Jack Johnstone went on to have a varied career in radio but is probably best remembered as the producer, director and writer of the highly successful detective drama, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
The show actually ran from 1948 until 1962 and had originally planned to star Dick Powell as Johnny Dollar. Instead, Powell went to star in the series Richard Diamond and Charles Russell was cast as the first Johnny Dollar.
The show didn't begin with good reviews, but tried again and again until it succeeded. Dollar had an unlimited bank account and lived up to it all over the country, Whether it was investigating arson or stolen diamonds, Dollar was always in the thick of adventure.
Jack Johnstone both wrote, produced and directed Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar from 1955 when Bob Bailey took over the role as Dollar. It's said that he breathed life in to the old series and it now had 75 minutes of broadcast time each week. Johnstone made the characters the most important part of the show, rather than the case, and it resonated with the fans.
Jack Johnstone was also writer for the juvenile adventure series, The Adventures of Superman, based on the DC comic hero. In order to keep superman's identity secret those who discovered who he was were cleverly killed off by the writer. It was also one of the first radio series to address religious and racial intolerance.
Hollywood Star Playhouse, a drama anthology, was directed by Johnstone and starred such mega actors as James Stewart, Deborah Kerr, Harry Bartell and William Conrad. It was a series that brought suspense and drama to the radio with well-told stories.
Johnstone also had a hand in the musical variety and drama show, The Philip Morris Playhouse, first broadcast in 1939. Top Hollywood stars such as Vincent Price, Marlene Dietrich and Dan Dailey played roles in this popular radio series. Johnstone staged the drams in mid 1938 as Jack Johnstone's Dramas, and eventually the band and drama parts of the show were separated in to two shows that were broadcast on opposing networks.
Somebody Knows was a murder drama series taken from real life stories. Johnstone was the narrator director on the show, which ran from July until August of 1950. It was a summer replacement for the show Suspense. Somebody Knows was based on the premise that no murder is the perfect crime and that somebody knows who the murderer is. Listeners were invited to come forward with information and if a crime was actually solved on account of it they would be rewarded with $5000. However, one show based on Elizabeth Short, a 22 year old woman known as Black Dahlia who was mutilated in 1947, still remains a mystery.
Jack Johnstone had a long and rewarding career involved on many radio programs which can still be heard today.
He died in Santa Barbara at the age of 85 on November 16th, 1991 and was survived by his two daughters, Bonnie and Tony.