Raymond Burr

Raymond Burr

76 (passed away Sep. 12th, 1993)
May. 21st, 1917
Born in
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
6' 1 1/2"

Raymond Burr's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Perry Mason TV Show
Perry Mason
Ironside TV Show
Centennial TV Show
The Andy Williams Show TV Show
The Andy Williams Show
Eischied TV Show
The Leslie Uggams Show TV Show
The Leslie Uggams Show
Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters TV Show
Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters
Celebrity Playhouse TV Show
Celebrity Playhouse
The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show TV Show
The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show

Main Movie Roles

1991 - Delirious
1982 - Airplane II: The Sequel
1978 - Tomorrow Never Comes
1957 - Crime of Passion
1957 - Affair in Havana
1956 - Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
1955 - A Man Alone
1954 - Rear Window
1953 - The Blue Gardenia
1951 - A Place in the Sun
1951 - Bride of the Gorilla
1951 - His Kind of Woman
1951 - M
1950 - Borderline
1949 - Love Happy
1949 - Red Light
1949 - Abandoned
1948 - I Love Trouble
1948 - Pitfall
1948 - Station West
1948 - Walk a Crooked Mile
1948 - Raw Deal
1948 - Ruthless
1948 - Adventures of Don Juan
1947 - Desperate
1946 - Without Reservations

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
The Devil
Sergeant Ben Gurnick
Malcolm Dwyer
Lester Friedman
Robert T. Ironside
Doctor Alexander
Deputy Chief Thad Brown
[Complete List]


Born as Raymond 'William Stacy' Burr, 21 May 1917, in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life travelling. While still young, his father moved his family to China, while the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents divorced; his mother then took him to Vallejo, California, where she raised him with the aid of his grandparents. As he got older, Burr began to take jobs to support his mother, younger sister and younger brother. He took jobs as a ranch hand in Roswell, New Mexico; as a deputy sheriff; a photo salesman; and even as a singer in night clubs.

In World War Two, Burr served in the Navy. When in Okinawa, he was shot in the stomach and sent home. Soon after this, in 1946, Burr made his film debut in San Quentin (1946). From there, he went on to act in more than 90 films before landing the role of defense attorney "Perry Mason" (1957) in the series of the same name. Then, in 1993, after a battle with cancer that dated back to his days on "Perry Mason", Burr died on 12 September 1993 at his ranch home.

  • Was the original host of Unsolved Mysteries, hosting only its first special in January 1987. He was then briefly replaced by 'Karl Malden' (qv). However, both actors requested salaries that show producer John Cosgrove deemed astronomical. So by the time the show became a regular series in 1988, 'Robert Stack' (qv) had been hired as the permanent host.
  • He is commemorated on a 2008 Canadian postage stamp, one of four honoring achievements of Canadians in Hollywood. The other three depict 'Norma Shearer' (qv), 'Marie Dressler' (qv), and 'Chief Dan George' (qv).
  • Was a candidate to play Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke (TV series 1955-75). In an August 23, 1975 article in TV Guide called "When Chester Forgot to Limp" commemorating trivia from Gunsmoke (which was about to leave the air), the show's first producer Charles Marquis Warren recalled: "His voice was fine, but he was too big. When he stood up, his chair stood up with him." William Conrad, who played Matt Dillon on radio, was rejected for the TV version for similar reasons. In a memorial article in TV Guide published shortly after Burr's death, the original producers of Perry Mason (TV series 1957-66) almost rejected Burr for that role - again because Burr was too overweight. He went on an intensive diet to get down to an acceptable size.
  • Bought his own 3,000-acre island 165 miles northeast of Suva in Fiji in 1965 and named it Naitamba
  • Appears as lawyer Perry Mason, with 'William Talman' (qv) as district attorney Hamilton Burger, on a 44 USA commemorative postage stamp in the Early TV Memories issue honoring "Perry Mason" (1957), issued 11 August 2009.
  • In 1990, not long before Burr grew ill with cancer, Raymond and Robert started to produce a vineyard in the Dry Creek Valley and their first vintage. The wine was bottled in November, 1992 and released after Burr's death in 1995.
  • His favorite hobby, later developed into a business, was cultivating orchids. Raymond developed one orchid which he named the 'Barbara Hale' (qv) Orchid.
  • After he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, he refused to undergo surgery so that he could star in his final 2 TV movies: _The Return of Ironside (1993) (TV)_ (qv) and _Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss (1993) (TV)_ (qv).

Related sites for this celeb
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