The Peter Gunn TV show was a 30 minute private detective action series that aired on NBC for its first two seasons and then on ABC for the third season. It was about a fancy dressing private investigator with a love for jazz music. He was a hip, suave figure like other private eyes that were so popular in the 1950s and 60s.
Peter Gunn Cast
Craig Stevens .... Peter Gunn
Lola Albright .... Edie Hart
Herschel Bernardi .... Lieutenant Jacoby
Bill Chadney .... Emmett
Hope Emerson .... Mother (Season #1)
Minerva Urecal .... Mother (Season #2 and #3)
James Lanphier .... Leslie the Maitre D'
Peter Gunn Trivia
Series creator Blake Edwards got his inspiration for Peter Gunn from an earlier detective character he had created named Richard Diamond. That character was extremely popular on a radio series starring future TV and movie actor and director Dick Powell and then later on the "Richard Diamond, Private Detective TV Show" starring David Janssen who would later go on to further fame as "Doctor Richard Kimble" on the hit series, "The Fugitive".
While Peter Gunn was a terrific detective series, it's probably best known today for its catchy jazz theme song written by Henry Mancini which won an Emmy and two Grammys! It hit number one on Billboard's Pop LP charts for ten weeks and stayed on the list for a whopping two years! It has been performed by well-known artists including "The Blues Brothers", "Elvis Presley", "Aerosmith", "Emerson, Lake & Palmer", "Quincy Jones" and "Jimi Hendrix" among many others! Versions of the tune have been used on numerous movies and TV shows. It was even used as the background music for the popular 1983 video game, "Spy Hunter". You may not remember the Peter Gunn TV show but you're almost certainly familiar with its theme song!
Peter Gunn often hung out at "Mother's", a jazz club located on the water where his lady friend Edie Hart worked as a singer.
John Williams who played the piano portion of the theme song went on to become a super successful composer for TV series and movies. His TV credits include "Gilligan's Island", "Lost in Space", "Land of the Giants" and "Amazing Stories". His movie credits include "Superman", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "ET: The Extraterrestrial", "Jurassic Park", "Schindler's List", "JFK", "Saving Private Ryan", "Minority Report", and way too many more to mention them all here!
Peter Gunn took place in a city on the waterfront but the name of the city was never mentioned.
Blake Edwards has made several attempts to revive Peter Gunn, mostly with little success. In 1960 a Peter Gunn novel and comic book were marketed. In 1967 a theatrical movie titled, "Gunn" was released with Craig Stevens again portraying Peter Gunn. In 1989 Peter Strauss ("Rich Man, Poor Man") starred as Gunn in a TV movie intended to be a pilot for a new series but it didn't garner a large enough audience to go on with the series. About the same time development began at Paramount studios for another theatrical movie but that never happened either.
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