>RAYMOND BURR: HAIL THE CRANKY HERO
AT THE END OF NEXT MONTH, NBC WILL air Raymond Burr’s final project, Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss. But this Friday (Oct. 22, 8 p.m. ET), the network offers up The Defense Rests: A Tribute to Raymond Burr. The video appreciation is hosted by Barbara Hale, who played salty Delia Street to Burr’s peppery Perry. From Perry Mason to Ironside, Burr certainly had a TV career worth celebrating. He was one of the strongest—and strangest—heroes the medium has ever known. Strong because of the gravitas he brought to every role. Strange because there has never been a more intimidating good guy on the small screen. (Only Richard Boone and Jack Lord came anywhere close.) Before TV, Burr was for years a wonderfully convincing movie villain in such films as Rear Window. He never really lost that air of menace and misanthropy—or that booming baritone. That’s what made him such a commanding and distinctive TV star: he was a prickly, righteous bully, but he was our bully.