In his four decades as a professional writer, Frank Gruber turned out dozens of novels, most of them westerns and mysteries; he was also responsible for over 300 short stories. Gruber's first Hollywood experience came about when his story Death of a Champion was adapted for the screen in 1939. He then spent a few years laboring away in the Warner Bros. screenwriting mills, contributing to the scripts of such films as Northern Pursuit (1942) and Mask of Dimitros (1943). Other direct-to-screen credits include the 1946 Sherlock Holmes entries Terror by Night and Dressed to Kill. Among the many Frank Gruber novels converted into films were Backlash, The Big Land, Twenty Plus Two, The Oregon Trail and Town Tamer. In addition, he created the TV western series Tales of Wells Fargo and Shotgun Slade. Ever on the lookout for a bigger workload, Frank Gruber penned a TV Guide article in 1959--a year in which there were 32 westerns on the airwaves--demanding that networks schedule even more westerns.