Sunday, May 11, 2014

MeTV Schedule Changes

First off, Happy Mother’s Day!

MeTV will air a Perry movie on the 23rd. Be sure to catch it; MeTV’s summer schedule takes effect on the 26th and the Friday night movie will be off the schedule, at least for now.

I’ve been trying to find out if any other schedule changes will affect Perry­-related goings-on on MeTV, and if my research is right, the morning Perry episode will be affected. I can’t find the full summer schedule online yet, but unless they move Perry to another time, he’s going to get booted for, I think, The Love Boat. What? Sacrilege! The Love Boat is cheesy 1970s goodness, but replacing Perry is not acceptable. I certainly hope the nighttime showing will be unaffected. I usually only watch at night these days, but I know some people are only able to watch in the mornings. Hopefully they will be able to record the nighttime showings to watch the next day.

Also, they’re adding The Mod Squad to their line-up, which is great, but it tentatively looks like it may be booting Ironside. Perhaps Ironside will move to another time as well; we’ll have to wait for the full schedule to see. Perhaps they’ll move Ironside to air after Perry at night! That would be fun. And considering how they like to plug the shows as Raymond Burr back-to-back, it’s rather possible.

I wish MeTV would add Garrison’s Gorillas and Mannix to their line-up. Garrison’s Gorillas is a one-season show, so it would do well to air once a week, as they do for some short series such as Mr. Lucky. The premise of having convicts do secret missions is silly and not accurate to American forces, but the show is like a WWII-era Mission: Impossible. And it has cheeky British darling Christopher Cary (who totally should have guest-starred on Perry, oh my goodness). Any show with one of my favorites in a starring role is sure to be adored by me, even if it’s a genre I don’t often watch, such as war. And Mannix is totally the best private eye show ever.

One problem with adding Mannix, however, is that I’ve heard that rerun packages completely omit season 1. That is not good at all. Season 1 is an important part of the series too. I’ll admit, I wasn’t enthused about it before I saw it because I didn’t like the absence of secretary Peggy and wasn’t sure I’d like Mannix and his boss being at odds. But when I finally saw season 1 episodes, I was in love. Season 1 is just as intense and gripping as the other seasons, and Mannix actually has a beautiful rapport and friendship with his boss. The actors are friends in real-life, and it really comes through in the characters.

But enough about other classic television shows. Back to Perry, the late-night airings have moved into season 9. And I have to admit, I feel bad about it, but the last two or three times I’ve watched season 8, including this round, I’ve ended up becoming really anxious for season 9 before the end of it. After the first such time, I wondered if I would feel different on another showing of season 8. But it seems my feelings on it are here to stay.

I really don’t like the way they wrote Andy in season 8, as I’ve ranted many times. It seemed like they completely lost track of the amiable, fairly intelligent character they started out with. Andy is often little more than a cringe-worthy joke in season 8. It’s painful to watch such a good character be run into the ground by bad writing. And with that being the case, it was totally time for someone new.

Steve is such a breath of fresh air. I am thoroughly enjoying seeing him again and am forever impressed by how, even the times when he’s wrong, the show does not try to make him look like an idiot. I really wish the show had continued and we could have seen more of him. But I’m grateful for the episodes we have.

One thing I noticed: while in season 8 and even some of season 7 Andy is so very scarce many times, in season 9 Steve assumes a role that Tragg enjoys during the early seasons—that of having many scenes and much screentime. The first couple of season 9 episodes don’t feature Steve much, but by The Candy Queen it’s all different. I’m really happy they went back to having the police character play such a large role again. That’s part of the formula that never should have been changed.


  1. I loved Mannix as well.I've heard about Garrison's Gorillas but have never seen an episode>I read an article where it said it was wildly popular in China.Thanks for the update.

    1. Yeah, it's curious how it took off so much in China!

      The episodes have popped up on YouTube a lot. I watch them there, but I want it to have a DVD release or air on television again, so I can get the episodes for keeps.

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I heard about the MeTv airing and have it set to tape on my dvr... here's to hoping MeTv doesn't screw that up.

    Hopefully they don't get rid of the series completely on their channel. It would suck if they did.

    1. Hopefully they won't!

      Even though they shuffle series around a lot, I can't believe they'd completely put Perry on hiatus. But then again, I can hardly believe they're doing it with Hawaii 5-O, at least for the summer, so I suppose no series is safe.

  3. Yea I really don't like it when networks do it to any show... it's kind of frustrating.

    Same... but at least from what I can tell, it's still going to be on at night. Yep, nothing ever is.

    Finally got to watch some stuff recently... but CBS has been on a copyright tear yet again -_-. Come on, if you don't want folks to do this, then put the shows back up on your site. Easy as pie. I know you guys want people to buy them... but they're still too expensive.

    Been checking prices and they've come down some more, but by comparison to other shows, it's still too expensive.

    Might get it though if it stays at the price it's at and/or it comes down some more... it's getting more and more tempting. And hopefully the movies will go on sale too (the ones that are out now that is).

    1. Totally.

      Yeah, hopefully the nighttime airing will remain even if the morning one goes.

      Ugh. CBS should totally keep the shows on their site. And see that the DVD prices are lowered. I really want the latter half of season 9 (I am dying to see The Sausalito Sunrise uncut!), but at the price it's going right now, I feel more compelled to buy entire seasons of Mannix for the same price, instead of a half-season of Perry. I just bought season 6 of Mannix today.

      Oh snap, I forgot to mention about the second set of movies coming out. I think. Such a frustration that the movie sets are so ridiculously expensive! $50 ... come on!

  4. Yikes $50 who can afford that?I've been wanting to buy some of the Ironside dvds and they're way over priced also if you can even find them regionally,

  5. @ Lucky: They took them down awhile ago :(. Hopefully fans will complain and let them know to put them back up.

    Yea, it's really just another price gauge... I'm still going to get them, but it doesn't mean I'm not ANGRY at them. Shame on them. Waited on the 50th anniversary set, and I'm glad I did. It was in NO way worth $50. Got it for around $16... at that price it was justified imo.

    Check out Wal-Mart's site now for the whole series, they've brought down the price some more. And the seasons are around $14 a piece or so...

    @ marsha mallow: Yea. They just don't get it and don't care. If you want to wait... try again in the summer... sometimes there are sales on Amazon and such.

    1. Yeah, the older seasons have been around $14 for a while now. I need to get season 3 (both sets) and the latter halves of 4 and 5. The later seasons, unfortunately, are still around close to $30 per set, at least on Amazon. If Wal-Mart is charging $14 for every one of the seasons, wow.

      And yikes, that's horrible that the 50th Anniversary set was originally retailing for $50! By the time I knew about it and was interested in getting it, I think I picked it up for around $14 or maybe $16.

    2. It sucks that they're selling halves of series for that. Talk about nickling and diming fans. I'll have to double check that one, Lucky Ladybug. If so it would be a lot better than charging $30.

      Yea, I know. Was reading some of Amazon's reviews about that. Talk about ripping fans off. It would be enough to put me off from being a fan for good.

      How did you like it? I thought the interviews were pretty neat. And both Raymond and Barbara said the same thing about Perry and Della and their relationship -- that they (P & D) may have been doing a little more than just hanky panky... So dang cute XD. And his reaction was priceless tbh, he was just laughing and grinning (the imp =D XD) when he was commenting about it, it was in response to what his favorite parts of doing the movies were. She said (in the later interview from 08' -- his in regards to the comment was from 87') that they had fun doing that, hinting that there was possibly more to their relationship then what we saw.

    3. It certainly would.

      Totally. I remember when season 8 came out and the price wouldn't come down for the longest time. It was preposterous how much those halves were going for.

      I love it! :) I don't know why any Perry fan would have it and get rid of it just for not liking the episode choices, when there's such a treasure trove of bonus material. (I saw some people mentioning donating their copies.) I haven't seen all the bonus features yet; I haven't seen Raymond's interview, but I did see Barbara's.

    4. How much were they going for originally? I remember when ST ones were going for around $99 a season O_O.

      Both his interviews with Charlie Rose from 85' and 87' are worth the watch. Wish they would have included the whole ones tbh... me neither. It makes no sense. Heck I'm planning on getting the discs copied for back up.

    5. Yikes! Thankfully not as much as those. But if I remember right, it was hovering around $50 or somewhere in the $40+ range for quite some time. Many people complained.

      Awesome. I'll definitely check them out. :) But they're not the entire interviews? That's a shame.

      Back-ups are a very good thing!

    6. Yea I know O_o. The show may be good, but not THAT good. Dang, Understandable.

      Yep... it is. There is a Person to Person one from 58' of him seems to be a complete one though. And it's great to see his sense of humor in them.

      Agreed. It doesn't hurt. Especially since things aren't made as well anymore.

    7. Yeah. Even a whole season isn't worth $50. And certainly not $99. You should be able to buy a whole series for that! (Sometimes less, depending on the series.)

      Oooh. I'll want to see that one first. I love things made in the actual era of the show! And yes, I love his sense of humor too. He's so amusing in the Stump the Stars clip.


    8. Yea you should... heck Magnum PI is worth that much, saw it for sale for that price on Wal-Mart's site (not kidding either).

      It's worth it, it takes place at his house and you get to see his farm and animals and stuff. Haven't seen that just yet. I'll have to catch it. Oddly enough, that dang 4th disc has some air bubbles in the center of it O_o. So I'm trying to take really good care of it.

      Yea, it's like no one even tries to make quality products anymore :(. It's sad tbh.

    9. You mean the whole series or just a season?

      Oh wow. Awesome!

      Yikes. That's bizarre about the disc.

      It really is. So many things are so cheaply or lazily made.

    10. The whole series surprisingly enough.

      Yea :). Had a lot more respect for him afterwords, aside from a pair of Republicans who visited... but it was a different time, so I try to keep that in mind as well for what it's worth.

      Yea, but at least it's not a crack. That would be worse. But it's another reason why I'm getting copies made. It's an investment.

      Uh huh, good old planned obsolescence. They make things just good enough to last a bit, and then you have to buy them again -_-.

    11. Wow.

      I'm not sure I know what you mean. Do you mean he wasn't nice to the Republican visitors?

      Yes, cracks are definitely worse.

      Totally. So annoying! TVs and computers lasted a lot longer back in the day. These new models break all over the place.

    12. Oh he was. I'm just not a fan of Republicans. That's all. Back then they were a different animal, so I keep that in mind... but I'm still not a fan. Other than that, it's cool.

      Got one on a disc of the show Twin Peaks... it's not a bad one, but it's one that's bad enough to warrant trying to get a copy made of the disc so I can even watch it.

      Definitely. Heck even my Wii has lasted longer. It's lasted around 6-7 years, and my PS2 over 10. Things today fall apart. Just had my laptop cooling pad break after only 1 year of use -_-. So now I have to get a new one. It's terrible the shoddy workmanship. Took really good care of it and tried to keep it as clean as I could...

    13. It also might be good to keep in mind that you never know when you might be talking to a Republican. ;) I'm one.

      Does making a copy of a cracked disc even enable you to watch it? I'd think that the data would be garbled up on any copy attempted, due to the crack.

      Ugh. That's terrible about your cooling pad. We had a TV bought new break down after only a few months, while TVs twenty years old and older keep chugging away.

  6. anonymous thanks I didn't know about the summer sales.I hadn't watched Ironside in a long time then they had it on ME-TV and I realized how good it was>At least to me lol.
    Thanks Cindy

    1. Ironside really is a good show. I wish they'd put the other seasons on DVD too; they only have through 4. But at the prices the sets go for, I won't be planning to buy any anytime soon! Hopefully it will remain on MeTV. I'm concerned it may move to Sundays only, since The Rockford Files is going back to weekdays and something will need to replace it.

    2. But they are taking Ironside off again. I wrote a letter of protest to one of the executives of ME-TV. They are treating the series like a yo-yo. On then off then on then off.

    3. At least I got to record one of the Joseph Campanella episodes, but ugh, there's three others I wanted. Stupid schedule changes. I'm sure they could find a way to keep Ironside on along with the other stuff, if they really wanted to.

  7. You're welcome, marsha mallow. Got some good deals from them, most of the X-Files series for around $11 or so a season. Cool. Saw some of them (Ironside) on MeTv, pretty good show.

  8. Thank you ladies for some informative posts.

  9. Ah, I see. Got no issues with that tbh, I'm friends with other Republicans as well. It's just their issues I don't agree with. We basically agree to disagree.

    Good point. It's just in the plastic center part, not in the disc itself. So I don't think it would affect it. But if it were in the disc, I could see it affecting play back.

    Thanks. Dang. That's horrible. Yea, had one last around 12 years, an old Zenith. Miss quality.

    1. That's good to hear. :) Yes, I'm friends with many people of other viewpoints.

      Ahh. I wonder if that's why libraries always put tape over the center ring, to avoid cracking?

      Totally. And it spreads everywhere; I'm a toy collector and am appalled by the changing sizes of some popular toys, such as My Little Ponies. They were so big in the 1980s, and now the main line is so ridiculously small, not to mention hardly has any character variety. They mainly release the same characters over and over with some new accessory gimmick. It's really sad to see how lazy companies have gotten.

    2. Yea it doesn't hurt :). You never know what you'll have in common, regardless of any differences.

      Maybe. Good point.

      Defintely. And one of the best examples I can think of is the whole Skylanders line. You have to keep on getting toys that you can use in the game. Talk about nickle and diming people. It's beyond lazy.

      Was able to get a couple of the Perry Mason films from Youtube recently, saved them for what it's worth. Since they won't be out on dvd for some time sadly :(. They been fun viewing. Miss those two like mad.

      Found some good comedy vids by Raymond too on there :).

      Him and Red Skelton

      Parts 1-3 Jack Benny and him

      Him on the show Kopy Kats

      Him and Marilyn Michaels on the same show

      Him on Donny and Marie's show -- he played a pirate on it

    3. Very true. :)

      Yikes. That sounds terrible. I never quite got the Skylanders craze. The toys aren't just toys, they're somehow part of playing the game? That reminds me of WebKinz plushies. One plushie has a code that will let you play the online game for a year, but if you want to keep on, you have to buy more plushies and get more codes. Good grief!

      That's great that you managed to find a couple of the movies! And so many fun clips, too! That will definitely provide a lot of viewing pleasure for a while. :)

    4. Yea. I think it's something you put onto an add on and it goes into the game. Never played it though, but kids are just being suckered now a days. Yea that does sound similar.

      It's pretty neat. Lucky too.

      The ones I found were Killer Kiss, Silienced Singer and Skin Deep Scandal. Try looking them up. And I found some other clips too, including the kiss from the Tell Tale Talk Show Host :).

      The chemistry and acting in this scene is just perfect.

      Yea really enjoyed the Jack Benny one and the Kopy Kats one... they were really funny :). Also one of the clips from Skin Deep Scandal, the 4th one iirc, was really cute. And the 10th one is downright priceless. So much love for that movie. The 23rd can't come soon enough.

    5. Huh. Interesting.

      Neat. :) Killer Kiss I have recorded from MeTV when they showed it ages ago. I still haven't got around to watching it. I need to correct that.

      Yay! I think I remember looking at the kiss clip before. I'll look at it again when I check out the other gems you found.

    6. Cool. Lucky. Wish I could record stuff from it... my dvr has been acting up so sometimes it doesn't even record when I want it to do so.

      Awesome! I only found it this year, so I was 20 years late lol. Didn't see it back in the day... saw quite a few of the movies as I was growing up. Can't believe I missed it. It was beautiful. Cool.

      It's pretty neat finding stuff there. Found more than my share of gag reels/blooper reels from tv shows along with clips and good commercials. It's a treasure trove :).

    7. How frustrating! I still use a VCR, but I have no clue how to program it. Never did. I just have to either start the tape when I want it or else start it in advance, if I have enough spare tape.

      It's always exciting to discover new things. YouTube is an awesome place for that!

    8. Dear anonymous I found the Jack Benny Perry Mason skit Hilarious.Burr had very good comedic timing

    9. @ Lucky: Yea it sucks not having a working one :(. I'd love to get another one too so I can tape things off of television again.

      Yep. It never gets old either... only thing that does, is the copyright police.

      @ marsha: Cool. Yea he did and it was nice to see those clips where he could use it. Makes me wish that there would have been blooper/gag reels from Perry Mason to see some of the practical jokes XD.

  10. I listened to a fascinating interview Burr gave in Australia in 1961 heres the link if anyones interested
    it's audio only

    1. Oh, wonderful! I'm definitely interested, but I may have to set it aside to listen later; possibly busy day. Thanks for the link!

    2. Ended up listening while I worked on a sewing project. :) Very fun listen. Raymond sounds like such a pleasant person. Thanks again for the link!

  11. Glad you enjoyed it.He certainly was charming.His voice alone was reason enough for me to listen

    1. Oh, indeed. His voice is so enjoyable and soothing to listen to.

  12. The audio of the Australian interview is a real find. Thanks for posting it, marsha mellow.

    I've read some background info about that particular Burr visit to Australia that will perhaps add some context to that interview (and, any others he might have given on that trip.) Like all things Burr, an "explanation" gets bit complicated so I'd like to listen to the interview once more before I plunge into commenting since a bit of organization is called for.

    Since there's another Anonymous on this thread, I'll adopt "Anon2.

    I see there's another anonymous on this thread, so to avoid confusion, I'll adopt Anon2.

    1. Sorry for the confusion in not editing out the last sentence.
      Yes, this post and the following one is from Anon2. Guess I am having trouble selecting profile properly.
      --from Anon2

  13. From Anon2

    About his voice--one thing that I find fascinating from a fan's perspective is how an actor himself has a different intonation pattern or cadence than his character's. In addition, even some words seem pronounced differently. You probably are saying, "Duh" right now to what I have just said. LOL. "Of course, a character sounds different from the actor or actress playing the part of the character!"

    Yes, I know. How to I explain what I mean? It's just that the movie goer or tv fan, at least I *think*, ordinarily comes to associate the hero's/heroine/ leading man's/leading lady's vocal presentation with the actor or actress playing the part , especially when that actor or actress has played the part for what seems like forever. In contrast, we wouldn't be at all shocked to discover that the voices or speaking patterns of the actors playing the bad guys and bad gals were very different in many ways, from volume to pronunciation, to vocabulary choices( which are, of course, dictated by the script.) from the voices of the people actually playing those villains.

    Perry's cadence, no matter the setting (office or courtroom) is distinct from Raymond's, at least to this ear. So too is his pace ( which *is* expected). Also, his pronunciations or shall I say, his "accent," if I can use that word rather loosely, with Raymond's vowels more flat and Perry's more rounded most of the time.

    I guess what I am saying is that the speaking characteristics of the two (the man and the character) are distinct--that is, distinguishable from one another. You could play a tape of him speaking gibberish, gibberish as Perry Mason, then gibberish as Raymond Burr, guest being interviewed for a radio or tv interview, and I'd be able to tell them apart. Do you follow me? And do you feel the same or am I a minority of one?

    If they *are* different and I'm not auditorally (is that a word?) challenged, then it might be that his real voice/speaking pattern just might differ from his interview voice/speaking patter. I say that because in listening or watching him on some other shows there's variance. For example, on the youtube for "What's My Line," (early 60s) or the one where he's interviewed by a Scotsman for a Vancouver, BC radio station (circa 60-61) his speaking delivery seems much more like the one in this Australian interview while interviews later in his life seem to indicate not just a different vocal tone (age and years of smoking will do that to all), but a more relaxed or maybe the right word is a more casual, a less formal presentation.

    I think I am trying to say that the voice in the earlier instances sounds much more like someone trying to project a theatrically trained speaking voice while the latter ones sound more casual and typical of ordinary American speech. (Yes, Canadian-born, but American raised-- there might have been a few familial influences because of that, but they'd be slight., yet I've never really heard him evidence the two major differences between speakers of Western Canadian English and American English.) His pace is often much faster and varied than in interviews such as this Australian one. He was trained in radio and I'd suspect he was mindful of talking slowly for that medium on this occasion.

    1. I definitely think he had different tones between Perry and speaking in interviews, yes. I also noticed the difference on Stump the Stars. Very interesting that you have also observed a difference in early interviews and later ones! It's been ages since I've heard a later one, so I can't comment there, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's exactly as you've observed.

    2. Sorry for side tracking on speech patterns.You two are very perceptive.I never really noticed the distinct difference but you're right and it adds another layer of complexity to Raymond Burr.

  14. I think I understand what you're saying. One thing I noticed about his speech patterns especially on Ironside is that he had a tendency to elongate vowels such as the word precious he pronounced preecious I think spending his formative years birth through age 6 in Canada probably affected his speech patterns.Very interesting observations anonymous 2

  15. From anon2
    (Sorry, Lucky Ladybug...maybe these posts belong under another thread, but since we were talking about the subject here --the link to the Australian audio--I am going ahead and posting these here)

    The audio--

    The beginning is very cute and shows his sense of humor. Having told her audience it's "twenty-five past eleven" and adding she's one of the "lucky people who have a date with Raymond Burr at such a late hour," he's wickedly innocent and charming when he says, "Now, you may tell them also where you are." (This was, after all, 1961!) Too funny--his bedroom in his hotel suite. I do believe the woman sounded like an embarrassed and genuinely smitten schoolgirl. Her laughter, his's very enjoyable. One can imagine how indebted she felt to this celebrity for making himself available to her for an interview at that "ungodly hour" ; in fact, at the end, she gushes, telling her listeners she wishes to go on record as calling Burr one of the most cooperative celebrities imaginable. I'm sure her employers were equally happy. Much of what we characterize as "charm" is simply making oneself available to others so that they can do their jobs. He was a master at that. Unlike many actors, Ray actually liked these publicity junkets. (I did notice one tiny error, obviously made because they had no doubt just been hurriedly introduced, an error I am sure he'd chide himself for: It sounded as if he called her "Billy" rather than "Binny." I doubt she cared. In fact, later on, she claims she almost called him "Perry.")

    Each time I see a video of him like this, I hold my breath, waiting for a cringe-worthy statement. Relieved when I don't hear one, I exhale. I cringed listening to parts of this one. I get over the shock fairly quickly since I know what to expect, and I still want to watch videos or listen to any tapes and find them interesting from a human behavior standpoint; sometimes, I get a bit sad.

    As in many (most?) of his interviews, he manages both to obfuscate and, well, to outright lie, or, if we wish to be euphemistic, "tell a story."

    By juxtaposing the 1987 Charlie Rose interview with this one, I think we get a revealing glimpse into how a "story" was born and who birthed it, why it persisted, then how and why it evolved or was modified over time, resulting in all the inconsistencies we've come to know in such stories.

    For example, in the 1987 Charlie Rose interview, I think we see the birth of a story. There appears to be no reason at all for telling the lie (his knowing FDR, for instance). It springs unexpectedly and inexplicably from his mouth. That is, nothing Rose says or asks appears to back Burr into a corner or put him on the spot. The fabrications/exaggerations come in answer to a a straight-forward question from the host, something like, "Are you interested in politics?" If he had wished, as many celebrities do, not to reveal any political leanings, he could have said, "I follow the news, am interested in what happens in the world, have met many politicians over the years, but I don't publically endorse candidates or reveal my personal views, yet like any good citizen, I am mindful of issues. Instead, his brain went other places and his mouth followed, and we see and hear the birth of a lie (unless this "knowing FDR" thing was a lie he had told earlier, but if that's the case, I certainly had never heard it nor read it before, and it's clear Rose hadn't either.)

    This audio, on the other hand, is evidence of how and why fictions already in existence persisted or how they underwent changes so that it was rare that any story about a particular biographical topic matched another in its details. The conversation Raymond has with this woman about his visits to Australia is a great example of how a story he has told previously is likely changed by him, this time upon questioning.

  16. from anon2


    Here is some context for this Australian trip and is interesting in light of how his interviewer raved about the people's reaction to his visit.

    From Ona Hill's Raymond Burr, A Film, Radio, and Television Biography (p. 83):

    Raymond was invited to speak before many bar associations and addressed the Sydney, Australia, Bar Association on June 10, 1961. In Melbourne, he met head on with the Australian version of "Meet the Press." The panelists rudely questioned him about his personal life and the "Perry Mason" show. Raymond managed to keep his Irish temper in check, however. The Australian people who saw this outrageous display of their reporters swamped the television station with telephone calls and wrote to the newspapers, condemning the heartless questioning and apologizing for the bad manners of the press. While in Melbourne, Raymond spoke to the law students at Melbourne University.

    In Sydney, Raymond was given a warmer welcome. He composed and directed a variety show using local talent. Later in the evening he appeared on television again to introduce a "Perry Mason" episode."

    While Ms. Hill, a fan of Burr, produced a truly weak and unreliable biography, she did do her homework in some areas, using historical data from several Southern California libraries for Burr's work at the Pasadena Playhouse, researching his family tree from actual records in British Columbia, and I see she has a bibliography that cites the Daily Telegraph of Melbourne, the Mirror-Australian of Sydney ( no dates provided) along with several New Zealand newspapers.

  17. Thus, I am assuming that her conclusion that Burr was asked some uncomfortable personal questions on an Australian tv show is accurate, although I am left wondering if those questions were about his fictitious wives/son or if "personal" would have included questions about his supposed touring of Australia before the war or any acting he might have done in Australia. She asks him about his beginnings in theatre and about his past visits to Australia.

    Lum: You started off in musical comedy, didn't you?
    Burr: Yes, That was a while in the United States. I did. I played in England and France and in, oh, the Shakespearean classical work and one or two legitimate plays and also some musical work while I over there in Europe and Canada and when I came to the United States, uh, for my first Broadway was a musical and my second Broadway show was a musical.

    (He never played in England/France in those days to which he is referring, the Pre-War years. Any classical work he might have done would have been performed at the Pasadena Playhouse in the very late Thirties. He did indeed get a part in a musical revue on Broadway, called Crazy With the Heat, which opened in early January of 1941 and closed not that long after. Whatever the "second" Broadway show is, I don't know. There is no record of his being in a second Broadway show of any kind. Notice how odd his phrasing and syntax are.

    Lum: You've been in theatre for a long time.
    Burr: Yes, I've been in the theatre off and on since I was about first kind of professional engagement was a brief stint during one summer theater when I was about 12 years old.

    This is a variation of many variations on an old story. In one video interview on line, he is asked what his first professional job was. He responds it was as a Biblical character in a church play as a kid. He claimed that because he had to purchase a beard for the play for which he was reimbursed, it was "professional." The interviewer let him get away with that one, instead of saying, "No, I mean, a paying job as an actor" but interviewers have several questions they want to get through, I suppose. Another story has him going to BC to visit his dad one summer as a kid of about 12, reading an ad in a newspaper to replace a child actor who had fallen sick, to tour with group to Toronto for the summer. Of course, many other times he claimed that he didn't go to BC on summer visits as his siblings did, that he didn't see his father again until his late teen years or so. The Toronto touring never occurred.

    Lum: You know, there's some sort of a funny story appeared in one of our magazines. I'm not just sure which one at this point, but something to the effect you'd been to Australia before, and you had appeared in a play called "While the Sun Shines." Now, I happened to remember that Ronald Randall and, I think, Peter Finch happened to be in that show. I don't think you were in it.

    Burr: No, I wasn't in it. I appeared in "While the Sun Shines," but I appeared in that show in America, um, with uh, Jack Merivale and his sister and one or two other people, but that was on the West Coast of the United States, uh, I think there was some mistake that people get energetic when it comes to publicity."
    (She laughs)

  18. From anon 2 (con't)

    Actually, he did perform in the aforementioned play with those two actors on the very West Coast to which he refers--at the Pasadena Playhouse. The likelihood is that he has, in a previous interview that appeared somewhere, claimed that he was in that play in Australia. It sounds to me that he's minding his p's and q's because the tv show to which Hill referred --the "Australian version of 'Meet the Press''-- has given him a hard time about something related to his bio. He slickly "corrects" the misinformation that he has acted in that play in Australia by good naturedly assigning its creation to some over-eager publicist. Also, from the question itself, to how it's phrased, to the nuance in her voice, it sounds to me as if Ms. Lum was purposely giving him the "opportunity for rehabilitation" as they call it when a journalist gives someone, usually a politician, a chance to explain himself or make himself look better in light of some previous criticism.


    Lum: But, you have been to Australia before?
    Burr: Oh, yes. I've been in Brisbane about 5 times, about 3 or 4 times in Sydney, and about twice in Melbourne.

    Again, it sounds as if Ms. Lum is pulling for him and again, offering a chance to reassure people of his veracity, as if there has indeed been some doubt raised in Australia about his bio, especially here as it relates to their country and his past. it not odd-sounding, that a person would have at_ his_fingertips the number of times he's been to a city, then modify each with "about"? Oh, Ray. Some signs of lying aren't that hard to spot. Specifying the number of times is called over-compensation.

    Lum: Was all this before Perry Mason?
    Burr: Much before Perry Mason. (laughs) It was during the War. I came through here on one trip, uh, way back in 1937 or '38, right around in there, huh, on my way to the Orient to visit my grandparents and then during the War in those different areas 2 or 3 times.
    Lum: With the Navy.
    Burr. With the Navy.

    He avoids repeating previous lies he has told about touring Australia as a very young actor in the late 1930s, previous to WWII. There were, however, previous stories he told of having been in the US Navy and having sailed by Australia during those war years. Here, he returns to that claim. I guess he's intimating his ship stopped at those cities those number of times? Years and years later when he bought his Fijian island, the Navy/Australia connection reared again in another form, with stories of how his interest in Fiji came about because he sailed by it during the War. Of course, there were some other details as well in other sources: he endured injuries in WWII that required him to spends weeks (sometimes "months") in an Australian hospital...and on and on.

  19. from anon2 (con't)
    We now know for sure Mr. Burr was never in the Navy or any service during those years. Anyone can write the records center and have a search conducted. One needn't be a relative. The last biographer, Starr, did such a search and was told by the center that an extensive search was conducted and that no military service record for such a person existed. The results were not a surprise as all Ray's references to his military service were contradictory anyway. Further, the internet age has made his whereabouts during the war years fairly traceable. He hop-scotched the country, acting in summer stock, then back to Los Angeles. Playbills from several cities can be found on ebay listing him in those plays. Hill found pictures of his performances at the Playhouse during some of those war years, and the playbills as well. A picture of a handsome, thin Raymond and the cast of one play staged at the Elitch in Denver during the summer of '44 graces a wall at the Vineyard and copies of it are often on ebay. City directories show his mother still living in Oakland in 1941 (surely he visited her on his trips back and forth across the country), and the 1940 census, recently released, has him living in a boarding house in Los Angeles. His "previous city" (in 1940's census talk, this refers to the city in which one lived in 1935) is listed as Oakland, which matches other sources. In 1940, perhaps as early as his release from the CCC, he was in LA doing his best to get a foot in the door in acting and trying to learn his craft by taking as many classes as he could at the Playhouse, dropping out when he ran out of money.

    The A&E Biography of him shows a picture of him with his Civilian Conservation Corp group. (Research shows he was with Camp Oak Knoll near the CA-Oregon border and that his group received orders to relocate to Camp Whitmore, a bit south, near Redding, CA.) It's unclear whether he served the mandatory one year or if he served longer. This 1938 CCC yearbook lists his name, although there is no picture of him nor does there appear to be pictures of the men with whom he served as shown in the A&E picture. It's my guess his service was over in late '37 or sometime in '38. This, of course, contradicts his claims of touring England and France, and Australia and the Orient about this time.

    For example, in Ona Hill's Raymond Burr, A Film, Radio, and Television Biography, the author naively repeats what she has read in any number of other sources, that in the mid to late 1930s, Raymond, struck by wanderlust and a desire to act, left the states, and that,

    he joined the Berkeley Players in Toronto and toured all over Canada, learning about everything about acting and behind the scenes jobs pertaining to show business. (p.9)

    and that,

    Raymond joined another group that traveled to India and Australia and ended up touring England, performing Shakespeare. Raymond was the youngest Macbeth at the time to act at the famous Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Theatre. (p.9) ...Raymond joined the repertory company and performed in a series of plays all over England. After four performances in Brighton, the manager absconded with the receipts, leaving the troupe stranded." (p.9)

  20. from anon2 (con't)

    She writes that after returning to the States after the tours were over

    Grandfather Smith needed someone to go to Chungking, China, to liquidate family property and decided Raymond should go, since he was still out of work. In the six months he spent there, Raymond took several courses at the University of Chungking and learned a number of Chinese dialects.

    (note: this is just one version of stories that his maternal grandparents, the ones who moved to Vallejo, CA, to run or manage a very small hotel, had property in China. In some versions, he was removed from elementary or junior high school and taken abroad by his grandparents to live in India and China. Another story has Grandfather Smith having to leave for these exotic places on a "diplomatic assignment." The point is that we see the stories originated from someone's mouth, then underwent changes in all kinds of details over the years. Of course, none of this jibes with the stories of his mother, his grandparents, his siblings, and himself living in the working class town of Vallejo, facing the Depression, moving from Vallejo to Oakland/Berkeley not far away, and doing their best to do what most families of that place did during that era--worked to pay the rent, buy food, and get by, and they did get by, probably as well as most, maybe better than most by a bit.

    While Ms. Hill was not much of a biographer (nor was Starr) she did do some digging that is telling. Burr's bio listed him as having played Danny in Emlyn Williams' Night Must Fall, important roles in "his tour of Australia and England" and that he had another important role in Mandarin. I don't know if Ms. Hill, who was a great fan of Burr, was simply doing due diligence (at least for ONE thing), or if she was bound and determined to prove to naysayers that Burr's bio wasn't full of fabrications, but she did scour for proof of his having been an actor on tour in pre-war Australia. She came up empty, but ever the believer, she provides a partial reason for coming up empty: No playbills of these two plays can be found in Australia or England, since the Williamson Theatre Organization had many groups touring these countries with the same two plays. No reviews of the Burr version have been found. (p.10)

    Then, of course, anyone reading bios of Burr recalled stories of his having landed in France for a time and seeing stories such as this: To earn a living at one point, he got a job singing in a small smoke-filled French nightclub called Le Ruban Bleu. He performed songs six nights a week in the languages he had learned and saved enough for his passage homes. (p. 11) I'm sure Burr watchers have read several differing versions of this story. Further, somewhere I recall reading that actors in England at that time were issued cards, sort of union-type cards, that records of them exist, and that searches for one issued to one Raymond Burr have never been found.

    Thus, while he admits to this interviewer that he did not perform in Australia in While The Sun Shines, and while he doesn't offer claims that he has toured Australia as an actor in the pre-war years, he doesn't offer the truth that these other stories are out there and are untrue.

  21. from anon2 (con't)

    In this interview we can see how and why some stories changed in their details. When he realized that some interviewer knew that a previous story was inaccurate, he corrected it, but left others (such as here, regarding his service in the Navy) standing. He also did not bring up other stories that he realized an interviewer would realize couldn't be true (as in his touring of Australia as an actor) and so they stood, uncorrected, waiting for other writers to repeat them.

    One thing that really struck me was his answer to a question about being on a jury.

    Lum: Have you ever served on a jury?
    Burr: No, I have not. I have moved around so much that it's only lately I have established a residence in one place to even vote in my country and consequently, jury rights...or jury responsibilities go with voting.

    Huh? I am used to his strange answers, but this one has me puzzled. The man had lived in the U.S. since he was not quite six, and even IF he wished to leave people with the impression that he hadn't, that he had only recently established residency in this country (and for the life of me, I wouldn't know why he would want to leave that impression), he had been Perry Mason for a few years by the time of this interview and he had been a Hollywood movie villain for several years as his interviewer alluded to earlier. So, at the bare minimum, anyone would know he had been a resident for many years. Thus, why wouldn't he have registered to vote? Why would he think saying what he did would be believed or that would go over well? I don't believe him, but I don't understand the lie either. He had a home in Malibu, had had it since about 1955-56. He'd lived in LA proper and LA Country since the War was over. The only time I can imagine his residency was in much flux was during those War years when he went from coast to coast. All I can imagine is that his answer is worded as it is, and is as odd in its content as it is, because to say otherwise would contradict something he realizes he just told someone else.

    This doesn't really explain my puzzle, but I'll offer it as an aside. Ray was always a bit foxy or mindful of his connection to the Commonwealth, having been born in Canada. Today we think of Canada and Australia as very much as independent entities, but when I was a youngster, while basically independently governed, they were still very much thought of as part of the UK Commonwealth. (To an American like me, it's always been a rather confusing distinction.) Even in going to this link, I noticed that they have the label of "Canadian" for Raymond. Dual citizenship was offered by both countries not that long ago by both countries, Canada wanting to offer Canadian born Americans that offer to lure them to Canada to work by offering tax benefits. Still, Ray was mindful of his audience. When in a Commonwealth country, I think he played up his Canadian/Anglo roots (when in actuality, he was never really emotionally tied to that part of his past, perhaps because of some resentment toward his father) and mostly because he spent his youth and his adult life in America. I do believe he was "American" and had been since he turned of age to be naturalized, 18. The 1940 census has a label entitled "ethnicity." Under it, he is listed as "American." He would have responsible for providing that answer to the census taker.

    Thanks again for the link to the audio. Should anyone find that so-called Australian "Meet the Press", it would be great to see it. I don't think that's it's name, however, only what Hill called it.

    1. I thought the jury duty question was odd also.I added some links below.The australian paper is searchable and has a great many interviews during both Perry Mason and Ironside years.There's also on with his Parents done shortly before his mother died.It's titled Proud parents proud son.

    2. Very interesting. You certainly do your homework in trying diligently to pick apart the truth from the lies.

  22. from anon2

    Ready to scream--I copied and pasted these from an email account and I just now noticed that sentences and paragraphs I italicized don't print that way on this blog. Thus, all my quotes from other sources such as Hill were italicized but have failed to show up that way. I apologize for the confusion that this must cause in reading. Hopefully, you'll be able to distinguish other's words from my own.

  23. Fascinating observations.If you're interested here's a link to an australian paper where it mentions him being in the play Binny Lum questioned him about It's dated 3 year before the interview in 1958- I've also read an interview given during his Ironside years where he said he was an American and had been since childhood.


    1. From anon2

      Thanks for the link (and the other down below as well.)

      Guess it took him a couple of more years to get down under.

      I was going to insert quotes about his contention that he played in "Night Must Fall" in my posts, but left it out. Starr, in his bio, quotes an Elitch Gardens (Denver) playbill. (He spent the summer of '44 starring in few plays there and his love for that area, which accounted for his wish to do the Mason movies there, was established by his acquaintance with the area made in the mid Forties.)

      From the Starr's book, quoting the playbill:

      "In London, he was featured in 'Tonight [sic] Must Fall' and later toured Australia in an extended run of this successful hit. Burr had his own Shakespearean troupe in England, appearing at Stratford and he was the youngest actor cast in the role of Macbeth. His other London plays were a revival of "Tonight at Eight-Thirty' and he was playing in "Mandarin' when war was declared."

      The link you gave to the 1959 Australian write-up is the first and only time I've read anything stating he'd been divorced twice. It's easy to see how that came about--either he said it or someone was confused by another article and concluded that.

      When Perry Mason first began and the first articles of him started appearing (he got most of the first heavy flow of publicity in Mason's 2nd season and the lead-up to that 2nd season as the series took hold in the ratings and it became clear that it had survived its first year and was doing well), his write-ups said he had been married twice, with the first wife having died in the plane crash, with their son having passed from illness, and with a second marriage having ended in divorce (which was true.) In that first year, and even most of the second year of Mason, there was no mention of a third wife who died of cancer shortly after they had been married. In fact, it might not have been mentioned until the third season. Frankly, I don't remember if it occurred at the end of the second season or the beginning of the third but we researched it once.

      "We"--I should add that there is a group of us who have become fast friends and internet buddies over the years ( although a few of us who don't live that far apart have actually met in person.) We were all initially bound guessed it, an interest in Raymond Burr. Each person, it turned out, had a different reason for his or her interest, yet as you might expect, shared reasons too.

      We keep in touch and share stuff we learn. I'm the "writer" of our little group because I have the time and....I'm verbose, as if you can't tell!

    2. I love reading your posts because you pick up on things I wouldn't have thought of like the interview being one to clear things up.That explains the out of left field question of jury duty . That is so cool that you have a group to discuss him.I love reading about him.

    3. Anonymous I found an article about Meet the Press but it said Burr cancelled his appearance-link-|||toyyyy=1961

    4. from anon2

      Thanks once again for the link, which I just finished taking a look at.

      I think you might have misunderstood a particular sentence. The previous paragraphs essentially list, discuss his schedule while in Australia, explaining that all but 6 hours of his 8 day stay will be in Melbourne, the remaining 6 hours in Sydney.

      After listing what is intended to be his schedule on his trip, the author of the article writes, "Finally, Burr will bow out in Melbourne's 'Meet the Press' on Sunday night, June 18, at 5:30."

      Is this the sentence you mean? If so, the "bow[ing] out" I do believe is the writer's way of saying he'll "end" or "bow out" of his time in the country on that show.
      Maybe you are referring to something else you read that suggests he didn't appear on the show?

      Also, I used your link to scan for the article of his trip to Sydney to narrate a performance at the newly opened Opera House, the trip on which he took his parents. I had seen pictures of them there before.

      Reading the article, I was reminded that Raymond himself was probably often not culpable for inaccurate information. Newspapers, as we know, from the most influential and prestigious to the smallest rural daily are often inaccurate (in fact, I'd wager the later are much MORE accurate than the former--they'd hear hollers from their readers if they weren't, and they'd care).

      The article uses the present tense, saying his parents "live" in BC when in actuality by that time in their lives, they lived in Los Angeles, brought there by him because of his mother's health concerns. They did own a small place back in BC, but I think he wanted them near him as she aged. I think they moved to LA around 1970.

      Also, the writer says that the mother, in expressing her pride in all three of her children, says that her other son is a "conductor for the Los Angeles Symphony." Well, first, the name of LA's orchestra is the Los Angeles Philharmonic, small point, I know. Second, his brother was a police officer who at some point was the conductor, arranger for the LA Police Band, and yes, his brother, taking after his mother, was a musician, and I think probably picked up some extra money with his musical talent, but he was never a conductor of the LA Philharmonic. Perhaps he was a conductor of one of the many small city orchestra's/"symphonies" that could have existed in the LA area at the time.

      Very possible the interviewer misunderstood what the mother said or relied not her actually talking to him but on previous "biographical data"...and we know how wrong THAT can be, orone more possibility that I wouldn't say is my first guess, but always a possibility since children do indeed inherit and/or mimic traits of their parents, is that Ray's mother might have the same trait of you know what. It's not at all uncommon that when you find someone with the problem, you'll find a relative with it as well, just maybe not as pronounced or maybe even more so. We'll never know.

    5. Oh, one other thing. Since this was a 10 day trip and Ms. Lum or he mentions he's on his 5th day of visiting the country, and the "Meet the Press" appearance wasn't scheduled until his last night there, it's clear she is not, as I wondered, trying to "rehabilitate" him from anything negative that occurred on that show since it hadn't happened yet. However, I still think she was "rehabilitating" when she referred to that magazine article that suggested he was in that play. I suspect that people she knew or that people who were writing/talking about his coming visit (when I say "people" I really mean maybe a columnist or two or someone in the theatre field there) might have harrumphed about his never really having acted in that play in Australia.

    6. from anon2
      FYI, I wanted to add that it was but approx. 7 weeks after that picture of the three of them that his mother, back in LA, died.

    7. Yes I did misunderstand the term bow out.I assumed it meant cancelled.It's amazing that his mother was able to endure a trip like that as sick as she was.There is also an article in the Aussie papers after her death that he visited again and he spoke of his mother and said he didn't attend her funeral,He gave the reason as wanting all attention on her and people not coming to see him,It was quite sad actually knowing what his sister said about how hard he took it.

    8. Here's the link to the article where he mentions the funeral

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    10. I saw his mom's obituary in the LA Times. It gave the church (either St. James or Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, don't quite remember, in downtown LA) and the time and place of the mass. Thus, it appears it was a public service and one wonders if what realtors call "looky lous" show up at the memorial services or funerals of famous people or their family members in cities which have a lot of famous people. If so, one can understand the celebrity's worry over that, which is probably why so many services are private and obituaries don't give times or place of services.

      Perhaps he would have preferred a private service and another or other family members thought otherwise. She did live in Los Angeles for some time before re-marrying her first husband and relocating to BC, and one would imagine that during that time, which had to have spanned at the bare minimum the better part of a decade (and likely several years longer) she made many friends who, were the service not public, not have been able to pay their respects. Then too, Raymond had a brother who had lived in LA for a long while and I'm sure friends of his might have wanted to pay their respects as well. (The sister, by that time, had lived in AK for a long while).

      Maybe he just felt he couldn't handle a public service where it was possible that at least some strangers would be there to see him and his reactions. The other thing is that, aside from such strangers, Raymond's acquaintances and co-workers and friends were legion. They may have flocked there to show their respect, and it would, therefore, be rather true that he'd be the center of attention, even if they didn't know her or the rest of his family.

      Yes, his sister said he had to be sedated he took it so hard, intimating that's why he didn't attend the funeral. I always took that as believable, although when I heard it I was surprised. Thinking about it, I wasn't though.

      I didn't find a problem with what he told the reporter in the article. I'd guess that, at least in part, he was telling the truth, not wanting to be the center of attention, and that he probably just left out that he was also pretty distraught.

      I don't think Ray dealt with the personal and the emotional in his life head on; I think he had a tendency to flight as an answer (metaphorical and real), and certainly grief makes even those not like that want to flee and just be alone.
      Then too, and I hope I am not misunderstood in saying this, but when a beloved parent passes, there is such a sense of loss of self, loss of identity (a feeling of being orphaned, really, no matter how old one is) that solace in found in their own families--wife/husband, and children/grandchildren and the knowledge that the family goes on. The emptiness felt over the passing of one generation is somewhat lessened by the awareness that that person's life has been passed to the next generation and lives in them, through the kids. Raymond was loved, yes, but he didn't have that nuclear family of his own-- kids-- to give him that sense of continuity so his mother's passing might have been much harder on him than his siblings.

    11. Very poignantly stated.I didn't know the funeral was made public so it makes perfect sense that he would be reluctant to attend.

    12. Thanks for the link, Marsha. That was a very lovely and poignant read.

  24. Sorry Anon 2 upon reading article again it was a Play called Night must Fall he said he did in the 1930's .I'll leave the link in case you want to read it anyway

  25. Here's the link to the interview where he says he was American since age 6-it's a long article and appears during the end-,4412244

  26. I know many of you are Perry Mason fans, but some of you are also Ironside fans. ME-TV is again removing Ironside from their schedule. If you really want to see them return Ironside, please write ME-TV with a letter, not write on their Facebook page. If we show our support, maybe they will keep it on for more than a heartbeat at a better time than 2 AM.

    1. I was wondering if it was getting the boot again. That is annoying indeed. I'll make a post soon with information about the upcoming schedule changes.