“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?…The Shadow knows!”
One of radio’s most memorable dramas, The Shadow chronicled the adventures of Lamont Cranston and his companion Margo Lane. As The Shadow, Cranston used a “hypnotic power to cloud men’s minds so that they cannot see him.” This power was routinely used to battle crime lords, mad scientists, psychopaths and even werewolves, all of whom learned from The Shadow that “the weed of crime bears bitter fruit…crime does not pay!”
The Shadow first appeared on radio in 1930, as the narrator of CBS’ Detective Story Hour. By 1932, the character was the star of his own show and soon became the hero, rather than the narrator.
Frank Readick played the role of the Shadow until the show left the air in 1935. When The Shadow returned in 1937, the title role was played by 22-year old Orson Welles, with Agnes Moorehead as Margo Lane. The Shadow was later played by radio veteran Bill Johnstone (1938-1943) and Chicago-born actor Bret Morrison, who assumed the role from 1945 until the show’s last broadcast in 1954.
The Shadow was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.