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Happy Birthday, Paul Dubov!

The 1968 feature film comedy With Six You Get Eggroll served as actress-singer Doris Day’s cinematic swan song.  Dodo would turn her attention to television after Eggroll’s release, with a successful sitcom that aired over CBS-TV from 1968 to 1973.  Not many people are aware, however, that Eggroll’s plot—two widowed individuals with children from their previous marriages who form a “blended” family by tying the knot—was based on a novel. The book was co-authored by a veteran thespian who enjoyed a lengthy career in movies and on radio as an actor and singer.  His name was Paul Dubov, and he was born on this date in the Windy City in 1918.

Paul Dubov’s movie career couldn’t have blossomed at a busier studio. He became a contract player at Universal in the 1930s. The IMDb notes that his motion picture debut was an uncredited role in 1938’s Little Tough Guy, but he soon worked his way up to credited appearances in such programmers as North to the Klondike (1942) and Girls’ Town (1942), followed by Escape from Hong Kong, Danger in the Pacific, and The Boss of Big Town.  Serial fans got a glimpse of Paul in The Adventures of Smilin’ Jack and Don Winslow of the Coast Guard.  The more celebrated flicks that Paul had a hand in include The Set-Up (1949), Champion (1949), Young Man with a Horn (1950), Triple Trouble (1950), The Killer That Stalked New York (1950), Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), High Noon (1952), The Sniper (1952), Kansas City Confidential (1952), I, the Jury (1953), Abbott & Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955), and Cell 2455, Death Row (1955).

Paul Dubov was most prolific in the aural medium, emoting early in his career on such shows as The Eternal Light, Great Plays, I Sustain the Wings, The Lux Radio Theatre, and Plays for Americans.  Dubov would take over for actor Tom Collins (after 22 episodes) on The Adventures of Frank Race, a syndicated 1949-50 program about an attorney who became something of a globetrotter after the end of WW2.  Paul also appeared a few times on the post-Jack Webb reboot of Jeff Regan, Investigator and even filled in for star Frank Graham on occasion.

Paul Dubov’s radio resume includes appearances on the likes of The Adventures of Phillip Marlowe, Amos ‘n’ Andy, Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator, Broadway’s My Beat, Dangerous Assignment, Escape, Family Theatre, The First Nighter Program, Gunsmoke, The Hallmark Hall of Fame, Hallmark Playhouse, Hollywood Sound Stage, Hollywood Star Theatre, Inheritance, I Was a Communist For the FBI, Mike Malloy, The NBC Star Playhouse, The NBC University Theatre, Night Beat, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Rogers of the Gazette, Romance, The Roy Rogers Show, Screen Directors’ Playhouse, The Silent Men, The Story of Dr. Kildare, Tales of the Texas Rangers, The Whisperer, The Whistler, Wild Bill Hickok, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, and You Were There.  Dubov was a radio man till the last dying days of the Golden Age (Fort Laramie, Suspense, Have Gun – Will Travel) and even worked to revive the medium with The Hollywood Radio Theatre in the 1970s.

Toward the end of the 1950s, Paul Dubov kept busy appearing in a great quantity of drive-in theatre fodder, with appearances in such programmers as Day the World Ended (1955), The She-Creature (1956), Shake, Rattle & Rock! (1956), and Voodoo Woman (1957).  Fans of cult movie director Samuel Fuller know Paul quite well; Dubov worked in six of Fuller’s films: China Gate (1957), Forty Guns (1957), Verboten! (1959), The Crimson Kimono (1959), Underworld U.S.A. (1961), and Shock Corridor (1963).  Of course, Paul also found himself welcome on the small screen: his TV show appearances include The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Millionaire, The Ann Sothern Show, 77 Sunset Strip, The Untouchables, The Danny Thomas Show, Hawaiian Eye, and Peter Gunn, to name just a few.

With his marriage to Gwen Bagni in 1963, however, Paul Dubov was able to explore new avenues in TV.  The pair collaborated on scripts for such shows as The Green Hornet, The Felony Squad, and Burke’s Law, and on that last program introduced the character of Honey West (played by Anne Francis), who was spun off into a detective series in the fall of 1965.  Dubov and Bagni would later go on to script the miniseries Backstairs at the White House in 1979, which earned them an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special.  Paul’s last TV project was a posthumous one; he passed on before Shirley, an hour-long family drama starring Partridge Family matriarch Shirley Jones, premiered on NBC in the fall of 1979 for a season’s run.

On the occasion of Paul Dubov’s natal anniversary, Radio Spirits invites you to check out one of his signature shows: our Jeff Regan, Investigator collection of Stand By for Mystery.  You can also hear Paul on several of our Gunsmoke sets (Flashback, Killers & Spoilers, The Round-Up, Snakebite), owing to the fact that he was one of Norman Macdonnell’s go-to performers—on Fort Laramie (Volume 1 and 2) and The Adventures of Philip Marlowe (Lonely Canyons, Night Tide, Sucker’s Road), too. Rounding our Dubov showcases: Escape (Peril), Have Gun – Will Travel (Bitter Vengeance), Night Beat (Human Interest), Richard Diamond, Private Detective (Dead Man, Homicide Made Easy), and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (The Many Voices of…, Mysterious Matters, Murder Matters, Expense Account Submitted, Fabulous Freelance, Wayward Matters).  Happy birthday, Paul!

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