| Los Angeles Times TV TIMES||Vol. 8, No. 40 Oct. 1-Oct 7, 1967 pp. 1-2 |
|Raymond Burr: its the adventure in his soul|
by Don Page
|The big mans affinity for adventure is boundless. On and off screen, his inquisitiveness motivates his life. His friends and business associates have an impossible time trying to keep up with Raymond Burr.|
He has his own film company (Harbour Productions), an interest in several art galleries and numerous charitiesand a special concern for his fellow man. He spent a good portion of the summer visiting U.S. fighting forces in Vietnam while assembling an NBC special on the trip (due Friday).
In between, Burr stopped to inspect the plantation on his own island. Naituaba, which is 4,000 acres of incredible beauty in the Fijis. Then, of course, there is his new NBC series, Ironside, his return to the weekly dramatic mill after nine lofty seasons as Perry Mason.
No one close to him could fathom why Burr came back to television, considering his non-stop activities. It is simple, he says, I have to finance my outside interests.
Creatively, however, the reason is less commercial.
Actually, it was 100-1 that Id do another series, he said, reposing in his Universal office behind a script-stacked desk. I did Ironside as a two-hour movie for televisionan idea that appealed to me. When it sold as a series, I still liked the concept of making a movie a week for TV.
Burr enjoys the role; the outwardly gruff but inwardly sensitive detective who has been reduced to life in a wheelchair by a would-be assassins bullet. Robert Ironside, with the help of his young companion (Don Mitchell: see cover), continues to operate as a lawman in the position of civilian consultant to the San Francisco Police Dept.
I like the expansiveness of the character, he continued. Hes toughest and most impatient with the people he likes best. Hes seen the seamy side of life and hes honest. Ive met 20,000 guys like himand hes bits and pieces of all of them.
Part of the expansive facet of the series is being scheduled for next season, assuming that NBCs Ironside will be renewed. Burr plans to take Ironside around the world, wherever a man of his experience and knowledge is needed in an advisory capacity.
His private island has been mentally pencilled-in as a future locale for a few episodes.
In answer to inquiries hes been getting, Burr states: This series is pure fiction, although Robert Ironside is a certain kind of human being, He just happens to be a detective. But he could have been a plumber or a florist. Its up to us to make Ironside believeable and enjoyable.
I have a great loyalty toward people who watch TV. You must live up to your responsibility. Youre part of their household and you have to be honest with them. Its my obligation to give them the best series I can.
After nine years in the Mason series, Raymond Burrs track record indicates that Ironside may have a long run.
|Raymond Burr, star of NBCs Ironside, gets wired for sound while preparing Vietnam special for NBC-TV.|