Burr''s official biography stated that he had been previously married, but both his wives and one child had died. %0D\
According to his bio, in 1942, while working in London, he met Annette Sutherland, an aspiring actress from Scotland and that year they married. Despite protests from Burr, Sutherland insisted on fulfilling her contract and traveled to Spain with a touring show while Burr returned to America. %0D\
Shortly before her death, Burr is said to have received a letter that Sutherland was working in Spain and would return to England and then America; Sutherland then boarded a flight from Lisbon to London and it was said that Sutherland then perished on BOAC Flight 77-A, the same flight that claimed actor Leslie Howard. %0D\
Burr''s biographer, Ona L. Hill, writes that "no one by the name of Annette Sutherland Burr was listed as a passenger on the plane." %0D
Annette Sutherland does not seem to have ever existed. British Equity has no record of any actor by that name. %0D\
The same goes for Burr''s "son," who is said to have died from an "incurable disease" sometime in the 1950s. Since Burr was already a known presence in Hollywood, it would seem logical that this tragedy would be widely reported in the press, as was the tragic death of Red Skelton''s teenaged son Richard from leukemia in the late fifties. Yet there is no record anywhere of the "son''s" birth, existence, or death, which strongly implies "he" never existed. %0D\
One possible explanation for this cynically bizarre deceit is that by claiming such a heart-wrenching personal "history," Burr could scare reporters into backing off from digging into his personal life.
"Perry Mason" started in 1957. During the run of the series, Burr kept fairly private, perhaps because his co-star William Hopper (Paul Drake) was the son of gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. %0D\
Author Robert Hofler alleges in his 2005 book, "The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson", that Burr and Rock Hudson hosted gay parties at a rented home in Palm Springs.
Wow. That''s some hardcore bearding.
I think it''s been assumed for a very long time that Burr''s wife and kid were fictitious. His biographer, the Biography episode, everything about him points to it having been a story.\
He did marry a friend, Isabella Ward, in the late 1940s. They divorced before he became famous. However, when he did get famous from "Perry Mason" in the late 1950s, suddenly people wanted to know about that kid he said he had from his first marriage, so he had to make up some story to explain it. That may have been when he made up the story about his first wife being on the same plane Leslie Howard was, who knows.
Did he have a twin who went to gay bars?
Interesting, but I don''t judge him for doing what he had to to keep homophobia from destroying the career of a fine actor. He certainly didn''t have the option to come out.
[quote]Burr kept fairly private, perhaps because his co-star William Hopper (Paul Drake) was the son of gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. \
Are they implying that Drake got the role to guarantee her silence? It''s interesting, and I''ve never heard that before.
I think they''re implying, R7, that anything he did or said would likely go right into the newspaper, so he needed to be extremely discreet.
I feel sorry that he had to invent a fake family but that was the times (and the times haven''t changed that much, not a single series lead is out of the closet!)
[quote]... by claiming such a heart-wrenching personal "history," Burr could scare reporters into backing off from digging into his personal life.\
Hasn''t worked for Anderson Cooper.
To many people, Anderson is hot and sexy.%0D\
Only daddybear lovers would find Burr hot.
Could Lucille Ball have played Della Street in a big screen version of the TV show?%0D\
Yes, although the role of Perry Mason might have been a bit of a stretch for her.
William Haines, he wasn''t.
"Only daddybear lovers would find Burr hot."%0D\
I''ve seen pictures of him in his younger, thinner days and he was quite cute!%0D\
Burr cultivated orchids in his retirment years and developed this passion into an orchid business. He even developed an orchid he named the Barbara Hale Orchid. %0D
Raymond Burr used to visit the troops in Vietnam on the QT. I met him there in 1965. He would just drop in to bases that were in the boonies and sit around and talk to the troops. Very nice guy.%0D\
I also met George C Scott around the same time. He did the same kind of down low visiting, no big whoop for either of them. Just showing some support.%0D\
It was much appreciated by us soldiers.
I know an actor who worked with Burr before Perry Mason - they were on a USO tour together and he woke up to find himself being fellated by Burr. Burr said, "Don''t say a word. Don''t say a word." And kept on his task.
By the time Raymond Burr was making those later Perry Mason TV movies, it was widely known by the public that he was gay. The tabloids had reported it more than once. After his death they did some kind of TV tribute to him; it might aired along with the last Perry Mason movie. They showed clips of Burr in various movies and even a scene of him dancing wildly on some TV variety show. But what really shocked me was that Barbara Hale spoke of his sad private life, which included two dead wives (one of them dead in a plane crash) plus a son who died of an illness. I thought by that point in time all these stories had been debunked, and I''m sure Barbara Hale herself knew they weren''t true, but she repeated them as gospel on that TV program.
R1 wrote: [quote]The same goes for Burr''s "son," who is said to have died from an "incurable disease" sometime in the 1950s. Since Burr was already a known presence in Hollywood, it would seem logical that this tragedy would be widely reported in the press, as was the tragic death of Red Skelton''s teenaged son Richard from leukemia in the late fifties. Yet there is no record anywhere of the "son''s" birth, existence, or death, which strongly implies "he" never existed.\
Holy crap! Wait a minute! [italic]Red Skelton[/italic] was gay!? \
If so, I''m totally out of the loop on that one!
I married Raymond Burr....and then I died
I called Raymond Burr daddy, and then I died!
"But what really shocked me was that Barbara Hale spoke of his sad private life, which included two dead wives (one of them dead in a plane crash) plus a son who died of an illness. I thought by that point in time all these stories had been debunked, and I''m sure Barbara Hale herself knew they weren''t true, but she repeated them as gospel on that TV program."%0D\
She still claims that he wasn''t gay - what the hell is wrong with her?%0D
[quote]Holy crap! Wait a minute! Red Skelton was gay!? \
Good lord, someone needs a remedial course in reading for comprehension.
Someone posted on DL some years ago that Raymond Burr had Limbaugh-like preferences for exotic young boys.
Raymond Burr is Canadian you know?
Barbara, if Raymond wasn''t gay, who''s the guy he lived with for all those years. The gardner?
Raymond was a confirmed bachelor, that is what they called it in those days.
Word from a certain lake in Italy is that this heavily closeted Tinseltown actor has ditched the personal trainer/hairdresser/%0D\
assistant he%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99s been having a relationship with for years in favour of a very pretty 17-year-old.%0D\
He%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99s said to be besotted but even his regular entourage are worried the lad in question may not have the purest motives. Sorry, no more clues. (George Clooney)
R20, silly, the quote notes that Skelton''s son''s death was (famously) covered in the press, so it seemed Burr''s son''s situation would have been, too. Skelton wasn''t gay. Fey at times, but I''ve never heard a gay rumor.
I suppose one of us does, R24. So please allow me to clarify:\
What I inferred from R1''s post is that Red Skelton, at one point in his career, felt the need to invent a fictitious dead son. If that indeed was the case, one has to wonder why it''d be so important to Red Skelton that he float a story that implies heterosexual activity on his part.
OK, OK. Mea culpa, mea culpa. After reading that paragraph several times again, I can see I misinterpreted the last sentence as pertaining to [italic]Red Skelton''s[/italic] son, not Raymond Burr''s.\
Actually, I find this to be quite a relief. Picturing Red Skelton indulging in the homosex had me feeling rather creeped out.
The death of Red Skelton''s son got major coverage - blessing from Pope, wishes from White House, prayers from Billy Graham, story by Huntly-Brinkley, etc. It may have even inspired Mary Hart, at age of 8, to buy her very first funeral frock. %0D\
IF Raymond Burr really had a son who died, it would have gotten attention from the media, just as was the case with the real son of Red Skelton, who (Red) probably was straight but had a bit of a lisp. %0D\
That is all, r20.
who had a gay son?
Butt was alos a lousy provider. HE made a point to spend every dime of his money so that his partner wouln''t get a cent. Not even the house. The partner seemed okay with the arrangement, but still what a dick.
[quote]who had a gay son?%0D\
I think r20 is the one with the gay son.
[quote]Butt was alos a lousy provider.\
MY butt provides for me pretty well. Don''t know what I''ll do when I get old and it droops a bit though.
If Burr''s fictitious son "died" before he became a household name, then there would not have been too much attention given. Vague tragedies in his past and a gloomy public disposition would discourage inquiry, which was the desired outcome.%0D\
And frankly, this was not Cary Grant. Burr was never a popular sex symbol. Who''d give a fuck enough to "investigate?" and ruin the profitability of Perry Mason and Ironsides. %0D\
I think it is really pathetic and sad that someone would go to such lengths. I bet he was a really self-loathing person.
I think one of the biographies on A&E on Raymond Burr a few years ago discussed the fictitious family he invented for himself.
r35, it''s not true that "Burr spent every dime so his partner wouldn''t get a cent." %0D\
He and partner of 35-years, Robert Benevides, co-owned an orchid business and winery.%0D\
Ray died in ''93 at 76.
"And frankly, this was not Cary Grant. Burr was never a popular sex symbol"%0D\
He wasn''t a sex symbol but he was the leading man on a huge tv series. Perry Mason was a smash hit. No one "investigated" his past because back then all the movie magazines were fan magazines that wouldn''t print anything bad abotu stars. There were tabloids like Confidential but they could be paid off.
Remembering the huge and ongoing popularity of the Perry Mason show and Raymond Burr, I doubt that the American public would have ever believed that Raymond Burr was gay without dyed-n-the-wool photographic proofof him with his pants down and inserted in or by another fellow.%0D\
Unlike Cary Grant, Rock Hudson or Tab Hunter, for example, Ray''s image was never light in the loafers, if you catch my drift.
In 'Rear Window', Hitchcock supposedly hired Raymond Burr to play Lars Thorwald because he could be easily made to look like his old producer David O. Selznick, who Alfred Hitchcock felt interfered too much.
I doubt that the fact that Burr was Gay would have been printed during the Perry Mason years. There are certain rules in the tabloid business. One is, don't write anything sexual about someone nobody wants to have sex with. The other is don't write anything that your readers don't want to hear about. If a tabloid prints a scandal, it is because the tabloid knows their readers want that celeb to be taken down a peg or two. They are not going to print anything that would (a) upset their readers or (b) make their readers think "who cares". I think Burr's sex life falls under the "who cares category".
William Hopper was also gay.
[quote]Having spent most of his career in the dreamboat closet, Hunter presents certain drawbacks as a gay icon, though not as many as Willson. His livelihood long depended on concealing the love that Hedda Hopper dared not name (though William Hopper, her own son, and Tab's co-star in Track of the Cat, more familiar opposite Raymond Burr in TV's Perry Mason, was gay).
I was told years ago that the reason Ironside was in a chair was that it was felt to be the only way to stop Raymond Burr swishing outrageously around the set.
My father told me that Raymond Burr was considered quite overweight for the time, and therefore the Ironside producers thought the American public would be more accepting of overweight Burr in a wheelchair.
His fake family story is really interesting.
r35, what is your source for Burr not leave his partner anything to his partner? The guy continues to live in the house on their property and still operate their businesses.
Manti Te'o wasn't the first guy to have an imaginary female love interest!
The second fictitious "wife" was an actress named Laura Morgan who died of cancer in 1955.
[quote]The guy continues to live in the house on their property and still operate their businesses.
In the days before Internet databases, it was easy to create fictional relatives or a bogus past life . Nowadays, even fictional degrees cited on a resume don't pass any kind of serious vetting.
In the old days, people had more freedom to fabricate a different past. For example, Ellen Ternan chopped 14 years from her age and expunged her entire past as Charles Dickens' mistress from her C.V. Neither her husband nor her children had any inkling who she really was or how old she really was until well into the 20th century.
Raymond left a series of codicils set to be unsealed and made public 25 years after his death. Scuttlebut is that in his later years he was obsessed with compiling dirt on closeted gays on the industry. Guess we'll find out in 2018 or so?