76 (passed away Sep. 12th, 1993)
May. 21st, 1917
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
6' 1 1/2"
Raymond Burr's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
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.
- 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.
- 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 was the director of the Pasadena Community Playhouse before entering the Navy in World War II.
- He taught drama at Columbia University.
- Longtime companion of 'Robert Benevides (III)' (qv). Benevides was a young actor Raymond met on the set of the original "Perry Mason". He was thirteen years Raymond's junior and had a small role in the sci-fi flick _The Monster That Challenged the World (1957)_ (qv) billed as Bob Benevedes.
- Bought his own 3,000-acre island 165 miles northeast of Suva in Fiji in 1965 and named it Naitamba
- His mother, Minerva Burr, died in 1974, at the age of 81 of cancer and father, William Burr, died in 1985, at the age of 96 of old age.
- 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.