By Mrs. Elisabeth Ness
His widow tells of the man who was a legend in his lifetime, long before “The Untouchables” took to air
Much has been written about my husband since the great success of the ABC television program, The Untouchables. Because very little of it has been written by those who knew him, TV Gide thought you might be interested in what I could tell you about him.
I recieve many letters and phone calls from fans of the program. The letters from the young fans I enjoy the most. They are sincere, charming. They give me the good feeling that they have found more in the series than entertainment.
The most usual question concerns its truth. Is the program fact or fiction? What was Eliot Ness really like? Was he like Robert Stack?
I am very happy about Mr. Stack’s interpretation of the role. He has the same quietness of voice, the same gentle quality that characterized Eliot. At times, even Stack’s small mannerisms are similar. He smiles less, but Mr. Stack has been given less to laugh at than Eliot found in real life.
It has been explained before in this magazine how the first two-part show on television was based on Eliot’s actual experiences in Chicago soon after he graduated from the University of Chicago. The excitement of that true story, the excellence of the production, the superb casting brought us the well-deserved Emmy Awards and the weekly show.
I like the program and I wouldn’t miss it, even though I no longer know what it will be about. It is fiction, the stories are not of what Eliot was doing at that time. But since they are, in spirit, the same – the enforcement of law and order, the fights against exploitation of the law-abiding members of society, the hunting down of criminals – Eliot’s admirers should not feel let down. Read More