Raymond Burr

Highest Rated: 100% Rear Window (1954)
Lowest Rated: 11% Godzilla 1985 (1985)
Birthday: May 21, 1917
Birthplace: Not Available
In the first ten years of his life, Raymond Burr moved from town to town with his mother, a single parent who supported her little family by playing the organ in movie houses and churches. An unusually large child, he was able to land odd jobs that would normally go to adults. He worked as a ranch hand, a traveling tinted-photograph salesman, a Forest service fire guard, and a property agent in China, where his mother had briefly resettled. At 19, he made the acquaintance of film director Anatole Litvak, who arranged for Burr to get a job at a Toronto summer-stock theater. This led to a stint with a touring English rep company; one of his co-workers, Annette Sutherland, became his first wife. After a brief stint as a nightclub singer in Paris, Burr studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and took adult education courses at Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Chunking. His first New York theatrical break was in the 1943 play Duke in Darkness. That same year, his wife Sutherland was killed in the same plane crash that took the life of actor Leslie Howard. Distraught after the death of his wife, Burr joined the Navy, served two years, then returned to America in the company of his four-year-old son, Michael Evan Burr (Michael would die of leukemia in 1953). Told by Hollywood agents that he was overweight for movies, the 340-pound Burr spent a torturous six months living on 750 calories per day. Emerging at a trim 210 pounds, he landed his first film role, an unbilled bit as Claudette Colbert's dancing partner in Without Reservations (1946). It was in San Quentin (1946), his next film, that Burr found his true metier, as a brooding villain. He spent the next ten years specializing in heavies, menacing everyone from the Marx Brothers (1949's Love Happy) to Clark Gable (1950's Key to the City) to Montgomery Clift (1951's A Place in the Sun) to Natalie Wood (1954's A Cry in the Night). His most celebrated assignments during this period included the role of melancholy wife murderer Lars Thorwald in Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) and reporter Steve Martin in the English-language scenes of the Japanese monster rally Godzilla (1956), a characterization he'd repeat three decades later in Godzilla 1985. While he worked steadily on radio and television, Burr seemed a poor prospect for series stardom, especially after being rejected for the role of Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke on the grounds that his voice was too big. In 1957, he was tested for the role of district attorney Hamilton Burger in the upcoming TV series Perry Mason. Tired of playing unpleasant secondary roles, Burr agreed to read for Burger only if he was also given a shot at the leading character. Producer Gail Patrick Jackson, who'd been courting such big names as William Holden, Fred MacMurray, and Efrem Zimbalist Jr., agreed to humor Burr by permitting him to test for both Burger and Perry Mason. Upon viewing Burr's test for the latter role, Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner jumped up, pointed at the screen, and cried "That's him!" Burr was cast as Mason on the spot, remaining with the role until the series' cancellation in 1966 and winning three Emmies along the way. Though famous for his intense powers of concentration during working hours -- he didn't simply play Perry Mason, he immersed himself in the role -- Burr nonetheless found time to indulge in endless on-set practical jokes, many of these directed at his co-star and beloved friend, actress Barbara Hale. Less than a year after Mason's demise, Burr was back at work as the wheelchair-bound protagonist of the weekly detective series Ironside, which ran from 1967 to 1975. His later projects included the short-lived TVer Kingston Confidential (1976), a sparkling cameo in Airplane 2: The Sequel (1982), and 26 two-hour Perry Mason specials, lensed between 1986 and 1993. Burr was one of the most liked and highly respected men in Hollywood. Fiercely devoted to his friends and co-workers, Burr would threaten to walk off th

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss Actor 1993
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host Perry Mason 1993
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Skin-Deep Scandal Perry Mason 1993
No Score Yet The Return of Ironside Robert T. Ironside 1993
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Heartbroken Bride Perry Mason 1992
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Reckless Romeo Perry Mason 1992
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Framing Perry Mason 1992
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Fatal Fashion Perry Mason 1991
44% Delirious Carter 1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Glass Coffin Perry Mason 1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster Perry Mason 1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Ruthless Reporter Perry Mason 1991
No Score Yet Showdown at Williams Creek Judge Webster 1991
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Defiant Daughter Perry Mason 1990
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Silenced Singer Perry Mason 1990
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception Perry Mason 1990
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Poisoned Pen Perry Mason 1990
No Score Yet The Defense Never Rests Actor 1990
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin Perry Mason 1989
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Musical Murder Perry Mason 1989
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Lethal Lesson Perry Mason 1989
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Lady in the Lake Perry Mason 1988
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Avenging Ace Perry Mason 1988
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel Perry Mason 1987
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam Perry Mason 1987
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit Perry Mason 1987
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Lost Love Perry Mason 1987
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Shooting Star Perry Mason 1986
No Score Yet Perry Mason: The Case of the Notorious Nun Perry Mason 1986
No Score Yet Perry Mason Returns Perry Mason 1985
11% Godzilla 1985 Steve Martin 1985
42% Airplane 2 - The Sequel Judge D.C. Simonton 1982
92% Out of the Blue Brean 1982
No Score Yet Peter and Paul Herod Agrippa I 1981
No Score Yet The Curse of King Tut's Tomb Jonash Sabastian 1980
No Score Yet The Night the City Screamed Actor 1980
No Score Yet The Alien's Return Dr. Kramer 1980
No Score Yet Disaster on the Coastliner Estes Hill 1979
No Score Yet Love's Savage Fury Actor 1979
No Score Yet The Bastard Actor 1978
No Score Yet Tomorrow Never Comes Burke 1978
No Score Yet Centennial Bockweiss 1978
No Score Yet The Amazing World of Psychic Phenomena Narrator 1977
No Score Yet Aliens from Spaceship Earth Actor 1977
No Score Yet Survival of Spaceship Earth Narrator 1972
No Score Yet Desire in the Dust Col. Ben Marquand 1960
No Score Yet Please Murder Me Attorney Craig Carlson 1957
No Score Yet Crime of Passion Inspector Anthony Pope 1957
No Score Yet A Cry in the Night Harold Loftus 1956
No Score Yet Great Day in the Morning Jumbo Means 1956
83% Godzilla, King of the Monsters! Steve Martin 1956
No Score Yet A Man Alone Stanley 1955
No Score Yet You're Never Too Young Noonan 1955
No Score Yet They Were So Young Jaime Coltos 1955
100% Rear Window Mr. Lars Thorwald 1954
No Score Yet Casanova's Big Night Bragadin 1954
No Score Yet Gorilla at Large Cy Miller 1954
No Score Yet Thunder Pass Tulsa 1954
No Score Yet Passion Captain Rodriguez 1954
86% The Blue Gardenia Harry Prebble 1953
No Score Yet Tarzan and the She-Devil Vargo 1953
No Score Yet Fort Algiers Amir 1953
No Score Yet Horizons West Cord Hardin 1952
No Score Yet Meet Danny Wilson Nick Driscoll 1952
No Score Yet Mara Maru Brock Benedict 1952
No Score Yet FBI Girl Blake 1951
No Score Yet The Magic Carpet Boreg 1951
No Score Yet The Whip Hand Steve Loomis 1951
No Score Yet Bride of the Gorilla Barney Chavez 1951
No Score Yet His Kind of Woman Nick Ferraro 1951
75% A Place in the Sun Marlowe 1951
No Score Yet M Pottsy 1951
No Score Yet New Mexico Pvt. Anderson 1951
No Score Yet Love Happy Alphonse Zoto 1950
No Score Yet Borderline Pete Ritchie 1950
No Score Yet Key to the City Les Taggart 1950
No Score Yet Abandoned Kerric 1949
No Score Yet Red Light Nick Cherney 1949
No Score Yet Magia Negra Alexandre Dumas Jr. 1949
No Score Yet Adventures of Don Juan Capt. Alvarez 1948
No Score Yet Station West Mark Bristow 1948
No Score Yet Walk a Crooked Mile Krebs 1948
No Score Yet Fighting Father Dunne Prosecuting Attorney 1948
100% Raw Deal Rick Coyle 1948
No Score Yet Pitfall J.B. MacDonald 1948
No Score Yet Ruthless Pete Vendig 1948
No Score Yet Code of the West Carter 1947
100% Desperate Walt Radak 1947
No Score Yet Sleep, My Love Lt. Strake 1947
No Score Yet Without Reservations Paul Gill 1946
No Score Yet San Quentin Torrance 1946
No Score Yet Killer Gorilla Actor 1945
No Score Yet Killer Gorilla Actor 1945

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
1970-1974
Guest
  • 1972
  • 1971
  • 1970
No Score Yet It Takes a Thief
1968-1970
Cameo
  • 1968

QUOTES FROM Raymond Burr CHARACTERS