On April 28, 1930, the late Edward Stratemeyer, the man responsible for The Hardy Boys, also created their counterpart: Nancy Drew.
Living in the town of River Heights, Nancy works as a “part-time investigator” sometimes on behalf of her attorney father Carson if the clients are innocent or whenever a mystery intrigues her and baffles everyone – including the police. Together with friends like George and boyfriend Ned, Nancy Drew is always on the case.
The character has been notably known on the small screen with The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries on ABC (1977-79) with future Dynasty star Pamela Sue Martin in the latter role. During its first season, the show alternated episodes between the characters with a separate mystery every week. However, by the second season, the show focused more on The Hardy Boys with Nancy Drew joining them from time to time as a recurring character.
Martin left the series and was replaced by actress Janet Julian, who played the character for three more episodes, and the show was renamed The Hardy Boys Mysteries for its final season. Other actresses who took over on the covet role includes future Psych star Maggie Lawson in a 2002 ABC movie, and Julia Roberts’ nephew Emma in a 2007 big-screen summer adaptation, and a sequel is currently in production that is set for release later this year or next year.
The character has also paved the way for the cool, cult series Veronica Mars (2004-07) with Kristen Bell in the title role.
Nancy Drew has been hailed and praised as a symbol of feminine heroism, for she wasn’t the love interest for the male protagonist as well as the damsel in distress in need of saving. Some said that she has been the inspiration of several real-life women like Sandra Day O’Connor, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush.
Nancy Drew still remains the original “Girl Detective”.