Raymond Burr

Born May 21, 1917

Raymond William Stacey Burr was a Canadian actor, primarily known for his title roles in the television dramas Perry Mason and Ironside. His early acting career included roles on Broadway, radio, television and in film, usually as the villain. He won two Emmy Awards in 1959 and 1961 for the role of Perry Mason, which he played for nine seasons between 1957 and 1966.… Read More

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1917 Birth Born on May 21, 1917.


1937 20 Years Old In 1937, Burr began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse.
1940 23 Years Old At various times in his career, Burr and his managers offered spurious or unverifiable biographical details to the press and public. These included a 1940 marriage to a Scottish actress named Annette Sutherland—killed, Burr said, in the same plane crash that claimed the life of Leslie Howard. (Multiple sources, including Burr's biographer, have reported that no one by that name appears on any of the published passenger manifests from the flight.) Another undocumented marriage in 1953 to Laura Andrina Morgan—who died of cancer, Burr said, in 1955—produced a son, Michael Evan, who purportedly died at age 10 of leukemia. (There is no evidence of the marriage, nor of a son's birth, other than Burr's own claims.) As late as 1991, Burr stood by the account of his son's life and death; he told Parade magazine that when he realized Michael was dying, he took him on a one-year tour of the United States. "Before my boy left, before his time was gone," he said, "I wanted him to see the beauty of his country and its people." … Read More
1941 24 Years Old In 1941, he landed his first Broadway role in Crazy with the Heat. … Read More
1946 29 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1946, he had a regular part in Jack Webb's first radio show, Pat Novak for Hire, playing Webb's nemesis Detective Heilman.


1948 31 Years Old Burr married actress Isabella ("Bella") Ward on January 10, 1948. … Read More
1952 35 Years Old He made his television debut on the April 24, 1952, episode "The Tiger" of Gruen Playhouse on the DuMont Television Network. (At about the same time, Burr guest-starred on an episode of The Amazing Mr. Malone on ABC.) This part led to other roles in such programs as Dragnet, Chesterfield Sound Off Time, Four Star Playhouse, Mr. & Mrs. North, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, The Ford Television Theatre, and Lux Video Theatre. … Read More
1956 39 Years Old In 1956, Burr auditioned for the role of District Attorney Hamilton Burger in Perry Mason, a new CBS-TV courtroom drama based on the highly successful novels by Erle Stanley Gardner. … Read More


1957 40 Years Old The series ran from 1957 to 1966, and Burr won Emmy Awards in 1959 and 1961 for his performance as Perry Mason. … Read More


1967 50 Years Old The show, which ran from 1967 to 1975, earned Burr six Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. … Read More
1976 59 Years Old In a two-hour television movie format, Mallory: Circumstantial Evidence aired in February 1976 with Burr again in the role of the lawyer who outwits the district attorney. … Read More


1977 60 Years Old In 1977, Burr starred in the short-lived TV series Kingston: Confidential as R. B. Kingston, a William Randolph Hearst-esque publishing magnate, owner of numerous newspapers and TV stations, who, in his spare time, solved crimes along with a group of employees. … Read More
1985 68 Years Old In 1985, Burr was approached by producers Dean Hargrove and Fred Silverman to star in a made-for-TV movie Perry Mason Returns.
1986 69 Years Old Burr recalled in a 1986 interview, "They asked me to do a new 'Godzilla' the same week they asked me to do another Perry Mason, so I did them both." … Read More
By 1993, when Burr signed with NBC for another season of Mason films, he was using a wheelchair full-time because of his failing health. … Read More
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