Barbara Hale Was Shut with Raymond Burr’s Accomplice after Star’s Loss of life


Barbara Hale and Raymond Burr had recognized one another earlier than they have been forged as the principle characters within the “Perry Mason” collection. Working collectively on the collection strengthened their relationship, and he or she additionally knew about Burr’s secret relationship. 

Regardless that behind the scenes, Raymond Burr saved many of the details about his life secret, which included inventing a false biography for himself, he and Barbara Hale remained like household till his demise. 

After Burr’s demise, the actress continued being mates with the late actor’s associate, who he saved a secret for many of his life. 

Barbara Hale and Raymond Burr in a photograph collectively | Supply: Getty Photographs


NBC’s thriller tv hit present “Perry Mason” is thought to be top-of-the-line collection of its period. The present, which aired its first episode on September 21, 1957, accrued 271 episodes earlier than the finale on September 4, 1966. 

Spearheading the present’s success have been lead characters Canadian-born actor Burr, who performed the titular character Perry Mason and his equally in style co-star Hale who portrayed non-public secretary Della Road within the collection. 

The pair, who had recognized one another because the Forties once they have been each upcoming actors below the RKO Studios, had independently labored in a number of tv collection and made as much as 50 films earlier than they have been forged collectively within the “Perry Mason” collection. 

Raymond Burr pictured exterior the Royal Courts of Justice throughout a promotional tour for “Perry Mason,” London, 1961. | Supply: Getty Photographs

Between 1958 and 1959, a 12 months after the collection debuted to a lot essential acclaim, Hale was named the best-supporting actress in a drama collection whereas Burr himself finally gained two Emmy awards. 

Burr and Hale’s position within the collection introduced them worldwide fame, and it even made the previous to be tv’s highest-paid episode actor on the time.

A headshot of tv icon Raymond Burr carrying a checkered shirt. | Supply: Getty Photographs

Working collectively on the collection and their friendship as upcoming actors additionally made their relationship stronger, and the pair grew to become like household to 1 one other. Talking about their relationship, Hale 



“He was my brother. He was household.”

When the collection ended, Hale made historical past by changing into the one actor to have appeared in each one of many “Perry Mason” episodes because it started in 1957, with Burr himself lacking simply 4 episodes after a short while out resulting from most cancers. 

Raymond Burr with co-star actress Barbara Hale as Perry Mason and Della Road within the TV collection “Perry Mason” which aired from 1957 to 1966. | Supply: Getty Photographs


As “Perry Mason” grew to become extra in style through the years of its airing and the principle character Burr dazzled followers together with his good performances, it additionally led to an inquiry about his private life. 

On the time, his biographical knowledge alluded that the actor had beforehand been married 3 times, and whereas he divorced his second wife in 1947, Burr tragically misplaced his first wife in a airplane crash in 1943 and the third one to most cancers. 

The actor had additionally as soon as stated he misplaced a son, Michael, who died of leukemia at age 11. All this info couldn’t be confirmed, and every time reporters requested the veteran star about it, he would refuse to handle them. 

“Ironside” star Raymond Burr pictured smiling carrying a black jacket in 1962. | Supply: Getty Photographs

Burr would typically deflect the questions by speaking about his temporary alleged sexual relationships with feminine Hollywood stars, considered one of whom was Natalie Wooden. 

Generally he would make passing feedback about his marriage to Isabella Ward, which ended inside months, and if he have been questioned additional about his previous wives and son, the actor would reply he was not prepared to debate it. 

Journalists quickly gave up on asking about his relationships since he wouldn’t give concrete solutions, so as an alternative, they only retold the story of his lifeless son and wife as truth. 

Actress Natalie Wooden with Raymond Burr attending the premiere of “A Cry within the Night time” in Los Angeles, California. | Supply: Getty Photographs

Additionally, every time he was queried about remarrying, Burr would tout his busy schedule filming “Perry Mason” as the explanation why he had not thought of it. 

Nonetheless, behind the scenes, Burr lived as a closeted homosexual man and was in a relationship with actor and Korean Warfare veteran Robert Benevides who he met on the set of “Perry Mason.”

The actor couldn’t come out about his sexuality as a result of again then, homosexuals weren’t accepted in Hollywood, and that revelation would have impacted his profession. 

Raymond Burr as Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside, within the police drama “Ironside” in 1975 in Los Angeles, California. | Supply: Getty Photographs

The veteran “Perry Mason” star Raymond Burr died of liver most cancers on September 12, 1993, at his California residence in Sonoma County. He was 76 years outdated. 

The actor who had been very sick made his final film look on the Perry Mason TV movie, “The Case of the Killer Kiss.” Burr was survived by his associate, Benevides, and his sister Geraldine Fuller of Fairbanks, Alaska.

The actor left his whole $32 million property to Benevides and surprisingly excluded his sister and the remainder of his family. After his demise, Benevides, who now ran the household winery he inherited, defined that he had all the time needed to personal land ever since he learn “The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck as a child. 

Raymond Burr carrying a pinstriped swimsuit in a promotional headshot for the movie, “Bride of Vengeance.” | Supply: Getty Photographs

Initially, he and Burr had purchased the land to have a property near the household, however the late actor determined they need to plant some grapes as a result of he had all the time needed wine since he liked cooking.  

In 1986, they planted the grapes, and three years later, they bottled their first wine. They began making wine from that second. 

Benevides was a struggling actor when he met Burr, and three years after they began their relationship, the previous defined he acquired uninterested in appearing, in contrast to his associate, who loved each second of it. 

Raymond Burr photographed smiling together with his hand on a automotive door in 1985 | Supply: Getty Photographs

After that, they subsequently began two manufacturing firms collectively. The primary one was known as Harbour Productions, The second was named RB Productions. Benevides additionally declared that he and Hale remained shut mates after Burr’s demise. He defined: 

“I’m nonetheless very a lot in love with Barbara [Hale] and he or she with me. I simply spent two dinners and a brunch together with her down in Los Angeles. We get alongside fantastically.”

Regardless that Benevides and Burr tried to maintain their relationship secret, it will appear that Hale was one of many few individuals who knew what was occurring between the pair. 

Raymond Burr attending rehearsals for the thirty seventh Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on September 21, in 1985 | Supply: Getty Photographs


Barbara Hale died at her Sherman Oaks, California, residence in 2017, aged 94. Her demise was introduced by her son, William Katt, in a Fb put up. He wrote: 

“We’ve all been so fortunate to have her for thus lengthy. She was gracious and sort and foolish and all the time enjoyable to be with. An exquisite actress and good businesswoman, she was most of all a treasure as a good friend and mom.”

The veteran actress was survived by her three kids, together with William Katt, Jody, and Juanita; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two half brothers.

Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale and different “Perry Mason” stars at an award occasion, circa 1958 | Supply: Getty Photographs

She and Burr remained mates till the latter’s demise, and afterward, Hale went on to seem in three extra movies impressed by the “Perry Mason” collection. 

The final was “A Perry Mason Thriller: The Case of the Jealous Jokester” in 1995, the place she starred alongside Hal Holbrook. Sadly, it additionally proved to be her final display screen look. 

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