May 15, 2021
Nominated for three Academy Awards, James Mason (May 15, 1909 - July 27, 1984) had the marquee looks of a leading man but could convey a cool menace that made him a dastardly screen villain. Among his credits are Brutus in Julius Caesar, Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Humbert Humbert in Lolita, and Phillip Vandamm in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.
His earliest successes came in British cinema before he made the move to Hollywood. Once he arrived in the States, he began to appear on radio. Mason made multiple appearances on Suspense, The Lux Radio Theatre, and more.
In honor of his birthday, here's James Mason in his six starring turns in "radio's outstanding theatre of thrills" - Suspense.
"Where There's a Will" - In his first Suspense show, James Mason co-stars with his then-wife Pamela. He plays a gambler drowning in debt who decides to get a jump start on his inheritance by scaring his wealthy aunt to death. (2/24/49)
"Banquo's Chair" - In this adaptation of Rupert Croft Cook's mystery, Mason plays a celebrated sleuth who goes to unusual - and unearthly - lengths to close his only unsolved case. (3/9/50)
"The Greatest Thief in the World" - A "ripped from the headlines" story, this one stars Mason as a notorious jewel thief trying to keep his life of crime a secret from his social circle and from Scotland Yard. Pamela Mason co-stars with her husband again. (6/21/51)
"Odd Man Out" - Mason reprised his screen role in this Suspense adaptation of Carol Reed's noir drama. Mason plays a wounded man left behind by his cohorts after a failed robbery. Injured and alone, he tries to make his way to safety and evade the police dogging his track. (2/11/52)
"The Queen's Ring" - Suspense cracks the history books for a tale of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Essex. Mason is the earl who plots to seize the throne for himself, with Jeanette Nolan as Elizabeth I. (12/28/53)
"The Dealings of Mr. Markham" - For his final appearance, Mason starred in a tale from master of mystery John Dickson Carr. Mason plays an antique dealer with a lucrative side business - blackmail. (11/2/58)