In this hit 1950's TV series, a millionaire indulges himself giving away one million dollars apiece to persons that he has never met.




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Series cast summary:
 Michael Anthony (206 episodes, 1955-1960)
Paul Frees ...
 John Beresford Tipton / ... (206 episodes, 1955-1960)


John Beresford Tipton is a multi millionaire and among the things he does with his money is to give away a million dollars to people he doesn't know. So every week Tipton who is not seen, instructs his assistant, Michael Anthony to go bring the person he chose their check. And he asks them to sign an agreement not to tell anyone how they got the money. And we see how the recipients lives are changed. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

19 January 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

If You Had a Million  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(205 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As the series progressed:
  • $1,000,000 in 1955 had the same purchasing power as $8,713,000 in 2013.

  • $1,000,000 in 1956 had the same purchasing power as $8,588,000 in 2013.

  • $1,000,000 in 1957 had the same purchasing power as $8,307,000 in 2013.

  • $1,000,000 in 1958 had the same purchasing power as $8,085,000 in 2013.

  • $1,000,000 in 1959 had the same purchasing power as $8,010,000 in 2013.

  • $1,000,000 in 1960 had the same purchasing power as $7,890.000 in 2013.

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Version of If I Had a Million (1932) See more »

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User Reviews

Popular Fifties 'Formula' Show with a Message...
16 May 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

"The Millionaire" is a show unfairly forgotten, today; as popular in it's time as "Queen for a Day", "Private Secretary", and "Our Miss Brooks", it offered a premise that would serve as an inspiration for series as varied as "Magnum P.I,", "Fantasy Island", "Stairway to Heaven", and the current 'Reality TV' craze; top-notch casts in half-hour morality tales; and 'common sense' resolutions that would keep it an audience favorite for five seasons.

Produced for CBS by Don Fedderson Productions (who would also give America "My Three Sons" and "Family Affair"), an unseen millionaire (with obviously WAY too much free time), John Beresford Tipton (voiced by one of TV and film's best-known voice actors, Paul Frees), would dispatch his associate, the ever put-upon Michael Anthony (Marvin Miller, in his best-known role), carrying a tax-free cashier's check for a million dollars, made out to 'random' individuals, on condition that they never attempt to discover who sent it, or reveal where the money came from, except to their husband or wife.

With the frequently bemused Anthony as an observer, the new millionaires would run the gamut of possible scenarios, discovering, ultimately, that money can't buy happiness, but CAN provide a half-hour of frequently engrossing drama. Each episode would generally end with Anthony summarizing the recipient's 'lesson learned' to a satisfied Tipton.

With casts often featuring future 'stars', the series was wise without ever being overly 'preachy', with good direction and strong production values. Frequently lampooned by comedy shows of the period, "The Millionaire" ultimately would have the last laugh, outlasting most of them.

While an attempt to 'reinvent' the show would fail, in 1978, the original certainly qualifies as a TV 'classic'...

23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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