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Hiding in Plain Sight

By Michael Seth Starr

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Hiding in Plain Sight (The Secret Life of Raymond Burr). Applause Books. Softcover. 270 pages. Published by Applause Books (HL.314805).

ISBN 142347371X. 6x9 inches.

Now in paperback, the complete story of the actor's career, including his secret gay life.

Raymond Burr (1917-1993) was an enigma. A film noir regular known for his villainous roles in movies like Rear Window, he eventually became one of the most popular stars in television history as the lead actor on two top-rated dramas, Perry Mason and Ironside, which between them ran virtually uninterrupted for 20 years.

But Raymond Burr was leading a secret gay life at a time in Hollywood when exposure would have been career suicide. To protect his secret, Burr fabricated a tragic past for himself as a grieving husband and father. He claimed to have been twice widowed – he said his first wife had died in a plane crash, and his second marriage had ended with his wife's early death from cancer. And there was also a dead son – 10-year-old Michael, who lost his battle with leukemia. Neither of the wives nor Michael ever existed. But that didn't stop these lies from being perpetuated again and again, even in Burr's New York Times obituary.

Hiding in Plain Sight examines the totality of Raymond Burr's career and his personal life, including his 35 years with partner Robert Benevides. The author interviewed over 30 people who knew or worked with Burr, including Angela Lansbury, Barbara Hale, Robert Wagner, Gale Storm, and more.

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