Thursday, May 14, 2015

Richard Anderson's book!

For the past afternoon, I have done something I have wanted to do ever since the rumors started circling a couple of years ago.

I have delightedly devoured Richard’s book.

It’s a fascinating treasure trove of anecdotes from throughout Richard’s amazing life, covering early experiences, the golden days of Hollywood, and of course, the television series that Richard has become so famous for. As near as I can tell, it’s transcribed directly from the interviews with Alan Doshna. I can hear Richard’s voice in my mind, narrating every page like it’s a cozy fireside visit with friends. He’s every bit the warm, friendly, and charming person I’ve pictured him to be.

While I wish the book was longer and that the sections on especially Perry were more detailed, it’s a wonderful read that every classic movie and television buff should pick up. And there are some great little anecdotes about working on Perry. He has nothing but lovely things to say about everyone.

I don’t want to detail any of the contents of the book, as I want everyone to go out and get one for themselves, but there are a couple of little tidbits I want to point out. (Get the book to read the details.)

- Erle Stanley Gardner liked Richard’s portrayal of Steve Drumm. While I don’t agree with many of Mr. Gardner’s decisions, this is certainly one I’m thrilled about.

- Richard indicated that perhaps he would have liked to play Steve in the reunion movie. He was very pleased with the part he got, but it definitely sounded like it wasn’t his decision to not play Steve in it.

It’s really a treasure to have something available from one of the only surviving members of the steady Perry cast, not to mention, someone who experienced so much of Hollywood during the classic days. It’s really intriguing and exciting to hear about all the people he met and the ones he struck up friendships with. To top it off, there are many beautiful pictures from Richard’s personal collection! I love seeing shots of Richard through the years in some of his assorted and very unique roles.

The book is available here: as well as on Amazon. I wonder if Richard will be doing any book-signings or promotions? I wish he’d come to my area!


  1. I'm jealous. I can't buy the book for a while at that price.

    I managed to look at the PM chapter, or a few page of it on the Amazon site using the Look Inside feature.

    They won't let me see page 85. LOL. it skips to page 86, where at the top of the page Richard says, I presume (because I can't see what comes before it) that people would go to Barbara Hale as a "go-between" when they wanted to bring something up with Raymond.
    Also, on that first page of the chapter Richard calls Burr "a very strong-minded guy. VERY strong minded."

    Can you tell me what I missed on page 85, as the Barbara connection and "very strong minded" are intriguing!

    I bought the Davidson ebook (love them, they're very affordable) and there's a hint of that but from someone who worked on the show, the perspective is even more valuable.

    At first, I couldn't make out what Richard was saying about he and Ray and a show called "Arizona Ames" but finally I did. I looked it up on IMDB and yes, both were in it although it didn't get picked up as a pilot. Too bad or maybe Richard would have gotten his OWN show. That would have been very nice, esp. since he was about to have a young family.

    Funny, the part with ESG.

    1. Yeah, it is a steep price for a book that thin. Hopefully it will come down in price/there'll be a sale before too long!

      I went to look and it must be page 84 it wouldn't let you see, as 85 has the content you were mentioning you'd seen. At the bottom of page 84, he talks about Raymond and his jokes. Barbara organized the parties, and then it went into what you saw at the top of the next page.

      Indeed! I wish he'd talked more about Perry Mason, but what he did say was great. The Davidson eBook is something I still need to invest in. I don't care much for eBooks; I'd rather have a physical book in hand. But the prices are definitely nice, yes.

      That would have been awesome if it had happened!

      Yes. LOL. I love the way Richard tells the stories.

    2. Thanks, Ladybug!

      Oh, and you will dearly love the Davidson book! Like you, though, I prefer hard copies if I can afford them and wish to keep them. Mr. Davidson's book, however, extensive as it is, would be a couple hundred dollars, I think, were it a hard copy and he explains he didn't wish to leave things out!

    3. You're welcome!

      Oooh, thanks! That definitely makes it sound appealing. A nice, meaty book. Maybe I could print it out. I assume it downloads as a PDF?

  2. I forgot a couple of things-

    It was nice what Richard said about Canadian actors..although Burr, born Canadian, came here as a youngster, went to school, grew up in the US while Nielsen and Statner stayed in their native country much longer, to adulthood.

    But what I was going to say about his point about the professionalism of those from Canada is that at least these three he mentions were theater-trained actors, and also in Raymond's case, not just theater but radio too, so people trained that way might behave differently than some w/out that background. If you began your training in acting in the theater, it's because you loved it, whereas many tv and movie starts were snatched from obscurity by those in the business because they might have had a "look" or something but no training in acting.

    Also, Richard did many Ironsides episodes which shows that Raymond must have liked his work and wanted him on his show.

    1. That's true about Raymond spending more time in America. And good point about his being theatre-trained.

      Thinking about it, I think a great many of the actors I especially love were theatre-trained: H.M. Wynant, Simon Oakland, Darren McGavin, Christopher Cary, Joseph Campanella.... And I'm trying to remember if William Talman was also in that category.... Wesley Lau, I believe, did a play in high school and that's when he realized he was good as an actor, but what he really wanted was to be a writer. Richard mentions being in some plays, too, although I think it was also high school/college productions (as opposed to Broadway or something like that). But he was already enamored of being an actor at that point.

      Indeed. Unfortunately, in a lot of those episodes he didn't have much screentime. But now and then they gave him a really meaty part.

    2. Hi Ladybug,

      Thanks for your glowing review. Richard appreciates it too. There is now a link to it on the publisher's webpage for the book. Will keep you posted concerning items of interest! Best, Alan Doshna

    3. Awesome! Thank you so much. I'm glad Richard likes it.

  3. Hi Ladybug,

    A lot has been going on. Your site is linked to the page on our publisher's website:
    Our book is our publisher's best seller of the week, and there's a link to your site below the announcement:
    I just did an interview with a TCM blog, where I mention a bit about Richard's experiences with the Perry Mason series.
    Hope you enjoy!

    1. How exciting! Thank you! I'll listen to the interview hopefully tonight.

    2. That was a very fascinating interview! I really enjoyed all the extra tidbits. I'm working on a website for my favorite actors, focusing largely on interviews both by and about them, and I'd love to include a link to this interview.

    3. Has been a big week as far as the Richard Anderson book goes. Below are several links:

      A glowing review from Turner Classic Movies:

      His new and improved website:

      A new article:

      Richard Anderson: From MGM to the 6 Million Dollar Man


    4. Awesome! Yeah, I saw those things on Facebook. I sent Richard this year's birthday tribute, but I'm not sure if it went through properly. Sometimes I have trouble with Facebook's messaging system.

  4. Will forward him your tribute. Thanks so much!

  5. RIP, Richard Anderson.