Born: Established: 8 Apr 1906 Parkside Unley area Adelaide - South / South East Adelaide South Australia ; Died: Ceased: 2 Nov 1954 Mosman Cremorne - Mosman - Northbridge area Sydney Northeastern Suburbs Sydney New South Wales
Max Afford worked as a reporter and feature writer at the Adelaide News and Mail from 1929-1934. In 1935 he joined Radio 5DN as a producer and continuity manager.
In 1936 his play 'William Light - the Founder' won the South Australian Centenary Drama Competition. The same year saw him move to Sydney, where he worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for five years before becoming a freelance and prolific writer of fiction and radio plays, gaining enormous popularity as a serial writer. 'Hagen's Circus' (1941), for example, ran for 800 episodes. Between 1929 and 1954 he wrote more than sixty radio and stage plays and radio serials. Most of these remain unpublished, but some of his plays are included in the posthumous selection Mischief in the Air (1974). His film scripts include 'Smithy' (1944), about the aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.
Afford's 'Flail of God' was the first drama by an Australian playwright to be broadcast on Australian radio (19 July 1932), and his stage play 'Lady in Danger', although it was not well received there, was the first Australian play produced on Broadway (1945). His success as a radio play writer has been attributed to his mastery of radio drama techniques as well as to his exciting plots and realistic characterisation. As well as the plays he also published six detective novels. Their central character, the detective Jeffery Blackburn, also featured in a number of his radio plays, but with a somewhat different background.
A chain smoker, Afford died of cancer at the age of 48.