Raymond Burr was so serious about his acting that people say he became Perry Mason

Burr was a true actor.

In all of your years of watching and enjoying television, you know that if you had to inherit any character's life, there are some people who you'd rather be than others. You'd rather be Hawkeye than Frank Burns, unless, of course, you've got a serious crush on Margaret Houlihan. It would be better to be Wally or the Beav than say, Lumpy Rutherford. Let's face the facts: there are simply some characters that you'd kill to live like, and some that you could take or leave.

For Raymond Burr, becoming his character seemed to almost be essential for his acting process, whether he was aware of it or not. According to an article in TV Guide, a press agent who previously worked for Burr said of the actor, "Ray takes it all so damn seriously. He'll really become this guy Ironside just like he really became Perry Mason." Of course, the agent speaks of two roles made famous by Burr Robert T. Ironside, and the ever-popular Perry Mason.

However, the agent also added a caveat when he said that while Burr became his character, he didn't particularly enjoy being seen as only his character. The agent said, "He began to resent the fact that people called him Perry Mason and not Raymond Burr."

Still, Burr was always proud of his work on the screen. In the article, he emphasized, "I've always felt acting a very honorable profession." He also explained, "To be a good actor makes you knowledgeable about many things, and you have to learn a lot about human nature to be one."

Be honest, do you think you could handle a day in the life of Perry Mason? Get ready to practice your "Objection!"

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13 Comments

Classictv61 6 months ago
I would be one of the operatives that worked for Paul.
MeFanFromSavan 6 months ago
Barbara Hale was (is) gorgeous. Ray Collins' character Lt. Tragg, gave the series a constant noir movie feel.
George58 6 months ago
Perry Mason. THE best show on MeTV's schedule. But for the life of me, I can't believe all that smoking that this show promoted. Almost every scene of Paul Drake they had him lighting one up at one point or another. I wish they would have renewed it for a 10th season as I would have liked to see the show "in color" as they teased us with the one episode, "The Case Of The Twice-Told Twist".
spence2054 6 months ago
I watch the old b&w Perry Mason all the time. First, I want to scream at the actors "Quit smoking!" It killed too many of them too early. Second, I think a great opportunity was missed in the episodes that have Kenneth MacDonald as the judge. Him admonishing the spectators by saying, "Quiet! There'll be no stoogery in my court" would have been priceless. I wonder if they ever thought of it.
I resemble that insinuedo.
Wiseguy70005 spence2054 6 months ago
Also Jack Soo on Barney Miller, Johnny Carson on Tonight Show (both on Antenna TV) and many others.
timothys71 Wiseguy70005 6 months ago
Barney Miller actually had a special episode that paid tribute to Jack Soo after he passed away.
sabretooth1964 6 months ago
What I liked about the prosecutor's name was Hamilton Burger. Short form Ham Burger. Besides that I enjoyed watching Perry Mason and I still do to this day it was a great show.
In some early printings of early Perry Mason novels the name was spelled "Berger."
JHP 6 months ago
Just love the show for so many reasons

Barbara Hale (HALE yes:))
Lt Tragg - so good in that role
Mr Burger - (what a last name:))
Paul Drake - the real cement in the foundation of the show (all due respect to Perry)

And Mr. Burr was also a great old time radio actor (Ft. Laramie)
Pacificsun 6 months ago
It wasn't that Raymond Burr became Perry Mason. But that Perry Mason 𝔀𝓪𝓼 Raymond Burr. For the reason that no one ever really knew RB anyway (except his companion). But RB established a very safe alter ego. Consummate professional Impeccable social standing. Worthy of envy. That he is remembered today as one and the same, demonstrates his intention. And well deserved.
Runeshaper 6 months ago
I don't know if I could be Perry Mason for a day, but I'm glad Raymond Burr was! Burr was a true actor, indeed (-:
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