David Anthony was the author pseudonym of motion-picture story executive William Dale Smith. His first book as David Anthony, The Midnight Lady and the Mourning Man, introduced the character of Morgan Butler, an ex-Marine turned sleuth who reappeared in the novels Blood on a Harvest Moon (1972) and The Long Hard Cure (1979). He also created the detective character Stan Bass, who was featured in the books The Organization (1970) and Stud Game (1979). Bass was a professional gambler from California who worked as a private investigator to finance his "real" profession; Morgan Butler and The Midnight Lady and the Mourning Man, by contrast, drew heavily from its setting and character details, which drew on Smith's personal background in West Virginia and elements of his experiences as a United States Marine during the Korean War. That book was later adapted into the movie The Midnight Man at Universal, co-directed by Burt Lancaster and Roland Kibbee, and starring Lancaster and Susan Clark. Smith also contributed significantly to suspense and mystery cinema under his own name, as a studio executive.