Raymond Burr
Actor
Raymond Burr
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.
Biography
Raymond Burr's personal information overview.
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'The 6th Season, Volume 2' to Follow QUICKLY on the Heels of Volume 1 - TVShowsOnDVD.com
Google News - over 5 years
Raymond Burr continues igniting the screen as a brilliant attorney who will stop at nothing to crack the most impossible cases to uncover the truth. All 14 episodes of the Emmy Award winning court drama starring Raymond Burr are digitally re-mastered!
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Criterion To Release Restored 1954 Godzilla on Blu-ray - About - News & Issues
Google News - over 5 years
For those that are unfamiliar, when the original Gojira was released in the US in 1956 the name was changed to Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and new footage was added that placed American actor Raymond Burr into the film
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GODZILLA Makes A Monsterous Stride Towards A Ground Shaking Criterion Release - Twitch
Google News - over 5 years
(1956), starring Raymond Burr, will be included in this release. Previous home video releases of this film -- and all versions screened on television, cable, and online in the last 30 years -- have been culled from the same, edited telecine transfer of
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Another 'unique' view on Burr Theatre - BCLocalNews
Google News - over 5 years
As a the past president of the Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society, who was involved in the tough decision to turn the theatre dark and layoff Ms. King along with the other staff, I also am to quote Ms. King, “uniquely placed to explain exactly what
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Burr Theatre was the 'Jewel in the Crown' - BCLocalNews
Google News - over 5 years
There have been many theories and some unfortunate misinformation since then, but as the former founding and managing artistic director of the Raymond Burr Performing Arts Centre I believe I am uniquely placed to explain exactly what happened to the
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Philadelphia bar leader talks about his life and the law | Philadelphia ... - Philadelphia Inquirer
Google News - over 5 years
With his dark eyebrows and gray, pointed beard, Rudolph Garcia, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, bears a resemblance to the late actor Raymond Burr - or his alter ego, a certain TV lawyer. "People stop me on the street all the time,"
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Raymond Burr would be 'churning in his urn' - BCLocalNews
Google News - over 5 years
First, the estate of Raymond Burr owns the rights to use his name, not The Raymond Burr Performing Arts Society, a registered charity in the field of promotion of theatre arts in the community, privileged to use his name in association with causes
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Top Five: Five creepy neighbors - San Jose Mercury News
Google News - over 5 years
Raymond Burr played Thorwald, the creepy neighbor, to such dastardly perfection in Alfred Hitchcock's famous thriller, it was downright unsettling to see Burr play suave attorney Perry Mason and detective Robert T. Ironside, either of whom would make
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Perry Mason ovvero lo strano caso della moglie che non c'è - QueerBlog (Blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Così l'attore Raymond Burr per mettersi al sicuro si inventò prima una moglie, l'attrice inglese Annette Sutherland (mai esistita) e poi un figlio (del tutto immaginario). Entrambi morti, secondo il suo racconto, in situazioni tragiche (la prima in un
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James and John Together Again - Liberty Vindicator
Google News - over 5 years
John Wayne suggested his good friend, the 6'7" James Arness, who then beat out 25 others, including Raymond Burr who later starred as Perry Mason and Ironsides. Gunsmoke ran from 1955 to 1975 as the longest running TV series ever produced
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Series gets 'Looney' - and that's not all, folks - Columbus Dispatch
Google News - over 5 years
Most US audiences have seen the Americanized version featuring Raymond Burr, which trimmed more than 20 minutes from the original. The Wex will screen the original Japanese version, which some say is an allegory for World War II, with Godzilla's wrath
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You Be the Judge - Pickens Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
I was thinking about this on a visit to The Raymond Burr Vineyard in Sonoma County, Calif., last week. Driving to a friend's house through the Dry Creek Valley, where if you threw a shoe you'd end up in another winemaker's tasting room,
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CBS/Paramount Announces 'The 6th Season, Volume 1' on DVD - TVShowsOnDVD.com
Google News - over 5 years
Raymond Burr continues igniting the screen as a brilliant attorney who will stop at nothing to crack the most impossible cases to uncover the truth. Perry Mason is one of the best TV courtroom dramas, and still remains one of the most highly rated
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Shatnerpalooza Day Two Bring Another William Shatner Clip - UGO
Google News - over 5 years
Co-Starring Lloyd Bridges, Raymond Burr and my favorite Latin grammar actor EG Marshall, DotC was directed by Richard Sarafian, whose other work includes a TV remake of Splendor in the Grass with Melissa Gilbert and something called Lolly-Madonna XXX
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Casey Anthony: The Burden of Proof in a 'Law and Order' World - Big Hollywood
Google News - over 5 years
A taut three-act play which culminated each week with justice prevailing as the real guilty party to a crime (invariably murder), confessed tearfully on the stand during an incisive cross-exam by the intrepid Raymond Burr. Grim, post-trial quips,
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Psa shatters semi-retirement plan - The Bay of Plenty Times
Google News - over 5 years
Raymond Burr of Quantum Laboratory (right) takes a soil sample for orchard owner Pat McGrath of Te Matai Rd. Photo / Elaine Fisher. Footbaths and spray bottles of bacteria-killing liquid, restricted entry even for close friends and constant worry about
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What's All The Hulu-baloo About? This Week In Criterion's Hulu Channel - CriterionCast.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Just as a warning, this is the Raymond Burr version of Gojira which means a bit of the kick the Japanese version had is gone. But it still has the message about nuclear weaponry and what it can do to a society. Hurting the people, destroying their land
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Raymond Burr
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1993
    Age 75
    Burr was interred with his parents at Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, British Columbia. On October 1, 1993, about 600 family members and friends paid tribute to Burr at a private memorial service at the Pasadena Playhouse.
    More Details Hide Details Although Burr had not revealed his homosexuality during his lifetime, it was an open secret and was reported in the press upon his death. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that People magazine was preparing a story on Burr's "secret life" and asked, "Are the inevitable rumors true?" It received sensational treatment in the tabloid press; biographer Michael Starr wrote of the "wild stories about Raymond's private life spiced up with quotes from unidentified 'friends' who described his closeted homosexual lifestyle in almost cartoonish terms." Burr bequeathed his estate to Robert Benevides and excluded all relatives, including a sister, nieces, and nephews. His will was challenged, without success, by the two children of his late brother, James E. Burr. Benevides' attorney said that tabloid reports of an estate worth $32 million were an overestimate. For his work in the TV series Perry Mason, Burr received the Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series at the 11th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1959. Nominated again in 1960, he received his second Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) at the 13th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1961.
    Burr threw several "goodbye parties" before his death on September 12, 1993, at his Sonoma County ranch near Healdsburg.
    More Details Hide Details He was 76 years old. The day after Burr's death, American Bar Association president R. William Ide III released a statement: "Raymond Burr's portrayals of Perry Mason represented lawyers in a professional and dignified manner. … Mr. Burr strove for such authenticity in his courtroom characterizations that we regard his passing as though we lost one of our own." The New York Times reported that Perry Mason had been named second—after F. Lee Bailey, and before Abraham Lincoln, Thurgood Marshall, Janet Reno, Ben Matlock and Hillary Clinton—in a recent National Law Journal poll that asked Americans to name the attorney, fictional or not, they most admired.
    During the filming of his last Perry Mason movie in the spring of 1993, Raymond Burr fell ill.
    More Details Hide Details A Viacom spokesperson told the media that the illness might be related to the malignant kidney that Burr had removed that February. It was determined that the cancer had spread to his liver and was at that point inoperable.
    He supported medical and education institutions in Denver, and in 1993, the University of Colorado awarded him an honorary doctorate for his acting work.
    More Details Hide Details Burr also founded and financed the American Fijian Foundation that funded academic research, including efforts to develop a dictionary of the language. Burr made repeated trips on behalf of the United Service Organizations (USO). He toured both Korea and Vietnam during wartime and once spent six months touring Korea, Japan, and the Philippines. He sometimes organized his own troupe and toured bases both in the U.S. and overseas, often small installations that the USO did not serve, like one tour of Greenland, Baffinland, Newfoundland and Labrador. Returning from Vietnam in 1965, he made a speaking tour of the U.S. to advocate an intensified war effort. As the war became more controversial, he modified his tone, called for more attention to the sacrifice of the troops, and said, "My only position on the war is that I wish it were over." In October 1967, NBC aired Raymond Burr Visits Vietnam, a documentary of one of his visits. The reception was mixed. "The impressions he came up with are neither weighty nor particularly revealing", wrote the Chicago Tribune; the Los Angeles Times called Burr's questions "intelligent and elicited some interesting replies".
    In 1993, Sonoma State University awarded Burr an honorary doctorate.
    More Details Hide Details
    They were partners until Burr's death in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details Burr left Benevides his entire estate, including "all my jewelry, clothing, books, works of art … and other items of a personal nature." Benevides subsequently renamed the Dry Creek property Raymond Burr Vineyards (reportedly against Burr's wishes) and managed it as a commercial enterprise. In 2016 the property was listed for sale. At various times in his career, Burr and his managers and publicists offered spurious or unverifiable biographical details to the press and public. He may have served in the Coast Guard; reports of his service in the United States Navy cannot be confirmed, nor can his statements that he sustained battle injuries at Okinawa. Other invented biographical details include years of college education at a variety of institutions, being widowed twice, a son who died young, world travel, an acting tour of the United Kingdom, and success in high school athletics. Most of these claims were accepted as fact by the press at the time of his death and by his first biographer, Ona Hill.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details In his final Perry Mason movie, The Case of the Killer Kiss, he was shown either sitting or standing while leaning on a table, but only once standing unsupported for a few seconds. Twelve more Mason movies were scheduled before Burr's death, including one scheduled to film the month he died. As he had with the Perry Mason TV movies, Burr decided to do an Ironside reunion movie. The Return of Ironside aired in May 1993, reuniting the entire original cast of the 1967–75 series. Like many of the Mason movies, it was set and filmed in Denver. Burr said that he weighed 12.75 pounds at birth, and was chubby throughout his childhood. "When you're a little fat boy in public school, or any kind of school, you're just persecuted something awful," he remembered.
  • 1991
    Age 73
    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."
    More Details Hide Details After Burr's death, his publicist confirmed that Burr worked in Hollywood throughout the year that he was supposedly touring with his son. In the late 1950s, Burr was rumored to be romantically involved with Natalie Wood. Wood's agent sent her on public dates so she could be noticed by directors and producers and so the men she dated could present themselves in public as heterosexuals. The dates also helped to disguise Wood's relationship with Robert Wagner, whom she later married. Burr felt enough attraction to Wood to resent Warner Bros. ' decision to promote her attachment to Tab Hunter rather than him. Robert Benevides later said, "He was a little bitter about it. He was really in love with her, I guess." Later accounts of Burr's life explain that he hid his homosexuality to protect his career. "That was a time in Hollywood history when homosexuality was not countenanced," Associated Press reporter Bob Thomas recalled in a 2000 episode of Biography. "Ray was not a romantic star by any means, but he was a very popular figure … If it was revealed at that time in Hollywood history it would have been very difficult for him to continue."
  • 1989
    Age 71
    A character in a 1989 short story refers to Burr as "grossly overweight" in Ironside.
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  • 1985
    Age 67
    The same week, Burr recalled, he was asked to reprise the role he played in Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956), in a low-budget film that would be titled Godzilla 1985.
    More Details Hide Details "When they asked me to do it a second time, I said, 'Certainly,' and everybody thought I was out of my mind," Burr told Tom Shales of The Washington Post. "But it wasn't the large sum of money. It was the fact that, first of all, I kind of liked 'Godzilla,' and where do you get the opportunity to play yourself 30 years later? So I said yes to both of them." He agreed to do the Mason movie if Barbara Hale returned to reprise her role as Della Street. Hale agreed and when Perry Mason Returns aired in December 1985, her character became the defendant. The rest of the principal cast had died, but Hale's real-life son William Katt played the role of Paul Drake, Jr. The movie was so successful that Burr made a total of 26 Perry Mason television films before his death. Many were filmed in and around Denver, Colorado.
    In 1985, Burr was approached by producers Dean Hargrove and Fred Silverman to star in a made-for-TV movie, Perry Mason Returns.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1977
    Age 59
    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.
    More Details Hide Details It was a critical failure that was scheduled opposite the extraordinarily popular Charlie's Angels. It was cancelled after 13 weeks. Burr took on a shorter project next, playing an underworld boss in a six-hour miniseries, 79 Park Avenue. One last attempt to launch a series followed on CBS. The two-hour premiere of The Jordan Chance aroused little interest. On January 20, 1987, Burr hosted the television special that later served as the pilot for the long-running series Unsolved Mysteries.
  • 1976
    Age 58
    After Ironside went off the air, NBC failed in two attempts to launch Burr as the star of a new series. 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.
    More Details Hide Details Despite good reviews for Burr, the critical reception was poor and NBC decided against developing it into a series.
  • FORTIES
  • 1967
    Age 49
    The show, which ran from 1967 to 1975, earned Burr six Emmy nominations—one for the pilot and five for his work in the series—and two Golden Globe nominations.
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  • 1959
    Age 41
    Burr received three consecutive Emmy Award nominations and won the award in 1959 and 1961 for his performance as Perry Mason.
    More Details Hide Details The series has been rerun in syndication ever since. Beginning in 2006, the series has become available on DVD, with each calendar year having the release of one season as two separate volumes. The ninth and final season's DVD sets became available in 2013. Though Burr's character is often said never to have lost a case, he did lose two murder cases in early episodes of the series, once when his client misled him and another time when his client was later cleared. Burr moved from CBS to Universal Studios, where he played the title role in the television drama Ironside, which ran on NBC. In the pilot episode, San Francisco Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside is wounded by a sniper during an attempt on his life and is left an invalid in a wheelchair. This role gave Burr another hit series, the first crime drama show ever to star a police officer with a disability.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1956
    Age 38
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Impressed with his courtroom performance in the 1951 film A Place in the Sun, executive producer Gail Patrick Jackson told Burr he was perfect for Perry Mason, but at least 60 pounds overweight. Over the next month, Burr went on a crash diet. When he returned, he tested as Perry Mason and won the role. While Burr's test was running, Gardner reportedly stood up, pointed at the screen and said, "That's Perry Mason." William Hopper also auditioned as Mason, but was instead cast as private detective Paul Drake. Also starring were Barbara Hale as Della Street, Mason's secretary; William Talman as Hamilton Burger, the district attorney who loses nearly every case to Mason; and Ray Collins as homicide detective Lieutenant Arthur Tragg. The series ran from 1957 to 1966.
    In August 1956, CBS announced that Burr would star in the television series Perry Mason.
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    In 1956 Burr was the star of CBS Radio's Fort Laramie, an adult Western drama produced, written and directed by the creators of Gunsmoke.
    More Details Hide Details He played the role of Lee Quince, captain of the cavalry, in the series set at a post-Civil War military post where disease, boredom, the elements and the uncharted terrain were the greatest enemies of "ordinary men who lived in extraordinary times". The half-hour transcribed program aired Sundays at 5:30 p.m. ET January 22 – October 28, 1956. Burr told columnist Sheilah Graham that he had received 1,500 fan letters after the first broadcasts, and he continued to receive letters praising the show's authenticity and presentation of human dignity.
  • 1955
    Age 37
    Another marriage purportedly took place in the early 1950s to a Laura Andrina Morgan—who died of cancer, Burr said, in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details Yet no evidence exists of either marriage, nor of a son's birth, other than Burr's own claims.
  • 1952
    Age 34
    They divorced in 1952, and neither remarried.
    More Details Hide Details In the mid-1950s, Burr met Robert Benevides (born February 9, 1930, Visalia, California) a young actor and Korean War veteran, on the set of Perry Mason. According to Benevides, they became a couple around 1960. Benevides gave up acting in 1963 and later became a production consultant for 21 of the Perry Mason TV movies. Together they owned and operated an orchid business and then a vineyard, in the Dry Creek Valley in California.
  • 1951
    Age 33
    He made his television debut in 1951, appearing in episodes of Stars Over Hollywood, The Bigelow Theatre, Family Theater and the debut episode of Dragnet.
    More Details Hide Details He went on to appear in such programs as Gruen Playhouse, Four Star Playhouse, Ford Theatre, Lux Video Theatre, Mr. and Mrs. North, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars and Playhouse 90.
  • 1948
    Age 30
    They were married shortly before Burr began work on the 1948 film noir Pitfall.
    More Details Hide Details In May 1948 they appeared on stage together, in a Pasadena Playhouse production based on the life of Paul Gauguin. The couple lived in a basement apartment in a large house in Hollywood that Burr shared with his mother and grandparents. The marriage ended within months, and Ward returned to her native Delaware.
    Burr married actress Isabella Ward (1919–2004) on January 10, 1948.
    More Details Hide Details They had met in 1943 while Ward was a student at the Pasadena Playhouse, where Burr was teaching. They met again in 1947, when Ward was in California with a short-lived theatre company.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1946
    Age 28
    Burr appeared in more than 50 feature films between 1946 and 1957, creating an array of villains that established him as an icon of film noir.
    More Details Hide Details Film historian Alain Silver concluded that Burr's most significant work in the genre is in these ten films: Desperate (1947), Sleep, My Love (1948), Raw Deal (1948), Pitfall (1948), Abandoned (1949), Red Light (1950), M (1951), His Kind of Woman (1951), The Blue Gardenia (1953) and Crime of Passion (1957). Silver described Burr's private detective in Pitfall as "both reprehensible and pathetic", a characterization also cited by film historian Richard Schickel as a prototype of film noir, in contrast with the appealing television characters for which Burr later became famous. "He tried to make you see the psychosis below the surface, even when the parts weren't huge," said film historian James Ursini. "He was able to bring such complexity and different levels to those characters, and create sympathy for his characters even though they were doing reprehensible things."
  • 1943
    Age 25
    Burr was reportedly married at the beginning of World War II to a British actress named Annette Sutherland—killed, Burr said, in the same 1943 plane crash that claimed the life of actor Leslie Howard.
    More Details Hide Details However, multiple sources have reported that no one by that name appears on any of the published passenger manifests from the flight. A son supposedly born during this marriage, Michael Evan, was said to have died of leukemia in 1953 at the age of ten.
  • 1942
    Age 24
    His first starring role on the stage came in November 1942, when he was an emergency replacement in a Pasadena Playhouse production of Quiet Wedding, directed by Lenore Shanewise.
    More Details Hide Details He became a member of the Pasadena Playhouse drama faculty for 18 months, and he performed in some 30 plays over the years. He returned to the Broadway stage for Patrick Hamilton's The Duke in Darkness (1944), a psychological drama set during the French Wars of Religion. Burr's performance as the loyal friend of the imprisoned protagonist led to a contract with RKO Radio Pictures.
  • 1940
    Age 22
    Burr moved to New York in 1940, and made his first Broadway appearance in Crazy With the Heat, a two-act musical revue produced by Kurt Kasznar that quickly folded.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1937
    Age 19
    He also began his association with the Pasadena Playhouse in 1937.
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  • 1934
    Age 16
    In 1934 he joined a repertory theatre group in Toronto that toured throughout Canada, then joined another company that toured India, Australia and England.
    More Details Hide Details He briefly attended Long Beach Junior College and taught for a semester at San Jose Junior College, working nights as a radio actor and singer.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1917
    Born
    Raymond William Stacy Burr was born May 21, 1917, in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
    More Details Hide Details His father, William Johnston Burr (1889–1985), was a hardware salesman; his mother, Minerva Annette (née Smith, 1892–1974), was a pianist and music teacher who had been born in Chicago, Illinois. Burr's ancestry included Irish, English, Scottish, and German. When Burr was six, his parents divorced. Burr's mother moved to Vallejo, California, with him and his younger siblings, Geraldine and James. His father remained in New Westminster. Burr attended a military academy for a while and graduated from Berkeley High School. In later years, Burr freely invented stories of a happy childhood. In 1986 he told journalist Jane Ardmore that when he was 12 years old his mother sent him to New Mexico for a year to work as a ranch hand. He was already his full adult height and rather large and "had fallen in with a group of college-aged kids who didn't realize how young Raymond was, and they let him tag along with them in activities and situations far too sophisticated for him to handle." He developed a passion for growing things and, while still a teenager, and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps for a year. Throughout his teenage years, he had some acting work, making his stage debut at age 12 with a Vancouver stock company.
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