Raymond Burr was handpicked by the writer of ''Perry Mason,'' Erle Stanley Gardner

"That's Perry."

Whether you believe in destiny or not, it just feels like sometimes the universe wants something to happen. That being said, we can't only rely on sheer luck to achieve our dreams. We need to be courageous and determined, and when we are successful, we'll know that it was because we earned it ourselves. 

For Raymond Burr, this was exactly the recipe that led to his success as defense lawyer Perry Mason. The television show was based on a series of books, written by author Erle Stanley Gardner, which had also previously spawned a radio program as well. By the time Perry Mason was developed for television, readers and listeners alike had already been exposed to the character, which meant that casting a new actor on the series would be twice as difficult.

Luckily, Raymond Burr was able to audition, although originally, he was being considered for the role of Hamilton Burger. However, according to an article for the Ottowa Citizen, Gardner was reviewing audition tapes when he came across Burr's. Burr and Gardner were already acquainted, but it wasn't until Gardner witnessed his test tape that he allegedly looked at the screen and proclaimed, "That's Perry."

It was a role that Mason continued to play even after the series ended, and it's the character that, by and large, viewers tend to identify him as. This may seem like a blessing, but at times, it was a curse to Burr. In an interview with the Star-Phoenix, the actor said, "I tell all my friends: If you're a name character and the character is the show—don't do it! Everything has to evolve 'round you. That's why I've had no life for the past 17 years."

But it seemed that even with its misgivings, Burr wouldn't change that moment when Gardner chose his audition out of the others to play Perry Mason. In that same interview, he said, "I feel settled in myself. I suppose there are things I'd change in my life if I could. But by and large, I'm very satisfied. I chose the right profession. I've been able to use it for some good. I'm not a fatalist. I believe that a man should explore, and not close out any of the areas in his life."

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JHP 1 month ago
said it so so many times - Love the show!

and I wish I could have taken Barbara out for a steak dinner:)
Runeshaper 1 month ago
Burr was the perfect Perry. Kudos to Gardner for picking him out of the crowd.
Bluerabbit2 1 month ago
I reseting on YouTube the audition tapes for both Raymond Burr and William Hopper. They both tested with Ray Collins who portrayed Lt Arthur Tragg. Superb casting all around. I don't believe that anyone else could portrY District Attorney Hamilton Burger as well as William Talman. I get caught up in the courtroom scenes and even tell him to sit down and be quiet!! Love the series and the books!
Yep, and ironically Burr auditioned for Mason with a beautiful client! Clearly no one knew about his "lifestyle"..LOL!
Andybandit 1 month ago
It was a good choice to pick RB For PM. A lot of Actors and Actresses from Svengoolie were on PM.
KJExpress 1 month ago
"Ottowa?" 🙄
cperrynaples KJExpress 1 month ago
Yep, the poster is clearly not Canadian ...LOL!
JHP KJExpress 1 month ago
Yeah he was born in B.C. (not the time eon)
KJExpress JHP 1 month ago
I see they still haven't fixed the spelling. Sometimes they correct their mistakes.
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