Suspense (1949)

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Suspense is an American television anthology series that ran on CBS Television from 1949 to 1954. It was adapted from the radio program of the same name which ran from 1942 to 1962. Like many early television programs, the show was broadcast live from New York City. It was sponsored by the Auto-Lite corporation, and each episode was introduced by host Rex Marshall, who promoted Auto-Lite spark plugs, car batteries, headlights, and other car parts.

Some of the early scripts were adapted from Suspense radio scripts, while others were original for television. Like the radio program, many scripts were adaptations of literary classics by well-known authors. Classic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Charles Dickens all had stories adapted for the series, while contemporary authors such as Roald Dahl and Gore Vidal also contributed. Many notable actors appeared on the program, including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Franchot Tone, Robert Emhardt, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, and many more.

The program was a live television series, but most episodes were recorded on kinescope. However, only about 90 of the 260 episodes survive today.

Series Cast

  1. Mildred Natwick as Nadia Demarest and Suspicious Woman

    Mildred Natwick

    Nadia Demarest, Suspicious Woman

    11 Episodes

  2. Anthony Ross as Albert, Andy Barnes, and Cruze

    Anthony Ross

    Albert, Andy Barnes, Cruze

    9 Episodes

  3. Eileen Heckart as Mrs. Haskell, Mollie, and Margaret Quartermain

    Eileen Heckart

    Mrs. Haskell, Mollie, Margaret Quartermain

    8 Episodes

  4. Conrad Janis as Sprad, Richard, and Tommy

    Conrad Janis

    Sprad, Richard, Tommy

    7 Episodes

  5. Royal Dano as Marvin the Push, Lucky, and Policeman

    Royal Dano

    Marvin the Push, Lucky, Policeman

    6 Episodes

  6. Cloris Leachman as Margaret Sou and Ruth Shaw

    Cloris Leachman

    Margaret Sou, Ruth Shaw

    6 Episodes

  7. Boris Karloff as Toff, Bronson, and Rasputin

    Boris Karloff

    Toff, Bronson, Rasputin

    6 Episodes

  8. Brian Keith as Johnny, Kip Caley, Idaho, and Lt. Jim Connor

    Brian Keith

    Johnny, Kip Caley, Idaho, Lt. Jim Connor

    6 Episodes

  9. William Prince as Cunningham

    William Prince


    5 Episodes

  10. View More

Full Cast & Crew

Last Season

Season 6

1953 • 51 Episodes

Season 6 of Suspense premiered on September 1, 1953.

Barn Burning

(6x51, August 17, 1954) Season Finale

View All Seasons



Status Ended


  • See more TV shows from CBS...

Type Scripted

Original Language English


Content Score 


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  • Created by credit
  • Regular cast members (4 or more)
  • Video

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