The Millionaire, a television drama anthology series ( January 19, 1955—September 28, 1960), explored the ways unexpected wealth changed life for better or for worse. The show became a five-season hit thanks in large part to a twist that also made it a bit of a cult classic in the years that followed its life in the so-called "Golden Era" of U.S. television. The show centered around the stories of unknown people who were given, seemingly out of nowhere, one million dollars from a benefactor who insisted they never know him.
He was John Beresford Tipton, sketched as a semi-retired industrialist and shown obscured by one of his high-backed leather chairs, viewers seeing only his right arm as he reached for a cashier's check for one million dollars, each week, and handed it to his executive secretary, a mild-mannered, good-humored, but no-nonsense man named Michael Anthony. It was Anthony's job to travel and deliver that check to its intended recipient, staying only long enough to present the gift and then, customarily, leaving the recipient's life forever.