The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason

The Trouble with Blondes
Although Raymond Burr sailed away to Fiji after the Mason series closed up shop, he sailed right back again a year later to star as Chief Robert Ironside, a tough ex-cop investigator who foiled crooks even though he was confined to a wheelchair. Courtesy of AP Newsfeatures

In the early episodes, Perry Mason was a young and dynamic lawyer who appeared to be something of a ladies' man. He actually flirted with some of his female clients, and there were plenty of them in the early days. (It was TV Guide that first remarked that many of Mason's clients in those early episodes seemed to be unfailingly blonde and female.)

In the very first episode, "The Case of the Restless Redhead," Perry made numerous flattering remarks about his client, Evelyn Bagby, and her "big, blue eyes." In "The Case of the Haunted Husband," a grateful Doris Stephanak told Perry that if he ever needed anything, "Just ask." Perry replied that he might just do that. Then, during "The Case of the Screaming Woman," he hired an actress to do a voice-over on a tape recording he was using in court. When the job was done, the shapely actress wiggled up to the lawyer and asked, "Is there anything else I can do for you, Perry?" We could only wonder if he ever took the gal up on her offer. And what happened during "The Case of the Glittering Goldfish," when, while Perry was investigating a murder, one of the victim's secretaries invited him to her home for "questioning?"

But all this was left to speculation. Despite the opportunities, we never saw Perry in a social setting with any woman except Della. We rarely even got to see his living quarters. Just as in the original books, we never knew what Perry did in his off-hours. Then gradually, as the show progressed, the TV character changed. Perry didn't flirt as much. He became an older, more serious professional. just like the actor who portrayed him, it was as if Perry was too busy, too committed to have any social life.

And what about him and Della? Well, that's another story....

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The Perry Mason TV Show Book Copyright 1987 by Brian Kelleher and Diana Merrill. All rights reserved. Presented here by permission of the copyright holder. Commercial use prohibited. Web page Copyright 1998 D. M. Brockman. Last edited 04 Nov 2004.