Who is the little old lady with the hat sitting in dozens of Perry Mason trials?
Here is a deep mystery that even Paul Drake can't solve.
David Cope of Raleigh, North Carolina, wrote to us and asked a fascinating question. "I love watching Perry Mason every morning and have noticed this past year and a half," he wrote, "There is the same older woman who sits among the courtroom spectators, almost always in the back row."
Indeed! That is her in the image above, sitting in the back row on the defendant's side in "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather." In that mystery, the Little Old Lady in a Hat (as fans call her) parks next to Frances Rafferty, who plays witness Sue Franks in the trial.
According to the invaluable fan hub, the Perry Mason TV Show Wiki, the Little Old Lady in a Hat pops up in more than 100 episodes. Here she is in "The Case of the Watery Witness."
Now that you have a good look at her, keep your eyes peeled for this avid legal spectator.
Unfortunately, as far as her identity goes, that remains a mystery! We could use Paul Drake on the case. A thread on the TCM forum also failed to turn up an answer.
She is one of many regulars who populate the Los Angeles courtroom. Don Anderson appears in many episodes — often in multiple roles. There is the uncredited "Pencil Mustache Man." There's Flower Parry, erstwhile wife of Jackie Coogan, not to mention Edwin Rochelle, Mitchell Rhein and William H. O'Brien. We could go on. And, yes, the Little Old Lady remains shrouded in mystery and covered in a hat.
David Cope wondered, "If she was a relative of one of the crew, cast or writers." Others have speculated just that. Keep your eyes peeled for her when you watch.
We like to imagine she is the wife of Mr. Schwamp.