So who knew the Perry Mason star was a Friend of Dorothy? Hiding in Plain Sight: The Secret Life of Raymond Burr, by New York Post writer Michael Starr is out, and it’s a classic case of The Closet in play in Hollywood back in the day. Well, I guess there are plenty of closet cases in Tinseltown today, but I don’t know if present-day occupants would go to the measures Mr. Burr did to keep his sexual orientation a secret, right?
The main cover for Burr’s lack of female companionship was his grueling work schedule on Perry Mason. There was, though, a story about his past to lend him an air of heterosexuality: Burr claimed to have married an actress by the name of Annette Sutherland in 1942, who would later die in a plane crash. However, the only relationship with a woman that can be documented was his marriage to Isabella Ward from 1948 to 1952. He also claimed to have a son that died in the 1950s, but there are no records of such a person ever existing. Rumors also spread of Burr’s romantic involvement with movie actress Natalie Wood.
…In 1963, Burr began a relationship with actor Robert Benevides, who would be described as his “long-time companion” in a 1993 TV Guide article.
In other quasi-de-closeting news, apparently GMA weatherman Sam Champion was inadvertently outed by Andy Cohen, a senior VP at NBC’s Bravo. That’s odd, his Wikipedia entry lists him as openly gay.Again, I want to know who thought the man was straight? Your gaydar is broken. The infamous GMA Crisco incident floating around YouTube:
Sam Champion talks about dipping his left hand in Crisco: