Perry Mason actor Raymond Burr was once guilty of dodging a court date
When he did finally appear, though, he fought the charges and won. Because of course he did.
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Not every episode of Perry Mason ends in a guilty verdict being delivered in court.
Take the episode "The Case of the Petulant Partner," which is one of those Perry Mason episodes that takes place in a small rural court, worth rewatching just to see Perry Mason wear white.
It’s an episode packed with suspects and twists, but in the final courtroom scene, the guilty man isn’t arrested, but instead goes white when it’s declared he will be investigated.
The episode ends with Perry explaining to Della Street and Paul Drake how he solved the crime, with a bellhop loading up Perry’s car to take him back to his dark suits and fancy city office.
On Perry Mason, you could usually expect two things: the case would be solved, and Perry Mason would ride around in a cool car.
But Raymond Burr actor wasn’t always as predictable as the character he played. He once even failed to show up for his own court date. Even more shocking, the crime he was charged with was for reckless driving.
In 1960, Burr told The Evening Sun that he was once asked to appear in court in 1938 or 1939, charged with running a red light.
Burr said when he failed to appear, they charged him with that, too.
After initially dodging the court, Burr did finally go in to answer his charges. And when he did, you can bet he didn’t call in a fancy lawyer with skills like Perry Mason to get him off.
Nope, Burr represented himself. And he won both cases, getting the traffic ticket and the failure to appear charges revoked.
The actor is now forever synonymous with Perry Mason, so even if the story is in hindsight, we have to say: that’s living up to your name.
In the interview, The Evening Sun asked if Burr had ever studied law, impressed by his real-world success in the courtroom. Burr confirmed he had studied law, not before his real courtroom victories, but from the moment he got the part of Perry Mason.
He said he started studying not to dodge future traffic tickets, but "to be a better actor."