LGBT People of History 63 - Raymond Burr
Born – May 21st 1917 – Raymond William Stacey Burr in New Westminster, British Columbia in Canada. His father was William Johnston Burr and mother Minerva Burr. His mother and father divorced and he and his siblings went to live in Vallejo, California with his mother.
Raymond attended a Military Academy and graduated from Berkeley High School. He later began his acting career in 1937 at the Pasadena Playhouse.
He appeared in over sixty movies between 1946 and 1957.
He will always be remembered for his two famous TV roles – Perry Mason and Ironside.
Perry Mason was a courtroom drama and ran from 1957 to 1966. He won two Emmys for his work in this series. It is still rerun on TV to this day.
From 1967 to 1975 he starred as Ironside – a detective in the SFPD. His character was shot and wounded and left in a wheelchair. This show was also a huge success.
Afterwards he was approached to make more Perry Mason movies. This he did and made 27 more.
His personal life was cloaked in mystery. He was briefly married in 1949 and after this stories were invented about other fictitious marriages by his publicity department. In reality, Burr was gay and in the 1950s he met Robert Benevides with whom he spent the rest of his life. They ran several businesses together including a vineyard and Benevides was a production consultant in many of the Perry Mason movies. Burr’s sexuality was kept a secret at the time as it was ‘unacceptable’ for the public to know.
Burr died in 1993 after cancer had spread to his liver and became inoperable.
He held several goodbye parties before his death in the same year.
He was just 76 years old.
Ian and Callum.
With thanks to Wikipedia.
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