Earl Derr Biggers

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Earl Derr Biggers (August 24, 1884 – April 5, 1933) was an American novelist and playwright. He is remembered primarily for adaptations of his novels, especially those featuring the Chinese-American detective Charlie Chan.



The son of Robert J. and Emma E. (Derr) Biggers, Earl Derr Biggers was born in Warren, Ohio, and graduated from Harvard University in 1907. Many of his plays and novels were made into movies. He was posthumously inducted into the Warren City Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.[1]

His novel Seven Keys to Baldpate led to seven films of the same title and at least two with different titles (House of the Long Shadows, Haunted Honeymoon) but essentially equivalent plots. George M. Cohan adapted the novel as an occasionally revived stage play of the same name. Cohan starred in the 1917 film version (one of his rare screen appearances) and the film version he later wrote (released in 1935) is perhaps the best known of the seven film versions.

Biggers lived in San Marino, California, and died in a Pasadena, California, hospital after suffering a heart attack in Palm Springs, California.

The Charlie Chan series

Other works

  • Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913)
  • Love Insurance (1914)
  • Inside the Lines (1915) (with Robert Welles Ritchie)
  • The Agony Column (1916) (also published as Second Floor Mystery)
  • Fifty Candles (1926)
  • Earl Derr Biggers Tells Ten Stories (short stories) (1933)

External links

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