Happy Birthday: Craig Stevens (1918-2000)

As many know, I’m also a classic television buff. Some of my early memories take me back to nights watching Nick at Night (Kids, ask your parents). Craig Stevens might not be a name which has transcended the decades as well as some (Peter Falk, anyone?). However, his take on the titular private eye in Peter Gunn is the stuff television legends are made of. I mean… look at these credits. This is the embodiment of cool.

 

Stevens was already a seasoned actor when he began appearing in the iconic (though under-remembered) television series. He made his screen debut in 1939 and he spent much of the following 10 years in tiny and often uncredited roles.

Stevens’ big-break came with the explosion of television. In 1950, Stevens’ career shifts and the new television medium seems just what he needs. While he was working prolifically in features, the roles he saw on TV were bigger. The still young actor could make a name for himself on television. He appears in some notable series’ of the period from Alfred Hitchcock Presents to The Loretta Young Show before nailing down the biggest role of his career: Peter Gunn.

Stevens continued working steadily for much of the next few decades. His last screen appearance came in 1988.

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