Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Mason That Might Have Been

Because I wrote recently for Kirkus Reviews about one of Erle Stanley Gardner’s numerous Perry Mason novels, my radar has been sensitive to other Mason-related subjects. And look at what I just found on YouTube: actor William Hopper’s 1956 screen test for the lead in the CBS-TV series Perry Mason. That part went ultimately to Raymond Burr, but Hopper--who happened to be the son of notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper--was cast in the role of private eye Paul Drake. In the clip below, he appears as Mason opposite Ray Collins, who played police lieutenant Arthur Tragg in the 1957-1966 CBS-TV series.

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