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Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of…

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr

by Michael Seth Starr

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I remember sitting in the living room with my parents and sister the late fifties and early sixties many Saturday nights watching Perry Mason. This biography recalls that time and provides an excellent overview of an actor who became one of the most popular TV stars of that era. Even before that he scored success in films like Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, albeit as the heavy rather than the hero. Michael Seth Starr goes beyond Burr's acting persona to explore his secret personal life as one of the most closeted gay actors of that era. The complex nature of Raymond Burr's life and character is displayed in this biography that is both readable and informative. ( )
  jwhenderson | Sep 20, 2008 |
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Raymond Burr (1917-1993) was an enigma. A film noir regularly known for his villainous roles in movies like Rear Window, he eventually became one of the most popular stars in television history for nearly 20 years, first as defense lawyer Perry Mason, in TV's first one-hour crime drama, and then as the gruff, wheelchair-bound cop Ironside, in the first TV series to feature a disabled protagonist. But Burr was leading a secret gay life at a time in Hollywood when such a lifestyle was akin to career suicide. He met his partner, struggling actor Robert Benevides, on the set of Perry Mason, and they remained together for over 35 years until Burr's death. Together they built a business empire, traveled the world, and shared their passion for orchids and fine wine--keeping the true nature of their relationship a secret from all but their closest friends.--From publisher description.… (more)

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