William O'Farrell was born William Buchanan Farrell in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 24, 1904, moving with his family to Pittsburgh in 1915. At age 16 he dropped out of school to work on the Pittsburgh Post, then in 1922 began traveling around Europe, eventually becoming a Merchant Seaman. Around 1936, O'Farrell settled in Santa Monica where he first became an actor before turning to writing. He is best known for the 1942 novel Repeat Performance, which was filmed in 1947, but he also wrote for TV shows such as Perry Mason, Thriller and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. O'Farrell won an Edgar in 1959 for his short story, "Over There, Darkness" which was turned into an Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode starring Bette Davis. He died in Los Angeles on March 27, 1962.
- Repeat Performance
- "O'Farrell can write. He can put across a bitchy theatrical milieu and a seedy flophouse with equal aplomb…a well-crafted tale."—Dan Stumpf, Mystery*File. Black Gat #33. August 2021.
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