Silverstone Mansion - Luxurious estate on the
dramatic anthology THE MILLIONAIRE/CBS/1955-60. Silverstone was the 60,000 acre
estate of the faceless multi-billionaire John Beresford Tipton, whose
eccentricities included giving away tax-free cashier checks in the sum of one
Tipton's love of chess inspired him to give away fortunes and then observe
the results of his intervention. With the assistance of his personal male
secretary, Michael Anthony (Marvin Miller), he dispensed his money with but one
stipulation...that no attempt be made to find out who their benefactor was or
the remaining money would be forfeited. During the life of the series, the
"Millionaire" gave away more than seventy million dollars .The most anyone ever
saw of this eccentric character was the back of his head or a waving arm or two.
His deep, rich voice which weekly said, "our next millionaire" was supplied by
[Marvin Miller as Michael
Anthony seated behind a desk]
"Hello, My name is Michael
Anthony. And until his death, I was executive secretary to John Beresford
Tipton, a multi-billionaire who had the strange hobby of giving away one
million dollars. One million dollars, tax-free! to an individual who had
never met him-who indeed had never heard of him."
[Scenes of Bereford's
luxurious mansion are shown as Michael Anthony continues]
"This is SILVERSTONE, John
Beresford Tipton's 60,000 acre estate. Mr. Tipton was a man of amazingly
wide interests. So wide that one never knew what to expect when called
into his presence."
[enter Michael Anthony]
"You sent for me, Sir?"
[As Michael Anthony
entered the room, Mr. Tipton was always seated with his back to the
camera. The audience never saw his face but only heard a deep voice which
explained who would be the next recipient of the tax-free million dollar
check. The voice of this faceless benefactor was Paul Frees. Tipton once
said: "You know Mike, these chessmen were the first luxury I ever allowed
myself...I decided to make my hobby a chess game with human beings...I'm
going to chose a number of people for my chessmen and give each a million
dollars...the bank (Gotham City Trust and Savings Bank) will issue the
check...no one is to ever know that I am the donor...I want a complete
record of what happens to each person's life in writing."]
TRIVIA NOTE: John Beresford Tipton's name was a composite of producer Don Fedderson's home town, his wife's home town and his lawyer's first name.
Paul Frees provided Tipton's voice.
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