John Doe is a single man who has lived an interesting and private life. He looks as plain as a man can be. He would easily blend into any crowd. A young woman even commented he looks mousy. He could pass for a priest.
John has no permanent home; Mr. Doe goes where ever his occupation takes him. He has never been married or had a romantic relationship with a woman in memory. Friends are none in his line of work. He probably has only one acquaintance, his handler.
One morning at breakfast, a situation arose and a married woman entered his love empty existence. John Doe is a very determined man and he always repays his debts.
The Suspense episode, “A Thing of Beauty,” tells of a beautiful London stage actress of yesteryear named Madeleine Tremaine. As the story begins, Madeleine is a recluse who accepts no visitors other than the local vicar, Father Benson. He is soon to retire and Father Benson wants Mr. Sedley, the new curate, to continue to counsel her. So, he has brought Mr. Sedley with him on his fortnightly visit to Madeleine.
They arrive at her house during a thunderstorm and sit with her in a darkened parlor. As she reminisces about her career, she tells them about her first stage role. Though she had a small part, Madeleine had upstaged the lead actress, Nell Garrett, too many times by showing off her ankles and performing other distracting “gutter antics” during Nell’s scenes. It had all led to a confrontation with Nell Garrett in which Madeleine received a smack in the face. Later that same night, Nell Garrett was found with a knife in her back.
Suspense aired “A Thing of Beauty” twice. The first time, June Duprez starred as Madeleine. Herbert Rawlinson, and John McIntire also appeared. The radioplay was adapted from a story by Elizabeth Hiestand and written by Robert L. Richards. Produced and directed by William Spier, this episode aired on December 28, 1944.
The second time this episode was performed it starred Angela Lansbury as Madeleine. Hans Conried and Cathy Lewis also appeared. The second version includes a few script changes but the story is the same. It aired on May 29, 1947.