In the show, Perry Mason’s winning streak was legendary, almost fantastical. That’s because, if one must be a stickler about it, several elements in the show were hardly accurate from a legal standpoint. Fans without any legal knowledge adored Mason regardless.
One fan approached Raymond Burr, who plays Mason, and asked how the lawyer never lost any cases. Burr famously quipped, “But madam, you only see the cases I try on Saturdays.”
Perry on the Radio
The CBS TV series was undoubtedly the best adaptation of the excellent "Perry Mason" books. With Raymond Burr as the lead actor, the landmark show created waves and television history. However, Perry Mason was making a splash long before the silver screen. The books first received a new lease on life as a radio show.
From 1943 to 1955, listeners tuned in to “Perry Mason” – a 15-minute radio crime series that aired on CBS Radio every day. CBS Studios and Gardner teamed up later to create the wildly successful primetime TV show.
Career Making Moments
In the ‘50s, Saturday meant only one thing: an hour of immersion in the lives of Perry Mason (Raymond Burr), Della Street (Barbara Hale), Paul Drake (William Hopper), and Lt Tragg (Ray Collins). "Perry Mason" catapulted the actors’ careers.
But the roster of famous names didn’t end with the star cast. The series featured at least 1,903 iconic actors such as Adam West, Barbara Eden, Robert Redford, Leonard Nimoy, and Burt Reynolds. The show helped put these names on the map.
How Perry Mason Got His Name
Perry Mason was a household name in the late ’50s. As the central character of the "Perry Mason" novels and TV shows, he dominated screens and hearts. So, it may come as a surprise to discover the humble, almost endearing origins of the lawyer’s name.
Creator Erle Stanley Gardner spent his childhood reading "Youth’s Companion" which was published by a firm known as Perry Mason & Co. in Boston. It turns out that Perry Mason, the high-flying lawyer was an homage to his childhood. Now that's an origin story nobody expected!
Why the Jury Was Always Out
You may have noticed that this series differed from modern courtroom dramas in one crucial aspect: the ladies and gentlemen of the jury were conspicuously absent. How did America’s first definitive legal series get this so wrong? It turns out that the omission was actually a creative decision.
Perpetrators confessing their crimes was good television! It also meant the studio didn’t need to hire and pay 12 more actors. If you’ve ever wondered why most cases in the Perry Mason series reached only preliminary hearings, this is the reason why!