Known for movies

Short Info

DiedMarch 26, 1959, La Jolla, California, United States
SpouseCissy Pascal
MarkSpecialised in hard-boiled crime noir.
FactWas of Irish descent and spent many summers in Waterford, Ireland.
PaymentsEarned $2,500 a week for five weeks from Strangers on a Train (1951)

Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 23, 1888, the son of an English immigrant from Somerset and an American from Massachusetts. His parents divorced when he was seven, and he was raised by his mother in England. He returned to the United States in 1907 and attended Dulwich College, a private school in Los Angeles. After graduation, he worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

In 1912, Chandler began working as a clerk for the Dabney Oil Company. He was later promoted to bookkeeper and then to accountant. He quit in 1917 to join the U.S. Army, serving in France during World War I. After the war, he returned to the Dabney Oil Company and married Cissy Pascal, a co-worker. The couple had one child, a daughter named Julie.

In 1923, Chandler quit his job at the oil company and began writing fiction. His first published story, “Blackmailers Don’t Shoot,” appeared in Black Mask magazine in 1933. Chandler became one of the most popular writers of detective fiction with his novels The Big Sleep (1939) and Farewell, My Lovely (1940). His hard-boiled style and use of slang influenced many other writers, including Ross Macdonald and Robert B. Parker.

Chandler’s marriage to Cissy Pascal ended in divorce in 1935. He married Helen Henshaw in 1942, and the couple remained together until Chandler’s death in 1959.

Chandler died of pneumonia on March 26, 1959, at the age of 70.

General Info

Full NameRaymond Chandler
DiedMarch 26, 1959, La Jolla, California, United States
ProfessionAuthor, Screenwriter, Novelist
EducationDulwich College


SpouseCissy Pascal
ParentsMaurice Chandler, Florence Chandler


AwardsEdgar Award for Best Novel
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
MoviesDouble Indemnity, The Big Sleep, Murder, My Sweet, The Blue Dahlia, The Long Goodbye, Strangers on a Train, Lady in the Lake, The Brasher Doubloon, The Falcon Takes Over, Time to Kill, Farewell, My Lovely, Marlowe, The Unseen, Morning Patrol, And Now Tomorrow
TV ShowsPhilip Marlowe

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Specialised in hard-boiled crime noir.


Strangers on a Train (1951)$2,500 a week for five weeks
The Big Sleep (1946)$10,000 for screen rights
The Unseen (1945)$1,000 @week
Murder, My Sweet (1944)$2,000 for screen rights
Time to Kill (1942)$2,000 for screen rights


1[on Hollywood] They don't want you until you have made a name, and by the time you have made a name, you have developed some kind of talent they can't use. All they will do is spoil it, if you let them.
2[writing tip] When in doubt have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.
3[on Hollywood] Wonderful what Hollywood will do to a nobody. It will make a radiant glamor queen out of a drab little wench who ought to be ironing a truck driver's shirts, a he-man hero with shining eyes and a brilliant smile reeking of sexual charm out of some overgrown kid who was meant to go to work with a lunch-box.
4[on writers] They live over-strained lives in which far too much humanity is sacrificed to far too little art.
5[on writing] Don't ever write anything you don't like yourself and if you do like it, don't take anyone's advice about changing it. They just don't know.
6I see [Marlowe] always in a lonely street, in lonely rooms, puzzled but never quite defeated.
7[line assigned to private eye, Philip Marlowe] I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat, and a gun.
8[on author James M. Cain] Faugh! Everything he touches smells like a billy goat. He is every kind of writer I detest, a faux naif, a [Marcel Proust] in greasy overalls, a dirty boy with a piece of chalk.
9[letter to Howard Hunt on self-plagiarism allegation] I am the copyright owner. I can use my material in any way I see fit ... There is no moral or ethical issue involved.
10[on Ernest Hemingway] He never wrote but one story. All the rest is the same thing in different pants - or without different pants. And his eternal preoccupation with what goes on between the sheets becomes rather nauseating in the end. One reaches a time of life when limericks written on the walls of comfort stations are not just obscene, they are horribly dull. This man has only one subject and he makes that ridiculous.
11The Blue Dahlia (1946) wasn't a top-notch film by any means, largely because Veronica Lake couldn't play the love scenes and too much had to be discarded.
12The making of a motion picture is an endless contention of tawdry egos, almost none of them capable of anything more creative than credit stealing and self-promotion.
13Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid . . . He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.
14A good title is the title of a successful book.
15[on attending the Academy Awards for the first (and last) time, 1941] If you can get past those awful idiot faces on the bleachers outside the theater without a sense of the collapse of human intelligence, and if you can go out into the night and see half the police force of Los Angeles gathered to protect the golden ones from the mob in the free seats, but not from the awful moaning sound they give out, like destiny whistling through a hollow shell; if you can do these things and still feel the next morning that the picture business is worth the attention of one single, intelligent, artistic mind, then in the picture business you certainly belong because this sort of vulgarity, the very vulgarity from which the Oscars are made, is the inevitable price that Hollywood exacts from each of its serfs.
16Hollywood has all the personality of a paper cup.
17The motion picture is like a picture of a lady in a half-piece bathing suit. If she wore a few more clothes, you might be intrigued. If she wore no clothes at all, you might be shocked. But the way it is, you are occupied with noticing that her knees are too bony and that her toenails are too large. The modern film tries too hard to be real. Its techniques of illusion are so perfect that it requires no contribution from the audience but a mouthful of popcorn.
18I think a man ought to get drunk at least twice a year just on principle, so he won't let himself get snotty about it.
19Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't got the price of a television set.
20If my books had been any worse I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better I should not have come.


1Chandler derogatorily referred to Veronica Lake as "Moronica.".
2His wife Cissy was over seventeen years older than he was and was, to his embarrassment, sometimes thought by strangers to be his mother. Chandler was devoted to her and tried to commit suicide after her death.
3Attended Dulwich College in London, the same school attended by C.S. Forester and P.G. Wodehouse.
4He spent much of his childhood in London, England and became a British citizen in 1907. He did not regain his American citizenship until 1956.
5He was 50 years old when his first novel was published.
6Was of Irish descent and spent many summers in Waterford, Ireland.
7He gave up writing at the age of 22 after the suicide of his friend Richard Middleton. Chandler felt that, if someone as talented as Middleton couldn't make it, he didn't have a chance.
8Former journalist and oil executive. First started writing for the pulp magazine "Black Mask" magazine at the age of 45. He wrote the first of the seven novels that made him famous in 1939.
9He appears in a brief cameo in Double Indemnity (1944). Late in the film he can be seen seated in a chair outside Edward G. Robinson's mezzanine office as Fred MacMurray leaves.
10Like P.G. Wodehouse and Michael Ondaatje, he is one of the literary greats who were students at Dulwich College
11His final completed novel, "Playback" was originally written as a screenplay for Universal Studios. After paying him for it, Universal passed on shooting it, so Chandler converted it to a novel.
12Encouraged Ian Fleming to continue writing his James Bond novels in the mid 1950s by writing a few words of recommendation to Fleming's American publishers.
13Died midway through writing his last Philip Marlowe novel, "Poodle Springs," in 1959. More than three decades later, it was completed by Chandler admirer Robert B. Parker (author of the "Spenser" novels), and became a best-seller.
14Legendary detective novelist and occasional screenwriter. Created Philip Marlowe.
15Was in his early 40s before selling his first magazine story.



Double Indemnity1973TV Movie 1944 screenplay
The Long Goodbye1973novel "The Long Goodbye"
Marlowe1969novel "The Little Sister"
Storyboard1961TV Series short story - 1 episode
Philip MarloweTV Series character - 24 episodes, 1959 - 1960 creator - 2 episodes, 1959 - 1960
77 Sunset Strip1958TV Series screenplay - 1 episode
TV de Vanguarda1957TV Series 1 episode
Schlitz Playhouse1957TV Series story - 1 episode
Climax!TV Series story - 1 episode, 1954 novel - 1 episode, 1954
Lux Video Theatre1954TV Series previous screenplay - 1 episode
Studio One in Hollywood1951-1953TV Series story - 2 episodes
Strangers on a Train1951screen play
Nash Airflyte Theatre1951TV Series story - 1 episode
Robert Montgomery Presents1950TV Series novel - 1 episode
The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse1949TV Series story - 1 episode
The Brasher Doubloon1947novel "The High Window"
Lady in the Lake1947novel
The Big Sleep1946from the novel by
The Blue Dahlia1946written by
The Unseen1945
Murder, My Sweet1944novel
And Now Tomorrow1944screen play
Double Indemnity1944screenplay
Time to Kill1942novel "The High Window"
The Falcon Takes Over1942novel "Farewell, My Lovely"
Trouble Is My Businessbook abandoned
The Long Goodbye2014TV Mini-Series based on the novel by - 5 episodes
Marlowe2007TV Movie characters
Mazaný Filip2003character
Poodle Springs1998TV Movie book
Once You Meet a Stranger1996TV Movie screenplay "Stranger on a Train" / teleplay
Fallen AngelsTV Series based on a story by - 1 episode, 1995 based on a short story by - 1 episode, 1993
Morning Patrol1987excerpt
Philip Marlowe, Private EyeTV Series novels - 10 episodes, 1983 - 1986 story - 1 episode, 1986
Ich werde warten1982TV Movie novel
The Big Sleep1978novel
Farewell, My Lovely1975novel


Double Indemnity1944Man Reading Book Outside Keyes' Office (uncredited)


Mike Case in: The Big Kiss Off2013special thanks

Archive Footage

Ian Fleming & Raymond Chandler2006Video documentary shortHimself
The Great Detectives1999TV Series documentaryHimself
Omnibus1969TV Series documentaryHimself


Won Awards

1946EdgarEdgar Allan Poe AwardsBest Motion PictureMurder, My Sweet (1944)

Nominated Awards

1947OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, Original ScreenplayThe Blue Dahlia (1946)
1945OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, ScreenplayDouble Indemnity (1944)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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