the title character in "Richard Diamond - Private Eye," the acclaimed mystery series from the 1950s that would set the standard for many of the TV detectives that were to follow. The series was created by movie star Dick Powell, the Hollywood song-and-dance man who turned to film noir, and who both produced and starred in the original radio drama. Deciding he was too busy (and maybe too old) to play Diamond in the TV version, Powell cast an up-and-coming actor named David Meyer for the lead role. At Powell's suggestion, Meyer changed his name to Janssen. The ex-cop turned private detective Richard Diamond took on the tough cases, occasionally aided by his pal still on the force, Lt. Dennis "Mac" McGough (Regis Toomey).
Two seasons later, Diamond would move to Los Angeles and get a glamorous girlfriend and a leggy receptionist. But here for the first time on DVD are two episodes from the gritty first season with Diamond walking the mean streets of New York. In the 1960s, Janssen would star the phenomenal television series "The Fugitive" and in the 1970s he would also return to the TV detective drama in the well-received "Harry O."
"Picture of Fear" (first airdate 07-29-57) Guest stars: Judith Braun, George Neise, James Nolan, Robert J. Nelson
While vacationing in the mountains, Diamond helps a woman being chased by criminals who think that she took some incriminating photos.
"The Chess Player" (first airdate 08-19-57) Guest stars: Catherine McLeod, Vaughn Taylor, Ross Elliott, Jonathan Hole, Larry Dobkin, Madeline Holmes, George Baxter
A woman hires Diamond to protect her husband, a businessman who doesn't take seriously threats made against his life. Diamond must act as bodyguard without the man knowing it.
Bonus: Hollywood Remembers David Janssen A look at the life and career of actor David Janssen through his movie and television appearances.