Raymond Burr went the extra mile to make sure Perry Mason was authentic

Burr educated himself in the world of law.

CBS Television Distribution

Look, as far as authentic television shows go, a show like Perry Mason is nearly as honest as you can get. Sure, no defense lawyer has quite the record of winning cases that Mason does, but for a television show, Perry Mason worked harder than most to stay true to the legal profession.

According to an article in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, lead actor Raymond Burr seemed to be a fierce defender of this.

"I think the key to the success of the TV series is the awareness of everyone connected with it to their responsibility — both to the legal profession and the viewers," Burr said. "We try harder than any other TV outfit in town."

Burr's effort involved him making the journey to visit various legal organizations and speaking before them, using the platform as both an opportunity to teach and be taught. "I go as a layman when I speak to these legal groups, and talk very seriously about the need for the public to have a better understanding of the law and its rights."

In an interview with the Palm Beach Post, Perry Mason's creator and author of the book series that Perry Mason was based on, Erle Stanley Gardner, explained that Burr came by this dedication naturally, as he even demonstrated it before he had even won the role of Perry Mason.

"When Burr became interested in the part, he spent months studying the Mason books, learning every phase of the Mason character, as it was portrayed in print," he said. "He went to court and watched some of the best lawyers try cases; he studied the technique of cross-examination until he had a clear concept of the character and background to present a true picture of a fighting lawyer whose loyalty to his clients and passionate love of justice wholly dominate the man's life."

All that hard work seemed to have paid off, though, as Burr's performance as Perry Mason has been praised and celebrated, even decades after the show went off the air.

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3 Comments

Runeshaper 30 days ago
Burr definitely did his homework to prepare for Perry Mason and it shows in his performance. The series is EXCELLENT and I recently started watching it again from the beginning (-:
justjeff 1 month ago
This is why remakes and reboots fall short... The dedication to either believability or familiarity with characters seems to be too often swept aside for "trendiness" and "updated storylines"... another reason why I haven't gone out for a movie night in years...
JHP 1 month ago
just LUV the show - watch two every night - might even know the dialogue from the characters

it's the chemistry between any of the characters/actors
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