Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell (1904-63) attended Little Rock College started his career as a singer in his own band. He recorded a number of records in the late 1920s, then got a film contract with Warner Bros. in 1932. In his debut film, BLESSED EVENT, he played a singing bandleader, going on to star as a boyish crooner in movie musicals including 42nd STREET, FOOTLIGHT PARADE and GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933, often appearing opposite Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell. As he was reaching 40 in the '40s and realizing that his young romantic leading man days were behind him, Powell lobbied hard to play the lead in DOUBLE INDEMNITY. He lost out to Fred MacMurray, but in 1944 was cast in the first of a series of films noir starting with MURDER, MY SWEET (as Private Detective Philip Marlowe ). The film was a big hit, and Dick Powell had successfully reinvented himself as a dramatic actor. The following year, he made CORNERED, a gripping, post-WWII thriller that helped define the film noir style. He became a popular "tough guy" lead, appearing in movies such as JOHNNY O’CLOCK and CRY DANGER. From 1949 until 1953, Powell played the lead role in the NBC radio theater production Richard Diamond, Private Detective. His character in the 30 minute weekly was a likeable private detective with a quick wit. In the ‘50s Powell produced and directed several B-movies and was one of the founders of Four Star Television, appearing in and supervising several shows for that company.

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