14 revealing, playful behind the scenes photos from Perry Mason

The cast even had cute custom coffee mugs made!

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MeTV Presents the Best of Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
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Perry Mason is a twisty legal drama filled with murder, courtroom tension, and whodunnits. The show is rooted in film noir, detective novels, and classic crime cinema. In other words, it's pretty far from a comedy.

But behind the scenes? The tight cast and crew were often all smiles. That shows in these candid pictures snapped by TV Guide, the network, and other media outlets during the series' run. See stars Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale at home — and goofing off together.

Which is your favorite?

Family Portrait

The Everett Collection

This pic reminds us of the family portraits we used to take at Kmart and Olan Mills. Well, the outtakes.

A Budding Career

The Everett Collection

Burr tends to his orchids at home.

Mugging for the Camera

The Everett Collection

The cast and crew had custom coffee mugs made. The principal cast holds their cups. On the wall behind them, you can see personalized mugs for behind-the-camera folks like assistant director Musky Harmell, hairdresser Annabell Levy, and executive producer Gail Patrick. We'll see some of them below.

A True Collector

The Everett Collection

Burr's love for art ran deep. He ran his own gallery, which was located on 456 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. 

Art and Style

The Everett Collection

Annabell Levy combs Burr's hair as he preps for a scene. Levy would get a chance to appear on camera, with most of the crew, in "The Final Fade-Out," the series finale. She played a hairdresser!

Once Upon a Mattress

The Everett Collection

Burr reads scripts and smokes in bed.

Love Bites

The Everett Collection

Burr and Hale show their tight bond — and some teeth.

My Name Is Erle

The Everett Collection

Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason book series, in the study of his ranch home, Rancho del Paisano, in Temecula, California, surrounded by memorabilia collected from his travels. He called his ranch his "writing factory."

Pipe Down

The Everett Collection

Burr curls up on his floor with a good read — well, it looks more like fireplace kindling.

Back in Action

The Everett Collection

William Talman returns to work on Perry Mason after being cleared of morals and narcotics charges, greeted by Raymond Burr in 1960. Read the full story here.

Coffee Mates

The Everett Collection

Talman and Burr take a break with the mugs we saw earlier.

Uke and Me

The Everett Collection

Hale harmonizes at home with hubby Bill Williams, a fellow actor.

Home Study

The Everett Collection

Actor couple Hale and Williams read their respective scripts at home on the couch.

All Hail Gail

The Everett Collection

A true TV pioneer, Gail Patrick was the only female executive producer in prime time during the nine years Perry Mason was on the air.

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CoachBurke 30 months ago
Where are the pics of William Hopper?
You have only one of Ray Collins.
Adanor CoachBurke 15 months ago
Yes, where was William Hopper? He should have been in at least one photo! In the opening credits of say Season 1 or maybe Season 2, when Perry hands him a document, he has the most curious look on his face.
Susan00100 32 months ago
William Talman was one of the bravest actors in Hollywood when he singularly took on Big Tobacco and publicly denounced that industry.
What made his message really poignant was the fact that he was dying of lung cancer when he made it; in fact the PSA was released after his death.
Big Tobacco had the ad removed, but I'm convinced that it helped pave the way to the total ban on smoking commercials in 1970.
thewide7 33 months ago
My favorite is Family Portrait
tootsieg 34 months ago
Beautiful pics and article. Thank you!!!
Sydneyb 34 months ago
Perry is my all time favorite actor it’s the eyes lol
Jamesatkinson 34 months ago
Great Perry Mason Pics. My Dad had the whole series in paperbacks, learned alot ready them at an early age (it wasn't Dr.Seuss) 😁😏😜
Mac2Nite 34 months ago
WONDERFUL behind the scenes shots!! Thanks 😊👍
wemacauley 34 months ago
I love the original "PERRY MASON" series. I'm also a real film noir fan and enjoy seeing Raymond Burr whenever he co-stars in one of these films. He was so good as a bad guy prior to PM. Of course, he WAS Perry Mason so it shows what a versatile actor he was. I've also seen Ray Collins in one or two film noirs, and I just saw Barbara Hale the other night in "THE WINDOW," a film noir from the late '40s.
tonylow 34 months ago
Perry Mason was the best criminal drama ever made; EVER. The early episodes 1957 to 1961 were the best. It is a shame that another series can't be made today to rival it. Also so many later celebrities were guests; Lenard Nimoy, Barbara Eden, Burt Reynolds and many others. When Ray Collins didn't appear much anymore that was not too bad but without William Talmon (Hamilton Burger) something definitely was lost. A lot of the supporting cast, Hopper, Talman, Collins died not long after the show ended. Very Sad.
JamesCavender 34 months ago
WOW! Nice! These are priceless candid shots. What a wonderful cast and crew to leave us with such gold. Think Perry will live on for ever in our hearts and minds. Bless them all and thanks for the special post MeTV, good job.
Hilary 34 months ago
Love the peek behind the scenes of Perry Mason . I always wished we had more chance to see outtakes and pictures like these. This series is a true classic acted extremely well and executed well. It endures. No character is identified with an actor as Raymond Burr was Perry Mason he epitomized the law. And still does all these years later!
rlgmarketing 34 months ago
Ham Burger. I always got a kick out of that. :)
alspencer rlgmarketing 30 months ago
who says Erle didn't have a sense of humor;)
SteveThames 34 months ago
Coffee mates; Hamilton was in an episode of Wild Wild West
Unvmyvdub 34 months ago
I spotted William Hopper in "The Deadly Mantis" on Svengoolie and William Talman on an "The Invaders" episode. Only a couple of years ago I wouldn't have known who they were.
betabit Unvmyvdub 34 months ago
I looked for him in the Maltese Falcon but couldn't find him.
Honeychan Unvmyvdub 34 months ago
William Hopper -was- in some real turkeys, but also in Rebel Without a Cause and The Bad Seed. Not bad!
Unvmyvdub 34 months ago
I think this is among the top TV series ever produced. I've been working my way through the episodes and think that I've seen most of them now. Truly memorable entertainment.
fkt4387 34 months ago
Did any of those mugs survive? I would love to get one
DrKnife FrankTrost 34 months ago
I was just thinking that too. I will bet they are all hand painted too.
Tlor 34 months ago
Seeing them laugh together has to be a classic, they were usually very serious in the show. I like the ones with Della and her husband he was a good actor too
mojomoonjo Tlor 34 months ago
Loved pictures of Della & her hubby as well. 🥰🥰🥰🥰
Vonda 34 months ago
Love me some Perry Mason. Have all 9 seasons on DVD and still watch each episode as if it was my 1st time viewing it. Raymond Burr, I just love one of my favorite actors. Along side William Powell, Cary Grant Humphrey Bogart, you get the picture.
Valerieellen 34 months ago
Raymond Burr was most emphatically NOT gay! Robert Benevides, business partner and friend, clearly is and was. The lie sold papers and Robert (shamefully) gets kudos from it. I met them and interviewed Raymond in Paris, and was on set while filming court scenes for Desperate Deception in 1989. Robert addressed Raymond as "Sir", it was a father/son relationship. I have never seen more testosterone in my life! He was incredibly kind and attentive to an older actress on set, making her laugh, she was entranced. I noted some men seemed a little in awe and wary of him, an obvious Alpha male, but he behaved impeccably. He was kind and respectful even to a nobody like me. He was NO closet gay leading a double life. My surname is the same as one of his deceased wives. When Robert got it wrong, Raymond corrected him saying, "I am very familiar with the name", and for a very brief moment I saw his pain over that loss. Raymond Burr was certainly private, but the most honest and godly man of faith and integrity I ever met.
MaryMitch Valerieellen 34 months ago
I see you are leaving your comments all over the replies here. You are mistaken about Burr's sexuality; he was most decidedly gay. You don't have to "defend" him; it's kinda sad that his sexuality had to be hidden.
Bridgetburrm3 Valerieellen 34 months ago
Mary, Valerie is absolutely correct!! There were a lot of people that relied on Ray for work. If he was out of work, so were they. He took excellent care of Robert like a good friend/brother. Robert did the work of looking over things that Raymond could not to make sure others and things were taken care of. He was added on to the payroll as his attempt to acting didn't pan out. He began to help out on production so that's why he was put on payroll. Raymond was in love with two women, Natalie and Barbara. Other than that, he was a hard working man and some around him took advantage of that when he wasn't looking. He never portrayed that lifestyle, nor is there, or ever has been, proof of any of that! It sure is entertaining though, isn't it? I don't think so. That sexual stuff is private and doesn't compare to character and the things that truly matter. I'm sure he would have been furious had Robert said that before he died as our grandmother was! Remember that as well, Robert said that of man who took care of him after he died!! That's a very dishonest thing to do and very unattractive, but it sure did work for him to run off of and get the attention he wanted.
Pdls Valerieellen 34 months ago
That he was gay doesn't preclude him from having had integrity, talent, or good character. I'm not sure why you think this is a case of "either-or". It's not. It's too bad he, like many others, had to be so secretive about this, but now? Who cares if he was gay? That had no bearing on his professional life and accomplisments.
tsgabel Pdls 34 months ago
You are so right. Dr. King's ideal fits here also: judge a person by the content of his or her character, Not their sexual orientation. Gay or straight was no one's business but his.
Mr305north MaryMitch 32 months ago
Don't believe he was gay
ArkOzark Pdls 3 months ago
You ask "Who cares if he was gay?" I'd guess those who are desperate for acceptance and want to show that someone of great stature could have been one of them. But if he wasn't, it's very wrong to distort his legacy this way. It should be enough to say he cared about someone he knew was homosexual (Robert) and could share interests with them such as acting and gardening, and treat them like a lifelong friend, brother, or son. If he was homosexual, and I don't believe he was, he obviously didn't want it known. No one claims Raymond Burr ever said he was homosexual except that "friend" he trusted, and then only after Raymond died. Some friend!
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