Nouveau: Books
You are in:  Home > Nouveau: Popular Culture > Books   •  Archives   •  send page to a friend

Headline Feed
Email to a friend

By Joel Kasow

NEW YORK, 30 JUNE 2009 — Raymond Burr was a constant figure on television in my younger years, first as the infallible Perry Mason and then as Ironsides. Both shows were enormously successful and can still be seen on television in some parts of the world. Even so, a new biography of the actor by Michael Seth Starr, Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr , is of no particular interest these days, despite the blatant come-on of the title.

Burr constantly chose to conceal his homosexuality from all and sundry, blatantly claiming various wives and children, which any proper investigator should have instantaneously been able to refute, something the author points out. Unfortunately, little is revealed about Burr, nor is there even a picture of his long-time lover. Burr's sole concern through the years seems to have been to create a persona far removed from his existence, effectively denying that he was gay. Starr gives us a chronological narrative of the actor's career, but of how much interest is this today? Once or twice Burr had a film role that allowed him to display his talents, but his final years demanded little effort beyond caricature as Mason or Ironsides. And this does not make for a particularly interesting tale, especially when told in occasionally over-lively prose.

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr
By Michael Seth Starr

Hardcover: 268 pages
Applause Books; illustrated edition edition (April 2008)
ISBN-10: 1557836949
ISBN-13: 978-1557836946

Joel Kasow is a senior editor at

Related Culturekiosque Archives

Editorial: Taking Government Out of the "Marriage" Business: (Another) Reconciliation on Gay Marriage

LGBT Families to Participate in White House Egg Roll

British Museum's Hadrian Exhibition: Empire Repeats Itself

Reality TV as Bloodsport: Dutch Contestants Play for Kidney Transplant

Karl Lagerfeld: "Confidential" or Just Plain Confusing?

Movie Review: Brokeback Mountain

Testing Tolerance: Gay Clubs in Warsaw

Stocking Stuffer: Senator Larry Craig Talking Action Figure

Book Review: The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman (Knopf)

Theatrical Lives : A New Biography of Eleonora Duse (Knopf)

I Love Lucy, You Love Lucy, We All Love Lucy

Serge Gainsbourg: The Most Fatal of Adjectives

[ Feedback | Home ]

If you value this page, please send it to a friend.


Copyright © 2009 Euromedia Group, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.