Was there anything Gardner couldn’t do? He was an attorney, filmmaker, and author whose best work found space everywhere – from film and shows to books and radio. But more than any of his works for TV or publishing, Gardner was most proud of The Court of Last Resort – an organization he founded to help people detained or jailed without cause.
Gardner rallied like-minded lawyers, former police officials, and private investigators to review and reverse wrongful convictions.
Does Anyone Remember Seeing Gertie?
You often hear Della Street mention Gertie, the receptionist. You hear Perry Mason and Detective Drake speak of all the work Gertie needs to do. All well and good, save a minor problem. Who on earth is Gertie, and where was she for nine seasons?!
Many viewers claimed to have never seen her — a faceless, voiceless entity lost among the brighter stars in the Perry Mason galaxy. Gertie did appear on screen for 17 of the 271 episodes, played by the lovely Consuelo (Connie) Cezon.
A Parting, Bittersweet Kiss
The TV movies achieved something the original show never did – a moment of romance between Perry Mason and Della Street! The penultimate film called “The Case of the Killer Kiss” ends with the two sharing a lovely kiss. Has this been the longest wait in the history of on-screen relationships? Probably.
The kiss ultimately proved bittersweet. The film was the last time the two appeared on screen together. By then, Raymond Burr was clinging to life after years of illness. Burr tragically passed in 1993, the same year the film was released.
Need a Mason-Street Romance? Read the Novels, Will You?
Fans of the show could tell there was romance brewing between Perry and Della. They just knew. Meanwhile, those who read the novels knew even better. The Perry Mason novels have much more romance between the two than the show did.
In "The Case of the Substitute Face," Mason and Street return home on a cruise ship. On the show, they come back from a business trip. But in the novels, the two return after a vacation cruise around the world. Separate cabins, of course, but a vacation together nonetheless!
The Case Of Commonalities
What did the 30 Perry Mason telemovies in 1985 have in common? If you’re anything like our protagonist Perry, you will have caught on by now! Every episode contains curious cases – of notorious nuns, lost loves, murdered madams, a musical murder, or a killer kiss. Like that last sentence, the episode titles were alliterative!
There are only three episodes without alliterations! Alliteration for episode names was common in the black-and-white series during the 1950s and 60s.