Following the death of his wife when Nancy was three, Carson hired housekeeper Hannah Gruen to work for him and look out for Nancy. His sister, Eloise, did consider staying for a time, but went back to New York after Hannah was hired.
Carson is proud of his daughter's natural gift to solve mysteries. He often helps Nancy with her detective work, giving her information and clues to help her solve the mystery. Many of Nancy's cases come from Carson, or people he knows. Due to his profession and status, he is quite often kidnapped by enemies, requiring Nancy to rescue him.
In both versions of The Hidden Staircase, Carson is kidnapped by Nathan Gomber. Gomber keeps Carson in his home, where Nancy rescues him.
In The Mystery of the Tolling Bell, Carson disappears in Maine, forcing Nancy to have to go there and find him.
When the series originally began, Carson was portrayed as an older, more feeble character, who walked with a cane. He was also a bit more cantankerous than in the revisions. Following the death of his wife, he taught Nancy to be an independent, self-reliant young woman. He also seems a much more progressive for his time, giving the teenaged Nancy a car (as many women of the day did not learn to drive) and freedom to solve her cases. Carson also often works with Nancy to solve her cases, often giving her advice and helpful information.
In the revision process, Carson became a more youthful and handsome character, who kept his cool at all times and allowed his daughter boundless freedom. As such, the two rarely argue, and often get along. He also begins to use his professional and personal connections and privileges more often to help Nancy. Other than a few minor changes, Carson has kept this main personality since.
In media portrayal, Carson is often portrayed as a more patrician and authoritarian figure than in the books. John Litel and Tate Donovan's portrayals especially highlighted a Carson who disapproves of Nancy's sleuthing. William Schallert's portrayal in the 1970s television series is often cited as more of a truthful portrayal to the Carson of the books.
|1938||Nancy Drew: Detective (film)||John Litel|
|1939||Nancy Drew: Reporter (film)|
|Nancy Drew: Trouble Shooter (film)|
|Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (film)|
|1977-78||The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (TV series)||William Schallert|
|2002||Nancy Drew (TV film)||Brett Cullen|
|2005||Nancy Drew: Secret of the Old Clock (Video game)||Dennis Reagan|
|2007||Nancy Drew (film)||Tate Donovan|
|2011||Nancy Drew: Alibi in Ashes (Video game)||Ken Boynton|
|2013||Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy (Video game)|
|2019||Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase||Sam Trammell|
|Nancy Drew (TV series)||Scott Wolf|