In the 1960s, we welcomed back an old friend with a new show set in San Francisco. Raymond Burr, who starred as “Perry Mason” from September 21, 1957, to May 22, 1966, returned on Thursday nights in the spring of 1967 as “Ironside,” a San Francisco police detective who was shot and ended up in a wheelchair. This was the first crime drama to show a police officer with a disability.
Here is the opening sequence and the music was written and performed by Quincy Jones:
Three notes of – did you know? First, Raymond Burr was the bad guy in the classic movie “Rear Window” with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.
Second, the television series “Ironside ” was supposedly set in the old Hall of Justice at 750 Kearny Street, San Francisco. That building was torn down during the series first year on television. The current Hall of Justice is at 850 Bryant Street, still home to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, the main jail and the courts. The police department moved to their brand new headquarters at 1243 Third Street, San Francisco.
And third, according to lots of people, Raymond Burr was one of the kindest people on the planet. He gave lots of his money to charities throughout his career. He cultivated orchids and named one after his “Perry Mason” co-star Barbara Hale. And he was co-owner, with his partner Robert Benevides, of what is now called the Raymond Burr Vineyards in Healdsburg, California. He never got to taste the wine from the grapes he grew. He died of cancer in 1993.