Before "Law & Order," there was Perry Mason (who knew Raymond Burr was gay?)

May 1, 2008 Full story: gay-opinion.blogspot.com 26

There was a time when Dick Wolf didn't have a 24-7 stranglehold on criminal-justice TV.

Yes, long before "Law & Order" - or even "Hill Street Blue" or "Kojack" - there was Perry Mason

Of course none of us in TV land knew Raymond Burr was gay.

Or at least I don't think I knew - it was the '50s and 'gay' still meant 'happy.' Louis Bayard has a nice article on Perry @ Salon

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“in eastern nc”

Since: Apr 07

Jacksonville /CampLejeune

#1 May 1, 2008
gay or not he wasen't that nice looking to date, too heavy and old
Patricia

Ponca City, OK

#2 May 1, 2008
I found out about Raymond Burr being gay in an episode of Biography. He was my hero from the time I was a child. When I found out he was gay, I realized my hero-worship was well-placed. What an incredible accomplishment, to be able to maintain a private, gay life during a time it would have killed his career!

I still enjoy watching both Perry Mason and Ironside!
Resist Ignorance

Huntsville, AL

#3 May 1, 2008
Yeah, I knew about this. There is a bio for Burr on Wikipedia that talks about the "wives and son" who appear to have never existed.
Blond Prince

Chattanooga, TN

#4 May 1, 2008
RICK OCONNOR wrote:
gay or not he wasen't that nice looking to date, too heavy and old
Why so picky? Looks aren't everything, and unless one is going to do like Joan Rivers and get cosmetic Surgery once a year after age 19, we are all going to lose are charms in the end. I have to admit, I've had a couple charms in the end but that's beside the point.

So what if some guy has a fat az! and is over 60? Maybe he is bald or wears a bad hair thingy because he is too cheap but has a good personality, and is honest, and CLEAN.

They canít all look as good as I.
Blond Prince

Chattanooga, TN

#5 May 1, 2008
Oh well, I made spelling mistakes. I am picking up some really bad "habbits" from these boards.
Resist Ignorance

Huntsville, AL

#6 May 1, 2008
Patricia wrote:
I found out about Raymond Burr being gay in an episode of Biography. He was my hero from the time I was a child. When I found out he was gay, I realized my hero-worship was well-placed. What an incredible accomplishment, to be able to maintain a private, gay life during a time it would have killed his career!
I still enjoy watching both Perry Mason and Ironside!
Yes, it is indeed an incredible accomplishment to have kept his life private considering that his co-star, William Hopper, was the son of notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper! Of course if she had found out or even suspected and reported on it, her son would have been out of a job.

“Trolls, the canker sores of”

Since: Jul 07

the internet.

#7 May 1, 2008
My favorite grandparents got me into reading and watching the Perry Mason series. As I got older I watched Ironside, just because I like Raymond Burr as an actor. The rest never has or would have mattered to me. He was good at what he did and that's all.

“Read my name”

Since: Jul 07

Raleigh, North Carolina

#8 May 1, 2008
RICK OCONNOR wrote:
gay or not he wasen't that nice looking to date, too heavy and old
Raymond Burr wasn't always old, perhaps you will remember that when you get to be 65 or so,...
Pauline

Minneapolis, MN

#9 May 1, 2008
Raymond Burr was picked by Earl Stanley Gardner. The person that got the job of Hamilton Berger (william Tallman) had the Mason role all sewn up. Doing the reads for Berger was a movie heavy Named Burr, ESG took one look and stood up and said thats him, Perry Mason. The roles got swaped.

He was not heavy at that time and cut a rather dashing handsome man.

Like many of my age I wanted to be a lawyer, but never had the bucks to do it.

I read that he did the TV movies later in life and donated the money to Colorado Boy Scouts, he had been one himself.

poetic..........
Daniel P from Long Island

Middle Island, NY

#10 May 1, 2008
I learned that he was gay from the Biography episode on tv. But Law & Order is a MUCH better show. PM was too unrealistic in so many ways including that the accused was ALWAYS innocent, PM never seemed to ask for any money, and the REAL criminal was ALWAYS in the courtroom during the trial and ALWAYS confessed ! Didn't they ever hear of the FIFTH AMENDMENT ?! Gimme a break.

Lousy show.
Daniel P from Long Island

Middle Island, NY

#11 May 1, 2008
Oh, his other show was lousy too.
Guess who

Las Vegas, NV

#13 May 1, 2008
Blond Prince wrote:
Oh well, I made spelling mistakes. I am picking up some really bad "habbits" from these boards.
It's actually a disease called finger apoplexy....

“Smooches!”

Since: Nov 07

L'ile exotique de Manhattan

#14 May 1, 2008
RICK OCONNOR wrote:
gay or not he wasen't that nice looking to date, too heavy and old
He was neither fat nor old when he starred in Perry Mason. Judging by your photo, I doubt that he'd have wanted to date you either. You're certainly not young or a real looker, yourself!

“Smooches!”

Since: Nov 07

L'ile exotique de Manhattan

#15 May 1, 2008
Obese Prince wrote:
Raymond Burr AKA Perry Mason died of AIDS.
Yes, he was gay. No, he did not die from HIV/AIDS.
Blond Prince

Chattanooga, TN

#18 May 1, 2008
More AOL crap. Damn bleached blond from AOL LMAO

No wonder I sold all my shares in that pig and its dumbed AOLA ie America Online Latin America.
Slow running pop up crap.

BTW, I sold before the plunge. Clinton was President.

In fact, I sold my American stocks before Bush was appointed, and transferred everything I had out of the Nation. I knew he would destroy the dollar as well as the whole economy. He is the Chimp of Chimps.

PS, pretending to be me is in fact flattery. Like, I said before, you are no one until someone is pretending to be you. Showbiz 101

“Read my name”

Since: Jul 07

Raleigh, North Carolina

#19 May 2, 2008
Daniel P from Long Island wrote:
PM was too unrealistic in so many ways including that the accused was ALWAYS innocent, PM never seemed to ask for any money, and the REAL criminal was ALWAYS in the courtroom during the trial and ALWAYS confessed ! Didn't they ever hear of the FIFTH AMENDMENT ?! Gimme a break.
Lousy show.
Well you have to remember Perry Mason was started in the 50's when TV had only been around for a very few years. Most of the content was based on radio drama so there wasn't much thought put into if the story was "Realistic" or not.

Of course you have the benefit of hindsight and 900+ sat channels of crap today. But during the PM years if a person was lucky they could get all three channels, maybe two without snow. Perry Mason was cutting edge drama,...(and no one ever heard of someone being gay unless they were just happy),...

“Trolls, the canker sores of”

Since: Jul 07

the internet.

#20 May 2, 2008
Emmatg52 wrote:
<quoted text>
Well you have to remember Perry Mason was started in the 50's when TV had only been around for a very few years. Most of the content was based on radio drama so there wasn't much thought put into if the story was "Realistic" or not.
Of course you have the benefit of hindsight and 900+ sat channels of crap today. But during the PM years if a person was lucky they could get all three channels, maybe two without snow. Perry Mason was cutting edge drama,...(and no one ever heard of someone being gay unless they were just happy),...
Thanks, this was what I was going to say this afternoon.
Pauline

Saint Paul, MN

#21 May 3, 2008
Condi Rice wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, he was gay. No, he did not die from HIV/AIDS.
Cancer, He and his long time lover sold the Island and started a vinyard, puts out very good wine I have been told.

The cane he used because he could not stand for long scenes, or they showed him sitting, He was in pain during almost all of the Mason movies.
Pauline

Saint Paul, MN

#22 May 3, 2008
Emmatg52 wrote:
<quoted text>
Well you have to remember Perry Mason was started in the 50's when TV had only been around for a very few years. Most of the content was based on radio drama so there wasn't much thought put into if the story was "Realistic" or not.
Of course you have the benefit of hindsight and 900+ sat channels of crap today. But during the PM years if a person was lucky they could get all three channels, maybe two without snow. Perry Mason was cutting edge drama,...(and no one ever heard of someone being gay unless they were just happy),...
Perry was also made into Movies in the 30's. They were good to, ESG also wrote under the name AA Fair and a third like green or such, I read all of Fair in highschool and the ESG's as well.

ESG also started a "court of last resort" to help convicts if they were wrongly convicted.

He was Perry Mason.
RCL

United States

#23 Oct 4, 2011
I thinks having Aids is a big contributor to many illnesses and diseases, I believe it affects and weakens the immune system. I believe many with aids die from sickness and disease that the body would NORMALLY recover from. There are many who die from Aids but to minimize negative publicity they list heart attack, pneumonia, Cancer and many other illnesses that a healthy normal person would probably recover from. A quote I like very much is "For the lack of knowledge my people perish" or as Forest Gump put it "Stupid is as stupid does"

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