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Simon Templar

Leslie Charteris created Simon Templar alias The Saint in Meet the Tiger in 1928. He was described as "a man of 27, tall, dark, keen-faced, deeply tanned, blue-eyed". He lived in a converted pill-box (which cost him £25 with a quarter mile of surrounding land) with a retainer called Orace. All we know about his history is that he was called Saint because of his initials (but Enter the Saint gave some details). His morning routine consisted of skipping energetically for 15 minutes, shadow-boxing for 5, sprinting to the cliff, climbing down 150 feet to the beach, swimming a quarter mile at racing speed, paddling back to cover the last 100 yards like a champion, sunbathing, then climbing back up the cliff. A bit like myself, really.
If Simon Templar was 27 in June 1928, he must have been born in the first half of 1901. Leslie Charteris (born 1907) later complained that it was a mistake to invent a hero older than himself.

Simon Templar has been pictured many different ways by different artists. Here are some of them:

Simon Templar and Hirondel
Simon Templar with his Hirondel from The Thriller 1929 (see a larger copy here)
Patricia Holm and Simon Templar
Simon Templar with Patricia Holm by Mike Roy 1948

Simon Templar by Sayre
Simon Templar by Lew Sayre (Lew Schwartz) 1948

Simon Templar with a beard
Simon Templar with a beard by John Spranger 1957
Simon Templar by Bruce Timm 1988
Simon Templar by Bruce Timm 1988

As book cover art:

Simon Templar 1943 Avon
1943 Avon

Simon Templar 1947 Avon
1947 Avon

Simon Templar 1949 Pan Books
1949 Pan
Simon Templar 1950 Pan
1950 Pan

Simon Templar 1952 Ward, Lock
1952 Ward, Lock

Simon Templar 1953 Avon
1953 Avon

Simon Templar 1957 Pan
1957 Pan

Simon Templar 1960 Pocket Books
1960 Pocket Books

Simon Templar 1976 Carroll & Graf
1976 Carroll & Graf

Simon Templar
c.1980 Charter

In comics:

Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art Simon Templar comic art

Terence De Marney
The first actor to portray Simon Templar on radio was British actor Terence de Marney (1908-1971) on Athlone Radio in 1940.


Edgar Barrier (1907-1964) was next, in America 1945 with NBC.


Brian Aherne (1902-1986) replaced Edgar when CBS took over the series later in 1945.

Vincent Price
From 1947 to 1950 Simon Templar was played by Vincent Price (1911-1993) on American Radio.

Barry Sullivan
When Price gave up temporarily in 1950, the 1950-51 series also starred Barry Sullivan (1912-1994) for 2 episodes.

Tom Conway
and then Tom Conway (1904-1967) (brother of screen Saint George Sanders) in 1951.

Larry Dobkin
Tom Conway was too drunk to play in one 1951 episode, so Larry Dobkin (1919-2002) (who usually played taxi driver Louis) stepped into the role that once.

Tom Meehan
From 1953-57 Simon Templar was portrayed on South African radio by Tom Meehan (1916-2003).

Felix Marten
In 1951 Félix Paul Gabriel Marten (1919-1992) played Simon Templar in the French film Le Saint Mène La Danse (The Saint Leads the Dance) which was very loosely based on the Leslie Charteris short story, Palm Springs, from The Saint Goes West. Leslie hated it and refused to let it be released in the Americas.

Paul Rhys
Paul Rhys (1963-) played the Saint for BBC Radio 4 in 1995.
Leslie Charteris as Simon Templar In 1941 Life magazine asked Leslie Charteris to write a whodunnit to be used as a 'photographic essay'. Leslie agreed on condition that he could play Simon Templar in the strip. Here he is, complete with the monocle that he affected at the time. The story was titled The Saint Goes West and was later written up as Palm Springs to be included in The Saint Goes West book.

Simon Templar has been played on the Silver Screen by

Louis Hayward Saint in New York
Louis Hayward 1938

George Sanders as the Saint
George Sanders 1938

Hugh Sinclair The Saint Meets the Tiger
Hugh Sinclair 1943


Félix Marten 1960 (Yugoslavian poster)


and of course Val Kilmer 1997.

Simon Templar was portrayed on television by:

Roger Moore as Simon Templar monochrome series
Roger Moore 1962-1965 in 71 monochrome episodes
Ian Ogilvy as Simon Templar in Return of The Saint
Ian Ogilvy made 24 episodes in 1978 (two episodes were combined in 1980 to create 90-minute video/TV movie The Saint and the Brave Goose).
Simon Dutton as Simon Templar in Return of The Saint
Simon Dutton starred in six two-hour TV movies in 1989.
James Purefoy
July 2010: Scottish actor Dougray Scott has revealed that he has been cast in a new version of The Saint.

Roger Moore as Simon Templar colour series
.........and 1966 - 1969 in 47 colour episodes
Andrew Clarke as Simon Templar
and in 1987 Australian soap star Andrew Clarke starred as Simon Templar in a one-hour pilot episode of The Saint in Manhattan. Aired by CBS in USA it failed to wow the watchers and was abandoned.
James Purefoy
British actor James Purefoy was to play Simon Templar in a two-hour pilot for US television. As part of his preparation for the role he purchased a copy of Meet the Tiger from me! However, I now (July 2008) hear that he won't be playing him.

May 2011 - Is it James Purefoy after all?
January 2013 - No - it's looking like English actor Adam Rayner
Adam Rayner
so click here for a trailer to prove it.


In a 1990 Saint Club Magazine Leslie Charteris set a worldwide test: "Are you a Saintly Mastermind?" *
This is what he wrote in the following issue:

"Two competitors tied for the second place (imaginary) silver halo. They were J Martin of Galashiels in sunny Scotland who simply skipped question 9. And Daniel Bodenheimer of Santa Cruz, California [webmaster of the Official Saint website]: who unaccountably fudged question 2. The outright winner of the gold, which unfortunately is much too expensive for us, is Peter Dunn of Northamptonshire in good old England with a perfect score of 10/10."

The prize was a Saint book. On the right is what was inscribed in the front. And no, it's not for sale!

So, as a Saintly Mastermind I know a thing or three about the books. What I am offering here is a an ebook written by me which contains (nearly) all I know about the books. It is basically my notes made over the last 40 years or so converted to an ebook and is an invaluable reference guide to The Saint books.

In it you will find

This is published as a .pdf file which can be read on any PC or printed off with acrobat reader, available free on the internet. I will send the buyer the book on a cd-rom or a download link. No more wondering whether it's a first edition you have.

This is your chance to know all there is to know about the Saint books. There is at least one page of content per book, but for some books there are two or more pages.

New edition enlarged to include more biographical details, covers of foreign editions etc.

It costs £5.99 to download from the web, but because it is so large it could take a long time to download on a slow link.
It costs £6.99 on cdrom to anywhere in the World.
Click here for a taster of the first few pages.
Here is some of my 100% feedback from ebay buyers of the original version of this book:

Positive Feedback Received It is worth like two positive feedbacks! 

Positive Feedback Received The definitive overview of the Saintly writings! A super seller! A++++++++++++

Positive Feedback Received Peter's "History of the Saint books" is a most wonderful labour of love.

Positive Feedback Received An Absolutely Stunning Item. Exactly As Described And Well Packaged !!!!!!!!!!!!

Positive Feedback Received brill. item from a brill. seller, thanks.

Positive Feedback Received faster than local pizza delivery and from the UK!! great seller, awesome product

Positive Feedback Received Saint fans have a great resource here!

Positive Feedback Received A real gem of an item; seller has all the Saint items you desire! I like mine!

Positive Feedback Received Amazing speed of delivery. Item as described. Excellent Many thanks A1+

 Positive Feedback ReceivedGreat!! I like this item!! Thank you...

Positive Feedback Received an good example for every seller should be standard thanks Peter

Positive Feedback Received happy to have this ! fast shipping ! thank uou ! AAA+++

Positive Feedback Received EXCELLENTº¤ø,¸¸,ø¤ºGREATº¤ø,¸¸¸,ø¤ºTHANKSº¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º

Positive Feedback Received Good reading from a good guy and a great eBayer - A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Positive Feedback Received as described! excellent service!

Positive Feedback Received Great item-Good price **A+ ebayer


Buy it here now
Download link or CDROM

Unsolicited testimonial on new version:
Thanks for Saint e book [pdf] .
i am most impressed and cannot fail to compliment you on this fine work / and so easy to Download and read.   Regards  ian