Wade and his high-school chum Bill Miller (1920-1961) wrote their first collaborative novel, Deadly Weapon (Farrar Straus, 1946), as “Wade Miller,” featuring Lt. Austin Clapp of the San Diego Police Department. Their second novel, Guilty Bystander (Farrar Straus, 1947), was the first novel that features San Diego private eye Max Thursday. The last Thursday novel was Shoot to Kill (Farrar Straus, 1951). Under the Wade Miller and Whit Masterson pseudonyms, they also wrote non-series novels such as All Through the Night (Dodd Mead, 1955), the basis of the 1956 movie A Cry in the Night starring Natalie Wood and Raymond Burr; and Badge of Evil (Dodd Mead, 1956), which was turned into the 1958 Orson Welles film Touch of Evil. After Miller died in 1961, Wade authored 11 standalones by himself using the Masterson pen-name and his own name until 1979. He started his book-reviewing column, “Spadework,” in 1977 and continued until 2011 for The San Diego Union-Tribune. He received the 1988 Eye Award for his lifetime achievement from the Private Eye Writers of America.Wade was 92 years old at the time of his death.
* * *We also bid a fond farewell to Alex Karras, the Detroit Lions defensive tackle turned actor, who died this morning at age 77.
Over the course of his screen career, Karras appeared in the western-movie parody Blazing Saddles (1974) and Blake Edwards’ wonderful Victor Victoria (1982), as well as McMillan & Wife, M*A*S*H, and the TV mini-series Centennial. During the 1980s, Karras starred with his wife, Susan Clark, in the small-screen sitcom Webster.
CNN-TV reports that Karras perished after “a battle with kidney disease, heart disease, dementia and stomach cancer.”
READ MORE: “Alex Karras: The Guardian Obituary,” by Michael Carlson (Irresistible Targets).