||Dan Farrell, played by Robert Stack
Dan Farrell, editor of Howard publications 'Crime' magazine was previously a top F.B.I. operative who was happily married to Lorraine and has a young daughter (who after her mother's death later lived with her grandmother). Farrell was tragically left a widower after Lorraine was accidentally shot dead after she accompanied Farrell in his car by chance when he was called to a rendezvous while out one night.
After several years the lack of progress into his wife's case later led to Farrell quitting the F.B.I. and he was given a chance to hone his literary skills by his publisher friend Glenn Howard whom he had met earlier in the course of his F.B.I. work. Farrell quickly proved his investigative reporter abilities and soon became editor of Howard's 'Crime' magazine, devoting his steadfast investigative skills to battling crime, chiefly organized crime and early on solving his wife's case. His tragic loss left Farrell a very serious rarely smiling character, a somewhat reserved yet amicable man with a sense of humor, and a brave and tireless devotion to battling crime who immersed himself deeply in his work
Farrell had a good working relationship with his boss Glenn Howard, plus his main assistant budding young reporter/photographer Joseph Sample, and also research girl Peggy Maxwell, whom he regarded with great fondness.
||Glenn Howard, played by Gene Barry
Glenn Howard was a self made millionaire, after military service he rose to become a top publisher founding his 'Howard Publications'. A powerful influential figure who moved in high business and political circles, Howard was member of a number of important leading committees,groups, and charities, and had influential international connections with branches of his publishing empire in London, Paris, Rome, and other countries.
Howard is also something of a 'playboy' figure in wealthy circles who despite his romancing of beautiful women nevertheless took his publishing empire duties very seriously, his magazines all noted for their great in depth investigations and balanced open reporting, Howard being known for his great sense of fairness and justice.
Howard 'headhunted' star reporter Jeff Dillon, installing him as crusading reporter of his new 'People' current affairs magazine, and recruited ex-F.B.I. man Dan Farrell to editor of his 'Crime' magazine. Howard also employed Dillon's top research girl Peggy Maxwell (whom Howard regards with care acting like a young uncle to her), assistant execs Andrew Hill, Ross Craig, and cub reporter Joseph Sample in addition to many other leading reporters, notably Paul Tyler, Lewis Corbett, and David Corey.
Howard was quick to employ talented women, his top investigative female reporter was Hilary Vanderman, with leading gossip columnist Halle Manville. Plus Howard had 'first refusal' on stories by top freelance newsmen like his old colleague Sam Hardy.
Howard, despite being of strong character, nevertheless made a few powerful enemies along the way, most notably senator Creston Collins and wealthy businessman Arthur Jellicoe, plus various others who bore an ongoing grudge against him
||Jeff Dillon, played by Anthony Franciosa
Jeff Dillon is a star reporter for Howard Publications. Dillon, with Italian/American ancestry, originally came from the tough streets of New York, and worked his way up from errand newsboy to become a 'known name' investigative leading reporter.
Following his early sixties re-location to the West Coast he became an award winning star reporter, having spent some time as a war correspondent in Vietnam, initially working for 'Fame' magazine for Janus publications, Dillon was two years later 'headhunted' by the millionaire publisher son of his old boss, his friend Glenn Howard who gave him lead reporter role with Howard's new current affairs based 'People' magazine, Dillon then working for Howard Publications.
With his deceptively boyish smile, charm and stylish appearance Dillon was also noted for his razor sharp attention to detail, crusading dogged determination and tireless pursuit to obtain a story. Dillon is not opposed to 'bending the law' to achieve his aims, even posing as a Police officer and other state officials on occasion where required.
A bachelor with an eye for the ladies, Dillon has an ongoing sharp jokey banter with his likewise boss Glenn Howard and a particularly strong bond with his research assistant Peggy Maxwell, and despite an often apparently flippant attitude towards her, is nevertheless extremely close to her.