Last Updated: February 2, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$15 Million
May 21, 1917 - Sep 12, 1993 (76 years old)
New Westminster
6 ft (1.83 m)
Actor, Television Director, Teacher
💰 Compare Raymond Burr's Net Worth

What Was Raymond Burr's Net Worth and Salary?

Raymond Burr was a Canadian-American actor who had a net worth of $15 million at the time of his death in 1993. Raymond Burr was best known for playing the title roles on the CBS legal drama "Perry Mason" (1957–1966) and the NBC crime drama "Ironside" (1967–1975). He won two Primetime Emmys for "Perry Mason," and he starred in 26 TV movies based on the series. Burr had more than 140 acting credits to his name, including the films "I Love Trouble" (1948), "A Place in the Sun" (1951), "Rear Window" (1954), "A Man Alone" (1955), "A Cry in the Night" (1956), "Crime of Passion" (1957), "Tomorrow Never Comes" (1978), and "Airplane II: The Sequel" (1982), the miniseries "Centennial" (1978–1979), and the television series "Climax!" (1956), "The Red Skelton Hour" (1963–1970), "Kingston: Confidential" (1976–1977), and "The Love Boat" (1979). Raymond also performed in Broadway productions of "Crazy With the Heat" (1941) and "The Duke in Darkness" (1944). Sadly, Burr passed away from cancer on September 12, 1993, at the age of 76.

Early Life

Raymond Burr was born Raymond William Stacy Burr on May 21, 1917, in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada. His mother, Minerva, was a music teacher and pianist, and his father, William, worked as a hardware salesman. Raymond's parents divorced when he was 6 years old, and he moved to Vallejo, California, with his mother and his siblings, James and Geraldine. After briefly attending San Rafael Military Academy, Burr graduated from Berkeley High School. He then attended Long Beach Junior College and spent a semester teaching at San Jose Junior College. He began acting at the age of 12, and his stage debut took place in a Vancouver stock company production.

Raymond Burr Net Worth

Actor Raymond Burr (Photo by John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)


In 1934, Raymond joined a Toronto repertory theatre company that toured Canada, then he joined a company that toured England, Australia and India. He got involved with the Pasadena Playhouse in 1937, and he moved to New York three years later and appeared in his first Broadway play, "Crazy With the Heat." After returning to California, Burr taught at the Pasadena Playhouse for 18 months. Between 1946 and 1957, he appeared in nearly 50 films, including "San Quentin" (1946), "I Love Trouble" (1948), "Adventures of Don Juan" (1948), "Abandoned" (1949), "Unmasked" (1950), "A Place in the Sun" (1951), "Mara Maru" (1952), "Serpent of the Nile" (1953), "Rear Window" (1954), "A Man Alone" (1955), "A Cry in the Night" (1956), and "Crime of Passion" (1957). From 1957 to 1966, Raymond played the title role on "Perry Mason," which aired 271 episodes over nine seasons and earned Burr two Primetime Emmys. He reprised the role in 26 TV movies, and 1993's "Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss" ended up being his final acting project. From 1967 to 1975, Burr starred as Robert T. Ironside on "Ironside," which ran for 199 episodes. He also played the role in the 1993 TV movie "The Return of Ironside."

After landing his big break with the role of Perry Mason, Raymond appeared in films such as "Desire in the Dust" (1960), "P. J." (1968), "Tomorrow Never Comes" (1978), "Out of the Blue" (1980), "The Return" (1980), and "Airplane II: The Sequel" (1982). He portrayed Pope John XXIII in the 1973 TV movie "Portrait: A Man Whose Name Was John," and from 1976 to 1977, he starred as R. B. Kingston on NBC's "Kingston: Confidential." Burr played Herman Bockweiss in the miniseries "Centennial" (1978–1979), which earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series – Drama, and he appeared in the TV movies "Disaster on the Coastliner" (1979), "The Curse of King Tut's Tomb" (1980), "The Night the City Screamed" (1980), "Peter and Paul" (1981), and "Grass Roots" (1992). In the last few years of his life, he starred in numerous Perry Mason TV movies as well as the 1991 films "The Legend of Kootenai Brown" and "Delirious."

Personal Life

Raymond met actress Isabella Ward in 1943 when she was taking classes at the Pasadena Playhouse. After reconnecting in 1947, they began a relationship. Burr and Ward married on January 10, 1948, and a few months later they co-starred in a production at the Pasadena Playhouse. The couple separated a few months into the marriage, and their divorce was finalized in 1952. Raymond met actor Robert Benevides (who was also a Korean War veteran) on the set of "Perry Mason" in 1960. Benevides quit acting in 1963 and served as a production consultant on 21 "Perry Mason" TV movies. Raymond and Robert owned a vineyard and an orchid business together, and they were domestic partners until Burr died in September 1993. Raymond never revealed his homosexuality during his life, but the press reported it when he passed away. Burr as well as his publicists and managers told the press unverifiable biographical details throughout his career, including that he was widowed twice and had a son who died at the age of 10. There is no evidence of either marriage or of Raymond having a son.

Burr gave a great deal of money to charity, including his salaries from the "Perry Mason" television films. He was involved with Save the Children and the Foster Parents' Plan, sponsoring more than 25 foster children. He donated money and "Perry Mason" scripts to Sacramento's McGeorge School of Law, and he raised funds for the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and donated several Fijian cowries and cones that came from Naitauba, a 4,000-acre island he owned from 1965 to 1983. Raymond received honorary doctorates from Sonoma State University and the University of Colorado in 1993, and he established the American Fijian Foundation, which funded academic research. Burr made several United USO trips, and in 1967, NBC released the documentary "Raymond Burr Visits Vietnam."

(Photo by © Roger Ressmeyer/CORBIS/VCG via Getty Images)


Raymond became ill while filming "Perry Mason: The Case of the Killer Kiss" during the spring of 1993, and a spokesperson for Viacom stated that Burr's illness could be related to a renal cell carcinoma that had been removed in February. The cancer had spread from his kidney to his liver by that point and was inoperable. Raymond threw a few "goodbye parties" prior to his death, and he passed away on September 12, 1993, at the age of 76 at his ranch in Sonoma County, California. He was laid to rest at Fraser Cemetery in New Westminster, British Columbia, next to his parents. A private memorial service took place on October 1st at the Pasadena Playhouse with approximately 600 friends and family members in attendance. Burr left his estate to his longtime partner Robert Benevides, excluding his relatives. Two of his late brother James' children challenged the will without success. Tabloids reported that Raymond's estate was worth more than $30 million, but his attorney said that number was an overestimate.

Awards and Honors

Burr earned nine Primetime Emmy nominations, winning for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series (1959) and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series (Lead) (1961) for "Perry Mason." Six of his nominations were for "Ironside." He received Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Star – Male (1969) and Best TV Actor – Drama (1972) for "Ironside," and he earned a Photoplay Award nomination for Favorite TV Program for "Perry Mason" in 1967. Raymond received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 and Canada's Walk of Fame in 2009, and in 2023, the character of Perry Mason was inducted into the Online Film & Television Association Hall of Fame. In 1996, "TV Guide" ranked Burr #44 on its "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time" list. In 2008, he was featured on a postage stamp in Canada Post's "Canadians in Hollywood" series, and in 2009, he was honored with the Canadian Legends Award.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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