A police raid led to the Perry Mason opening credits changing in season three
Talman was (briefly) fired from the legal drama for legal troubles.
In March of 1960, police burst into the home of Richard Reibold in Hollywood, California. It was an apartment building that had been built by Charlie Chaplin. Captain R. B. Brooks of the Sheriff's Department had been staking out the Tudor-style home for a while. On the night that the authorities finally raided the joint, they arrested eight people having a get-together, four men and four women. They were booked on "a morals count." The eight partygoers each posted $1,050 bail.
One of the people tossed in jail that evening was actor William Talman, no stranger to the legal process, considering he was starring as D.A. Hamilton Burger on Perry Mason at the time.
"There must be some kind of mistake," Talman was recorded as saying to the Associated Press. "This could ruin me."
It nearly did. Three days after this story hit the papers, CBS fired Talman from Perry Mason, before his case even went to court. His lawyer found the irony in the act:
"Talman has not been tried as yet for any offense. He has not been found guilty of any offense," his attorney Harold Rhoden told the media at the time, "Yet here CBS, producers of, of all things, The Perry Mason Show, has found Talman guilty before he has a trial."
Talman quickly disappeared from the hit television show. "The Case of the Bashful Burro," the next show after his arrest, aired on March 26. And it posed a bit of a problem — Talman was featured in the opening credits. After all, Hamilton Burger was the main rival of Perry Mason. In those opening credits, Perry takes a document from the judge on the stand and walks them over to the prosecution. Talman's name and credit show up under his head as he examines the paper.
The following episode, "The Case of the Crying Cherub," opened in a different manner. Now, the opening credits froze on a tight shot of the document in Perry's hand, as seen above on the right. Talman was nowhere to be seen, because, well, he was off the show.
In his place, David Lewis portrayed Deputy D.A. Mark Hanson. In subsequent episodes, more replacements were found, like Robert Gist (Deputy D.A. Claude Drumm).
Of course, any astute Mason fan knows that Hamilton Burger appears throughout the series. Heck, he's in the finale, "The Case of the Final Fade-Out."
Well, Talman was cleared of all charges. Months later, he was hired back by CBS. He had Raymond Burr and Erle Stanley Garner — not to mention legions of letter-writing fans — in his corner. Burr, in particular, stood by his co-star. They may have been onscreen rivals, but they were friends in real life.
Burr demanded that Talman's personal items remain on the production lot. In particular, he made sure that Talman's favorite coffee mug was left hanging on the rack.
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Hartman Mary Hartman.
Two noteworthy broadcasts also feature this opening. First "The Case of the Treacherous Toupee," one of two episodes held over until two weeks before the fourth season started, was really a third-season episode (the other episode, "The Case of the Credulous Quarry," was even older and featured Talman in the opening credits.) Unfortunately both of these episodes are grouped with the fourth season episodes including the DVD set. (Two episodes of the fourth season were also held over to the fifth season. The only difference here was in the closing credits format.)
The second episode with this new opening is a second season episode titled "The Case of the Dubious Bridegroom." When CBS ran episodes from previous seasons in series where the opening credits changed, they routinely made new credits for the rerun episode to make it look like a "new" episode (this was done for many episodes of The Twilight Zone's first season. For decades, these episodes were broadcast with the wrong opening credits; they've only recently been restored. There's also an episode of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" of the first season with the second-season opening.) Unfortunately, CBS didn't see the need of keeping the original openings and discarded them, leaving these episodes with phony openings that don't match the surrounding episodes. This was also done with the second season's "The Case of the Caretaker's Cat," which is why it is shown with the fourth-season opening credit style.
Erle Stanley GARDNER, you nitwits.
Everyone at the party that night was naked, including Talman.
"One of the people tossed in jail that evening was actor William Talman, "
"Did Raymond Burr get married?
Burr invented a biography for himself that included a wife and son who'd died, and used his busy schedule as a way to explain why he wasn't married. But Burr and his partner, Robert Benevides, had a relationship for 35 years that was secret to most of the world except for a handful of close friends. May 29, 2008"
Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle went through three trials for the "Horrific" crime of which he was accused.
Results: two hung juries and an acquittal.
After that acquittal, the forewoman of that jury put out a public statement, to the effect that Arbuckle should have never stood trial in the first place.
Fatty Arbuckle was blacklisted from movies for about a decade.
But in the early '30s, Vitaphone pictures signed him up to do two-reel talkie comedies.
After the six two-reelers had success at the box office, Vitaphone signed Arbuckle to do a starring comedy feature - but he died the day after signing the contract.
Those two-reelers are out on DVD - I know because I've got the set.
Maybe MeTV ought to show them as part of the Saturday Three Stooges package - after all, Shemp Howard appears in most of them ...