Me-TV 50.2 Spotlight: "Perry Mason" Trivia

By Terri Overby

Even though for most of its run, the show was filmed in black and white, there was one episode that was filmed in color, "The Case of the Twice-Told Twist". It was only shown the final season and wasn't syndicated with the rest of the package for over 20 years.

Due to illness, Ray Collins only appeared in a few episodes after the 1960 season.

Raymond Burr originally auditioned for the role of Hamilton Burger, but was chosen for the title role instead.

Richard Anderson appeared in two episodes ("Case of the Accosted Accountant" and "Case of the Paper Bullets") as different characters before taking on the role of Lt. Steve Drumm in the final season.

When Raymond Burr missed several episodes due to illness, he was replaced by several guest attorneys who were played by Bette Davis, Walter Pidgeon, Hugh O'Brian and Mike Connors.

Paul Drake's nickname for Della was "Beautiful".

Perry served in the navy and was stationed in the Pacific during World War II. This was where Raymond Burr was stationed.

Actor William Talman was actually fired from the series after a party, in which he was a guest, was raided by Hollywood police officers. Although he denied any wrongdoing, he was released from the show due to the morals clause in his contract. Although the cast and crew persuaded the network to rehire him, it damaged his acting career. He worked very infrequently as an actor after the incident.

Perry Mason's office phone number was Madison 5-1190.

Perry's office was located in the Brent Building in downtown Los Angeles.

George E. Stone had the most credited guest appearances in the series with 45. He played the court clerk. Kenneth MacDonald and S. John Launer each had 32 guest appearances as judges.

During the series' original run, Raymond Burr was accosted in public by a woman who demanded to know: "How come you never lose?" To which Burr dead-panned: "Madam, you only see the cases that I try on Saturdays."

In some of the shows from the 1957 season, there was a product placement in the closing credits. A small octagonal picture would have a product, such as dish washing soap. These can be seen on the DVD of the show.

Perry's car, in the first season was a black 1957 Ford Skyliner. The Skyliner was a low volume car that had the first retractable hard top in a mass market American auto. Ford sold them in low volume from 1957 to 1959.

The auto sponsorship for the 1957 swaps back and forth between GM and Ford, almost every other episode. Mason drives a Ford Skyliner, then in the next episode, it's a black Cadillac convertible. Paul Drake’s car varies between a Corvette and Thunderbird. Tragg drives a '57 Buick sedan, then a Mercury.

Perry Mason utilized three studios during its decade-long production schedule. The early seasons were shot at the old William Fox Studios, which 20th Century Fox used as their television production branch. The Fox Studio closed in the early sixties and the series moved to General Service studios for a time before moving to the old Chaplin Studios for the remainder of the series. The studio grounds can be spotted throughout the series.

Out of all the 271 shows, only three did not have the title "The Case Of The..." removing the second article "the". These were "The Case Of Paul Drake's Dilemma", "The Case Of Constant Doyle", and "The Case Of A Place Called Midnight".

In most episodes, the climactic courtroom scenes were not part of a trial, but a preliminary hearing (a proceeding in which the prosecution seeks to show that there is sufficient probable cause to bind the defendant over for trial). There was a practical reason for this; since there is no jury in a preliminary hearing, the show would save the cost of hiring 12 extras to play jurors.


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