The Perry Mason TV Show Book
The Cops: Lt. Tragg and Company

Richard Anderson--Lt. Steve Drumm
Richard Anderson appeared as Lt. Steve Drumm during the final season of the Mason series. Courtesy of Capital Newspapers

As the Mason show wound down another actor took over the lead role as Perry's police adversary. Richard Anderson, who had also previously appeared on the Mason series as a defendant, came on to portray Lt. Steve Drumm, successor to Andy Anderson.

Drumm was a cross between the hard-hitting Tragg and the affable Anderson. He was a competent ally of DA Hamilton Burger, a perfect second banana, who, like Tragg, almost preferred the pursuit of Perry and company to capturing the crooks.

However, it was Steve Drumm who saved Perry's life in "The Case of the Sausalito Sunrise." When a criminal was about to blast Perry, Drumm blasted the bad guy instead. Afterward, Perry complimented Drumm for his professionalism.

Anderson is a well-traveled, highly recognizable character actor. He got his first regular TV job in the short-lived ABC series "Bus Stop," which ran in 1961-62. Anderson portrayed Glenn Wagner, the local district attorney. This courtroom experience obviously helped when he joined the cast of "Perry Mason" for that last 1965-66 season.

When Mason passed from view, Anderson hooked up with Burt Reynolds in that star's TV police series, "Dan August," playing August's boss Chief George Untermeyer. This series premiered in 1970, when Burt Reynolds was not the household name that he is today. The show received poor ratings and was canceled by ABC in 1971. But then Reynolds became famous in movies, so much so that CBS bought the program's reruns and began showing them during the summers of 1973 an 1975.

Anderson meanwhile had taken the lead role of Oscar Goldman, a CIA-like official, in the very popular mid-1970s series, "The Six Million Dollar Man," starring Lee Majors. A spinoff from that show became another very successful program, "The Bionic Woman," starring Lindsay Wagner. Anderson also played Oscar Goldman in this series, making him one of very few TV stars ever to play the same role on two TV series simultaneously.

Anderson may also be best known to mothers around the country as a diaper salesman. At the height of his popularity on the bionic shows, Anderson appeared in a series of amusing disposable diaper commercials. In the ads, he would appear nattily dressed in a three-piece suit, only to get wet-by sitting in the ocean or spraying himself with a hose--in order to dramatize how uncomfortable a baby is when its diaper is moist.

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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.