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Raymond Burr ACTOR
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RAYMOND BURR BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:

Born, Raymond William Stacey Burr on May 21st, 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, Raymond Burr was primarily known for his roles on the television series Perry Mason and Ironside
 
His father, William Johnston Burr was an Irish hardware salesman and his mother, Minerva was a concert pianist and music teacher.  Burr spent the early part of his childhood living in China when his father was working as a trade agent.  When his parents divorced he moved to Vallejo, California to live with his mother and younger siblings, Geraldine and James.  For one year at the age of twelve, his mother sent him off to work in New Mexico as a ranch hand due to his mom being concerned he was socializing with a "bad" crowd in California.  He was also an unusually large child and therefore, appeared a lot older than his true age so he was able to find work to help support his family. 
 
He held odd jobs such as a Forest service fire guard, a property agent and a photograph assistant. 
 
During his teenage years he also developed an interest in acting and made his stage debut with a Vancouver stock company.
 
Burr went to a military junior high school but dropped out and did not go on to high school.  However, he did study at Long Beach Junior College and actually took some classes at the University of California.  
 
Burr began his acting career like many others actors of that era, at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1937.  Raymond was told that his weight would be a factor in getting roles on stage and on film, therefore, he put himself on a strict 750 calorie diet per day and took his weight down from 340 pounds to 210 pounds.  His first Broadway role was in, "Crazy with the Heat" (1941) and was then a contract actor with RKO studio's mostly portraying the villain character.
 
Burr's career took off quite quickly and within a ten year period, he had already starred in over 60 films some of which included, "A Place in the Sun" (1951) starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters, "Rear Window" starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter and Wendell Corey, "Thunder Pass" with Dane Clark, Dorothy Patrick, Andy Devine and John Carradine and "Passion" co-starring Cornel Wilde and Yvonne De Carlo (all 1954).
 
In 1956 he landed a starring role on, "Fort Laramie" which was a western drama about life at old Fort Laramie during the 19th century.  He starred in forty one episodes total and a year later his largest and most well known television role was offered to him.

It began in 1956, with his first audition to play the role of District Attorney, Hamilton Burger in the television series, "Perry Mason".  The producers knew right away that he was perfect for the part. 

For his character portrayal, Burr won two Emmy's in 1959 and again in 1961.  From his highly gained popularity earned from this role he then moved from CBS to Universal Studios to take on another title role in the television series, "Ironside" (1967-1975).  This role earned him an additional six Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.  Burr also was cast in, "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" (1976-1977) another very well known role. 

Burr also co starred in a number of television films such as, "Only the Pretty Girls Die" (1979), "The Curse of King Tut's Tomb" (1980) and "Peter and Paul" (1981).
 
In 1985 Burr was asked to not only do a new "Godzilla" film but also a made for television movie, "Perry Masson Returns" (1985).  The movie was such a success that before he passed away, he actually completed 26 more Perry Masson made for television films.
 
In 1988, after three years and nine Perry Mason TV movies, Raymond Burr's costar, William Katt left the show to pursue other projects.  Actor William R. Moses was hired to play Ken Malansky.  Moses appeared in the Mason TV movies filmed between 1989 and 1995.
 
In 1993 Burr decided to do with Ironside what he had done with Perry Mason.  He chose to do a Ironside reunion movie, "The Return of Ironside" (1993) which reunited the original cast of the 1967-1975 series.  This was too be his last reunion with the original cast, sadly, while filming the movie, he became very ill and was told he had cancer that had spread to his liver.  He passed away on September 12th, 1993 at his Sonoma County, California ranch at the age of seventy six.   

Raymond Burr was interred with his parents at Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. On October 1, 1993.  He had an estate estimated to be worth $32 million which he left to his lifelong partner and friend, Robert Benevides.
 
Not only did Raymond Burr have a huge interest in acting, he pursued many other hobbies as well.  He was an avid wine and art collector, and enjoyed cooking.  He owned an orchid business and began growing a vineyard as well.
 
Burr also had a farmlands holding in Sonoma County where he cultivated Chardonnay, port grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon with his friend, Benevides, a fellow orchidist.  Today the land is known as Raymond Burr Vineyards.  He also had purchased 4000 acres on the island of Naitauba, Fiji back in 1965 and there he oversaw the raising of copra, also known as coconut meat and cattle.  The two men had a company called, Sea God Nurseries and had nurseries in Fiji, Hawaii, the Azores and California.  Raymond Burr was also among the earliest importers and breeders of Portuguese Water Dogs in the United States.
 
Raymond Burr won many awards during his lifetime and his various careers.  Besides the Emmy's he won for Perry Masson and all the nominations received for Ironside, he was also awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Canada Post issued a postage stamp in 2008 in it's series featuring Burr and he was also the recipient of the 2009 Canadian Legends Award and received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto. 

The Raymond Burr Performing Arts Centre in New Westminster, British Columbia, opened in October 2000. The Centre was commonly referred to as the "Burr Theatre," or simply as "the Burr." It is owned by the City of New Westminster, which placed it for sale on 15 June 2009. 

His personal life was full of highs and lows.  Burr first married quite young to Annette Sutherland, whom in 1943 perished in a plane crash.  He was devastated by the loss of his wife and he cared for their son, Michael Evan Burr whom in 1953 passed away from Leukemia.   He married two more times.  His second marriage to Isabelle Ward ended in divorce and his third marriage to Laura Andrina Morgan ended in 1955 with his wife passing from cancer.  There are many stories saying that a lot of his biography could be falsified and there are no records of a first or third marriage nor are there any records of him having a son or joining the military. 

After Rayomnd Burr's death many began to suspect that he was such a private man because he was hiding his true homosexuality.  It is not proven, but only believed that his true relationship and closest was to that of his friend and business partner, Robert Benevides.   It is said, he hid his true sexuality due to the chance it might have ruined is career. 
 
 
Filmography
 
1993   Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss (TV movie)
1993   Perry Mason: The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host (TV movie)
1993   The Return of Ironside (TV movie)
1993   Perry Mason: The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal (TV movie)
1992   Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken Bride (TV movie)
1992   Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo (TV movie)
1992   Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing (TV movie)
1992   Grass Roots (TV movie)
1991   Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Fashion (TV movie)
1991   Delirious
1991   Perry Mason: The Case of the Glass Coffin (TV movie)
1991   Showdown at Williams Creek
1991   Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster (TV movie)
1991   Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter (TV movie)
1990   Perry Mason: The Case of the Defiant Daughter (TV movie)
1990   Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer (TV movie)
1990   Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception (TV movie)
1990   Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen (TV movie)
1989   Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin (TV movie)
1989   Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder (TV movie)
1989   Perry Mason: The Case of the Lethal Lesson (TV movie)
1988   Perry Mason: The Case of the Lady in the Lake (TV movie)
1988   Perry Mason: The Case of the Avenging Ace (TV movie)
1987   Perry Mason: The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel (TV movie)
1987   Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam (TV movie)
1987   Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit (TV movie)
1987   Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love (TV movie)
1986   Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star (TV movie)
1986   Perry Mason: The Case of the Notorious Nun (TV movie)
1985   Perry Mason Returns (TV movie)
1984   Godzilla 1985: The Legend Is Reborn
1982   Airplane II: The Sequel
1981   Peter and Paul (TV movie)
1980   The Night the City Screamed (TV movie)
1980   Out of the Blue
1980   The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (TV movie)
1980   The Return
1979   The Thirteenth Day: The Story of Esther (TV movie)
1979   Disaster on the Coastliner (TV movie)
1979   Lobo (TV series)
1979   Eischied (TV series)
1979   Love's Savage Fury (TV movie)
1978-1979  Centennial (TV mini-series)
1979   The Love Boat (TV series)
1978   The Jordan Chance (TV movie)
1978   The Bastard (TV movie)
1978   Tomorrow Never Comes
1977   Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue (TV mini-series)
1976-1977  Kingston: Confidential (TV series)
1977   Godzilla
1976   Mallory: Circumstantial Evidence (TV movie)
1967-1975  Ironside (TV series)
1973   Portrait: A Man Whose Name Was John (TV movie)
1972   The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (TV series)
1963-1970  The Red Skelton Hour (TV series)
1968   P.J.
1968   It Takes a Thief (TV series)
1957-1966  Perry Mason (TV series)
1961   The Jack Benny Program (TV series)
1961   CBS Fall Preview Special: Seven Wonderful Nights (TV movie)
1960   Joyful Hour (TV movie)
1960   Desire in the Dust
1957   Playhouse 90 (TV series)
1957   Affair in Havana
1957   The Web (TV series)
1957   Undercurrent (TV series)
1957   Crime of Passion
1956   The Brass Legend
1956   Ride the High Iron
1956   Climax! (TV series)
1954   Lux Video Theatre (TV series)
1956   A Cry in the Night
1956   Secret of Treasure Mountain
1956   Great Day in the Morning
1956   Godzilla, King of the Monsters!
1956   Celebrity Playhouse (TV series)
1956   Please Murder Me
1956   The Star and the Story (TV series)
1954   The Ford Television Theatre (TV series)
1956   Chevron Hall of Stars (TV series)
1955   The 20th Century-Fox Hour (TV series)
1955   Count Three and Pray
1955   A Man Alone
1955   You're Never Too Young
1955   Schlitz Playhouse (TV series)
1954   They Were So Young
1954   Passion
1954   Thunder Pass
1954   Khyber Patrol
1954   Rear Window
1954   Gorilla at Large
1954   Mr. & Mrs. North (TV series)
1954   Casanova's Big Night
1953   Four Star Playhouse (TV series)
1953   Fort Algiers
1953   Tarzan and the She-Devil
1953   Serpent of the Nile
1953   The Blue Gardenia
1953   The Bandits of Corsica
1953   Your Favorite Story (TV series)
1953   Tales of Tomorrow (TV series)
1951   Family Theatre (TV series)
1952   Horizons West
1952   Gruen Guild Theater (TV series)
1952   The Unexpected (TV series)
1952   Mara Maru
1952   Rebound (TV series)
1952   A Star Shall Rise
1951   Meet Danny Wilson
1951   Dragnet (TV series)
1951   Chesterfield Sound Off Time (TV series)
1951   FBI Girl
1951   Bride of the Gorilla
1951   The Magic Carpet
1951   The Whip Hand
1951   His Kind of Woman
1951   A Place in the Sun
1951   New Mexico
1951   Stars Over Hollywood (TV series)
1951   M
1951   The Amazing Mr. Malone (TV series)
1951   The Bigelow Theatre (TV series)
1950   Borderline
1950   Key to the City
1950   Unmasked
1949   Love Happy
1949   Abandoned
1949   Red Light
1949   Black Magic
1949   Criss Cross
1949   Bride of Vengeance
1948   Adventures of Don Juan
1948   Walk a Crooked Mile
1948   Station West
1948   Pitfall
1948   Raw Deal
1948   Fighting Father Dunne
1948   Ruthless
1948   Sleep, My Love
1948   I Love Trouble
1947   Desperate
1947   Code of the West
1946   San Quentin
1946   Without Reservations
1940   Earl of Puddlestone





Matinee Classics - Bride of the Gorilla starring Lon Chaney Jr, Raymond Burr, Tom Conway and Barbara Payton
Matinee Classics - Godzilla, King of the Monsters starring Raymond Burr
Matinee Classics - Love Happy starring Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Groucho Marx, Ilona Massey, Vera-Ellen, Marion Hutton, Raymond Burr, Melville Cooper, Paul Valentine, Bruce Gordon, Marilyn Monroe, Leon Belasco, Eric Blore and Otto Waldis
Matinee Classics - Meet Danny Wilson starring Frank Sinatra, Shelley Winters, Alex Nicol, Raymond Burr, Vaughn Taylor, Tommy Farrell, Donald MacBride, Barbara Knudson and Carl Sklover
Matinee Classics - New Mexico starring Lew Ayres, Marilyn Maxwell, Robert Hutton, Andy Devine, Raymond Burr, Jeff Corey, Lloyd Corrigan, Verna Felton, Ted de Corsia and John Hoyt
Matinee Classics - Pat Novak, For Hire Radio Show starring Jack Webb, Ben Morris, Raymond Burr and Tudor Owen
Matinee Classics - Please Murder Me starring Angela Lansbury, Raymond Burr, Dick Foran, John Dehner, Lamont Johnson, Robert Griffin, Denver Pyle and Alex Sharp
Matinee Classics - Please Murder Me starring Angela Lansbury, Raymond Burr, Dick Foran, John Dehner, Lamont Johnson, Robert Griffin, Denver Pyle and Alex Sharp
Matinee Classics - Rear Window starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn, Ross Bagdasarian, Georgine Darcy, Frank Cady, Sara Berner, Jesslyn Fax, Rand Harper, Irene Winston ahd Havis Davenport
Matinee Classics - Rear Window starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn, Ross Bagdasarian, Georgine Darcy, Frank Cady, Sara Berner, Jesslyn Fax, Rand Harper, Irene Winston ahd Havis Davenport


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