Philip Marlowe

Fictional Detective

Born: c. 1939
Best known as: The hard-boiled hero of Farewell, My Lovely and other novels

Philip Marlowe is perhaps the most famous fictional detective and icon from the "hard-boiled" school of mystery writing. The creation of author Raymond Chandler, Philip Marlowe is a private detective with his own practice in Los Angeles (where Raymond Chandler himself had lived). Marlowe is a smart and tough lone wolf with a sense of honor: he won't take divorce cases, doesn't like being pushed around, amuses himself at night with old chess problems, and never gives up on a mystery. Marlowe appears in seven complete novels by Chandler, beginning with The Big Sleep (published 1939) and ending with Playback (1958). Various TV and radio series also featured the Philip Marlowe character, though they were not written by Chandler. A Marlowe novel left unfinished at Chandler's death, Poodle Springs, was finished by mystery writer Robert B. Parker and published in 1989.

Extra credit:

In the movies, Philip Marlowe was most famously played by Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep (1946), and by Robert Mitchum in Farewell, My Lovely (1975) and The Big Sleep (1978)… He was also played by James Garner in the 1969 film Marlowe, which co-starred Bruce Lee.

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