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Did you know Raymond Burr was gay and gave TONS of money to charity?

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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:03 PM
Original message
Did you know Raymond Burr was gay and gave TONS of money to charity?
I was wasting my time on Wikipedia and stumbled across this factoid. Apparently he had a very happy family life for 35 years with fellow actor-turned-vintner Robert Benevides. Here's a picture of the two of them with a friend at the winery they ran.

According to his Wiki bio, "tough guy" Raymond gave his entire salaries from the very successful Perry Mason movies made in the 1980s away to charity. He also sponsored 27 foster children thru the years, volunteering to the Christian Children's Fund to help their children with the greatest medical needs.

To cover up his homosexuality, his Hollywood biographer invented two wives and a child--all of whom had supposedly "died" before him--from Burr's past.


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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, it came out right after he died.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. no i didn't and good for him
he sounds like a wonderful person

"ironsides" gave me a lot of entertainment in younger days
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. that is so awesome
wow.

I never knew, and I have watched way more than my share of Perry mason re-runs over the years.
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Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. I knew about the "gay" part.
I didn't know about the charity.

Bless his soul. :)

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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. No, I didn't know that, and yes, I'm happy he gave the $$ to charities.
Redstone
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. I don't even find the gay part all that interesting. But the charity--Wow
He didn't just give to a good cause or two. He gave BIG. Those Perry Mason reprisals had killer ratings and I'm sure the network was paying him millions for his work. Which he promptly turned over to charity. Even tho his health was rapidly failing in the early 90s, he kept cranking out those movies just to keep his 200+ production crew steadily employed. His last movie he finished days before he died and in it you can see that he couldn't even stand up for takes--he's seated or leaning in all his scenes. I'm sure the unlegendary Ironside show was made into a TV movie the year before specifically so Burr could keep acting while sitting in his wheelchair.

The man, frankly, was a saint.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
7. This is so cool.
:loveya: Perry Mason.
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AirmensMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. Perry Mason was my hero!
:loveya: I just loved Raymond Burr. I knew he was gay, but I did not know about the charitable giving. :wow:
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes, but did you know he wasn't really in a wheelchair?
:eyes:
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
10. Don't tell Della Street
She'd be crushed.
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Paladin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:27 PM
Response to Original message
11. Heard About It A Long Time Ago

Decades ago, when I was just a teenager---sometime in the late 1960's---my mother came home from an appointment with her gay hairdresser, bearing tales of Raymond Burr, Richard Chamberlain, Rock Hudson, and others. Word's been around on all of them for quite a while, not that it makes any difference.

Burr seems to have been a very admirable person.
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meegbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. I knew about that ...
bear of a man he was.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. Tom Thayer (former Bears Pro-Bowler)
He tells a story of Raymond Burr trying to pick him up to do "yard work" when he was in college.
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
14. And one of the Great Drag Queens in Hollywood History
I know...I was at a New Year's Eve Party (1971-2) in the Hollywood Hills where he came in Total Drag. :loveya:
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Man, GG, do you get around!!!
I'm thinking you have some pretty good stories, and not ALL about baseball!
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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. So True, My Dear.
So true.........
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Kat45 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. No, I didn't know that.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
18. and he was Canadian!
(Just had to add that. Up here, somebody will chime in, if a particular celebrity was born in Canada -- or even married a Canadian. Guess it's my turn this time.)

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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
19. I remeber hearing that- he was a great villian in "Rear Window." n/t
n/t
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johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-11-06 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
20. Yes, I knew he was gay
Don't you remember that episode of Perry Mason when he broke out in a song and dance from "My fair lady"? Lol, kidding.

Yeah, I knew he was gay, but didn't know about his charity work.
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colditalianpizza Donating Member (6 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Anacin commercials too?
Or Bayer?
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-12-06 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
22. Ron Ashton of The Stooges claimed that Burr tried to pick him up...
in a bar
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