Sunday, May 21, 2017

5/21/1917 Perry Mason and Robert T. Ironside is born

May 21, 1917.  Raymond Burr was born on this date New Westminster, British Columbia, in Canada.  In the forties and fifties he played villains, mostly in noir films.  The most meorable of those parts was Jimmy Stewart's mysterious neighbor in Rear Window.

In 1956 Raymond Burr applied for the part of prosecutor Hamilton Burger in the TV version of Perry Mason.  Erle Stanley Gardner, the creator of the character, supposedly took one look at Burr and shouted "That's Perry Mason!"  The show ran until 1966.

A year later Burr was on NBC, starring in Ironside, as the San Francisco chief of detectives, crippled by a sniper bullet. That one ran for another eight years.

Other series followed but Burr didn't find success again until the 1980s when he made two dozen TV movies as that famous defense attorney.  Erle Stanley Gardner certainly recognized his characters when he saw them.

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