CBC Digital Archives

Hardy Boys author Leslie McFarlane in conversation

To young detectives worldwide, he was known under the pseudonyms Carolyn Keene, Roy Rockwood and most famously Franklin W. Dixon author of The Hardy Boys series. Author Leslie McFarlane, who passed away on Sept. 6, 1977, was one of the most successful Canadian writers of all time. Working for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, he penned 21 volumes of The Hardy Boys, initiated The Dana Girls series and wrote seven Dave Fearless novels. In this interview with CBC Radio's Peter Gzowski, he discusses his career as Canada's best-selling author.

• McFarlane passed away on Sept. 6, 1977 in Whitby, Ontario.

• Readers around the world have bought millions of copies of The Hardy Boys series which chronicles the adventures of teenage detectives Frank and Joe Hardy. The boys solve mysteries at home and abroad with both humour and smarts.

• McFarlane's last Hardy Boys novel The Phantom Freighter was written in 1946. While authorship was largely credited to McFarlane, the book was in fact written by his wife Amy McFarlane.

• McFarlane was nominated for an Academy Award for scripting the documentary drama Herring Hunt in 1953. He also worked in Hollywood as a writer for the television show Bonanza before returning to Canada where he worked on documentaries and comedies for the CBC.

• Aside from his work as The Hardy Boys author, McFarlane penned four novels, 100 novelettes, 200 short stories, 75 television scripts. He also produced, directed and wrote 50 films for the National Film Board.
• McFarlane's son Brian, a former commentator for Hockey Night in Canada, learned at age 10 that his father was the author of The Hardy Boys. He recalled that it was akin to learning that his father was Santa Claus.


Medium: Radio
Program: This Country in the Morning
Broadcast Date: Oct. 7, 1972
Guest(s): Leslie McFarlane
Host: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 14:57
Photo Credit: Haileybury Heritage Museum

Last updated: March 10, 2014

Page consulted on March 10, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Antonine Maillet, Acadian Avenger

"I have avenged my ancestors," said author Antonine Maillet in 1979 with the publication of he...

1913: Author Robertson Davies born

Literary great Robertson Davies reflects on being Canadian, writing and life at Massey College...

Leonard Cohen: Canada's Melancholy Bard

Poet, musician, novelist, ladies' man, monk, actor... Leonard Norman Cohen, one of Canada's mo...

Author Lawrence Hill meets the Queen

Writer Lawrence Hill meets Queen Elizabeth when The Book of Negroes wins the 2008 Commonwealth...

Lawrence Hill on The Book of Negroes

On the eve of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, Lawrence Hill talks about his...

Withenshaw in the Lion's Den (in French)

Anne-Marie Withenshaw gets in on a media buzz around Michel Tremblay (from Radio-Canada).