Return home...

Miss X.'s Notebook {Beware!}

You are here.

NOTE: You might want to disregard all that you read here. People write some very silly things in notebooks; I should know, I have stacks of them! So please, don't e-mail and give me the business for saying something that you found offensive! Otherwise, enjoy. That's why this website exists.

You are here.

I am a runner. Meaning, I jog for fun and fitness's sake. Both Perry and Paul run in the first broadcast (not the first recorded) ep of Perry Mason; our beloved councillor in his office at nearly two in the morning, and our very, very beloved investigator out front of The Brent Building in broad daylight. Perry ribs him about it, Training for the Olympics, Paul?' More to come? It's been ages since I enjoyed the series, and we ended the evening with The Restless Redhead for tonight's entertainment... it wouldn't surprise me if I continue in the days to come.

Now, take note: thus far the updates page and this have the same text for today. But. as I said, I may indeed continue the trend (can one day be considered a trend? Well, the beginning of one at least for a fanatic such as myself). Fabulous suit, Perry. I adore the tartan/plaid. Need I say anything about Paul? Hrm... I'd better have good dreams tonight.

A familiar sight...

Fascinating synchronicities. As I was meandering and rifling through the site yesterday I lingered a while on one of my favourite screenshots, one of Paul toying with an elastic band whilst in Lieutenant Tragg's office. Today, at breakfast I watched Wasps' Nest, an episode of Poirot. Well. Just have a look at what I found, and enjoy the comparison most divine!


Billy... Billy... come back to my dreams, coooome baaaaack to my dreeeeams! (Picture me waving my fingers about half-menacingly, half-absurdly—then again those two states aren't mutually exclusive, are they? My eyes always bulge in a way appropriate to this image, so it would've been redundant to mention it. Even though I just did.) I had an interesting dream last night that was part Perry Mason, part Poirot, but I don't remember seeing Paul Drake. Hastings was there. Which was nice. In a similar way to the way in which it would've been nice if Billy had been present. Ok.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper... and Perry Mason?

Fairly near to the time I began this website, there was a lot of speculation about George Clooney playing our hero (I mean Mr Mason, this time, you know) in a big-screen re-make. He's rather past the age where that's a possibility, so let's consider another option, one I favour a great deal more than I ever did Mr Clooney (Clooney is a fantastic actor, but just not quite... something or other). Here we are: Jon Hamm. Certainly it'd be another mid-century period character for him, but in his portrayal of Don Draper we see what power he exudes and how brilliant and versatile he is in emoting. He can be scary and sweet--and he knows how to get things done. That's Mason to a T! What do you think? PS - now Robert Pattinson has become this massive vampire hearthrob, he's out of the running for a chance at playing Paul Drake. As cute as he is, I'm well sick of seeing hundreds of facsimiles of his face at the news-agents'! Bleh! PPS - Keira Knightley as Della...? Sounds nice to me. PPPS - Do I ever leave you lot alone? Haha! Just wanted to say that Tom Felton is still my first choice to play Paul Drake. Here is a newer photo of him. Ok, g'night and love to you all!

In (belated!) honour of our fine fellow's birthday, I have uploaded scans of all of my physical photo collection, as well as a couple of digital ones (culled from eBay). Two (the Hurrell and the boutonniere one with Hedda) were already here, only now... they're bigger. Please see The Wire Service—a new pageful! May you enjoy, joy, joy. More good news, unrelated to the site and only semi-related to Mr Hopper, my book was officially published 28 August, and will appear on very soon! It is available for purchase at for $14.98 USD. One hundred forty-four pages, twenty illustrations. Why's it semi-related to Billy? Well, as far as physiognomy is concerned, he served as my model for Marion, one of the primary characters. It is a time-travel fantasy to be released in series. No wacky machines as it's not science fiction, rather more metaphysically-orientated. You can expect a fair amount of swearing and naughty behaviour, so, it's not for the faint of... er... something? Oh yes, and by the way, the first book doesn't overtly refer to the time-travel element, it's only hinted at. As well, Marion only appears briefly. By the time book three is unleashed, you won't be able to get away from him (and he's not really the nicest of fellows). Blahbla+bla/blablah=Bla44. Thanks for keeping on keeping on! I hope your new year is going swimmingly.

Or maybe, Tom Felton? There's a bit of a resemblance, bit more than a bit in this photo anyway, and he's six-foot-one, which is close enough for jazz, as they say. I dunno, Mr Pattinson is nearer in looks. Weird hobby I have...

Wot's this? Nearly a year between entries and now two in one day? Anyway. Here's a bit about Hedda from Ray Milland: '...venomous, vicious, a pathological liar and quite stupid. On one occasion in 1940 she called, and with some colorful expletives threatened to run me out of town if I didn't go on her radio show. I hung up on her.' Wow! Happened upon this by accident. And just when I was beginning to like her (as much as anyone could, considering)... No wonder Billy was so nervous all the time.

A couple of things. No, a handful, a fistful, a teacup's worth...
Firstly: was William Hopper gay? A lot of people seem to be asking this lately, ever since Mr Keser's article at All I can do—like most of you, I expect—is guess. Some will point out that he was married, had a daughter, and even married a second time after divorcing, and they'll be correct. It's no secret, however, that many men throughout history have led double lives, sexually speaking; in my opinion Billy was not one of them. I do think that he might've been bisexual or at least that he 'experimented'. This opinion of mine is based purely on my intuition and history of finding bisexual men the most attractive. I get a certain feeling I can't possibly explain when I clap eyes on a delightful dish of certain, shall we say, complexity. And, well, there is no doubt that I get that feeling every time I have the pleasure of seeing Mr Hopper. Exclusively homosexual, though? I don't think so.
Secondly: blond or not? He's been described as 'dark blond' at various websites which drives me nutters. When does brown become dark blond? Is he described thusly because he was truly blond in infancy? My beau was a towheaded toddler, as flaxen as summer morning sun, and now? His hair's darker than mine. What's mine? Dark auburn? Medium red brown? Take your choice. I prefer it almost black but am generally too preoccupied with other things to dye it or have it dyed. Anyway, Billy's hair looks bloody dark to me in the 1930s, as dark as... oh let's use Lyle Talbot's and what was his? Black? Dark brown? Who cares? Me, I guess.
Thirdly: Gordon P. Williams—do you think I'm a git or something? Do you at least think me silly? I think I'm a bit silly. Do you not think of me at all and have you no idea about this website? Are you reading this right now? Drop me a line some time if you feel like it. Despite my obsession with your stepfather, which is indeed potent, adolescent, and prurient at times, I am not going to ask if you ever saw him naked or anything like that. Here's to hoping you're as nice a guy as Billy seems to have been. And Joan, are you out there...?
Fourthly: fourthly? Is that a word? Yes, anyway, I still have yet to see Billy's screen test for Mason, which is on one of the 50th Anniversary discs. *rubs hands eagerly*
Five: deciding here to stop turning numbers into adverbs, I also am thinking of modern actors in an effort to procrastinate work I should be doing right now. Why modern actors? I'm wondering, who could play William Hopper? Jonathan Rhys-Meyers? Damn, too short. Robert Pattinson? Maybe; he's six foot one, pretty close. Thomas Byrd did a good job playing Billy in Malice in Wonderland... He seemed to capture a bit of his essence and wasn't at all stagey. All right, good-night, I'll go and do proper work now. My love to everyone, even those of you who think I'm a weirdo on a carthorse to hell. ♥

Ahoy, there, remember me? I just wanted to pop in and remark how impressive I find William Hopper in the sensitive guy rôle. See 'The High and the Mighty' (really good film all around!) and 'Track of the Cat' (actually, I'd advise watching only Billy's parts in this one). He had the face, the voice, the carriage, and demeanour to put sweet and sheepish across very legitimately. Of course, I feel he had immense potential across the entire range of characterization; it's my belief that he could've played a very scary bad guy equally well, had he wanted to, had he been given the chance, and had he surmounted his alleged issues with low-confidence and motivation.
    Now—Mason! Second season, volume one, less than a month away! I've been enjoying CBS's first couple of releases, although, as with every other PM fan on the planet, of which there are many and more all the time, I am bewildered by the complete absence of extras (listening, CBS? How about some stills? Some script scans? Trivia? Barbara Hale? Anything?). There has been official discussion of a future inclusion of such things, however, so take heart, dear Masonites! Cheers!

Aaagh! I just saw episodes one and two ('The Kill' and 'Streetcar Jones') of Peter Gunn (the half-hour crime series that ran on NBC and ABC from '58 to '61); that show makes PM look rather like a day care, doesn't it? I love it. Fantastic. Very film noir. I won't let it spoil Mason for me, though, fear not. More on this later; I have to finish my 'To do' list... ADDENDUM 20 NOVEMBER: Ok, now we've seen the first eight episodes and the thrill remains—what an amazing show! Everyone is familiar with the theme song, but for some reason I thought Peter Gunn was a 1960s film or something. It is much sexier and far more violent than Mason; things go on in that programme that I never would have guessed were allowed on television in the 1950s and '60s. Moreover, the violence is far more realistic than that which occurs in much of modern television and cinema.
    Peter Gunn, played by Craig Stevens, is shockingly similar to Burr's Perry in appearance, voice and demeanour. Stevens wasn't cadging any bit of it either, because he acted just the same in The Deadly Mantis in 1956 (minus much of the razor-flick dialogue of course, the domain of the writers). Very cool, sophisticated, a bit on the fringe, and dangerous. Needn't add handsome, need I? His girlfriend Eadie Hart (Lola Allbright) is gorgeous as well, and has an exquisitely velvet singing voice, apparently she released a couple of albums under the Eadie Hart theme. I like that the show centres round music a lot, and very good jazz, at that. Watching it does make me wish they'd done a few things differently on PM, or rather, wish more longingly than ever, as these are issues Gus and I have talked about a number of times before. Things like character development are all but absent on Mason, and for some reason, as the series progressed, the characters and storylines were forced into a mold, making them blander, more predictable, less real. Everything is a bit too clean and that wholesomeness rings false, to me. I liked that Burger was horrible in the first season. He was a simpering sycophant in the courtroom, and a snarling backstabber out of it. Perry was also a bit of a bastard sometimes, which was fun. I liked also that there were dirty cops, and that there was more contention mixed with the cooperation between Perry, Paul and the police. Della was racier, too—again, more real and likable. There's a fine line between self-control and repression, do you know what I mean?
    Anyway, I'm not saying Mason pales next to Gunn; its structure was good for building episodes on, its choice of a hero (lawyer versus cop or detective) makes it unique, and of course who can fault Burr, Hopper, Hale, Talman or Collins—or many of the directors for that matter? I think that some of the people in charge of the show, maybe CBS's censors mainly, maybe writers—I'm not sure right now—were a bit stiff/false-alarmish and tried too hard to make a universally palatable beginning-middle-end type of story at the expense of character dimensionality, thought-provoking themes, and the actors themselves. Gunn isn't especially thought-provoking, no more than Mason, I mean. Emotion evoking, yes, as well as shocking and inspiring—who wouldn't want Pete's ever-present cool?
    Writing is a difficult job, and it doesn't seem that one can please everyone all the time. I doubt I'd have lasted a week at CBS. I'd be doing stupid things like having Paul take his clothes off and punching people every other episode—er, not naked and violent at the same time. You know what I mean.
    So, did Peter Gunn only last a few seasons because of its sordid content? (ADDENDUM 23 MAY: Unfortunately, Peter Gunn got watered down, heavily, like a thirteen-year-old does with his parents' booze, after the first season. Sad. Eff you, censors and sponsors!) Well anyway, its nearly alongside Perry Mason as my favourite television show. Hrm. Why do all my favourite programmes begin with P? Perry Mason, Peter Gunn, Poirot. Huh!
    P.S. I am so excited to get the second volume of PM DVDs. Amazon shipped them Saturday—woo-hoo! A third of them are eps I haven't seen in their entirety.

I don't think we'd have got on very well face to face, but I must say I've developed a strange fondness for Hedda (Billy's mum). Her voice is marvellous.

Ok, today I'd like to talk about why I find Mr. Hopper, or 'Billy' as I like to call him (who knows, it might've been a nickname that annoyed the hell out of him..?), so very appealing.
    The first time I saw him, the very first Mason episode I ever watched I caught by accident whilst wandering by the television late one night in 2002. God knows why I had it on FOX, I only ever watched that channel regularly during the middle and later seasons of The X-Files. Any road, the first time I saw him, I thought he was a bit peculiar looking. The print of Mason they were airing was quite washed out (as are many of those in syndication), and I thought there might've been something a bit weird going on with his eyes. Have you ever noticed he has a falling eyelid on the left side? The episode was TCOT Negligent Nymph and the scene was the early one with Perry and Paul in the restaurant Las Chalupas. I stopped in my tracks (literally) and was transfixed. I said to myself, "So this is Perry Mason." I'd heard of the programme and had confused it with Ironside, or mixed it with Ironside, I should say; I thought Perry Mason was about a lawyer in a wheelchair. From then on, though, I was a fan.
    Gradually (or not so gradually?) my fandom has grown into fanaticism, and, whilst it was Raymond Burr to whom I initially paid the most attention, because I already knew something about him, my gaze very soon shifted to his hardworking detective. Who is that statuesque gent with the striking features and grey hair (oddly, blonde never crossed my mind)? What is his history? IMDB and Google provided, and they have done so again and again ever since, right along with TCMDB now, which is marvellous!
    Sometimes, I am apprehensive about learning too much about an actor or actress of whom I am fond. I've been disappointed too many times (Robert Taylor's ratting people out during the McCarthy hearings really soured me on him! And no modern actor or actress holds my interest for long). I don't expect picture people to be superhuman, but I do expect them to be likable, and to have a bit of dimension; to me they're 'artists', so I hold my standards rather high, I suppose. Mr. Hopper has not disappointed. He really is the "pleasant fellow whom you like to have around the family living room." He was fairly left-wing, didn't think there was anything wrong with people being gay (I wonder if he knew about Burr?) or non-white, he swore (one of the few things he shared in common with his mum, I guess!), was a "gin rummy hound" (ok, so a lot of actors and actresses in the 1940s were—but at parties? I wonder! See HHH 2.), had rather an effed up family life, chose The Coast Guard during WWII rather than one of the aggressive branches of the armed forces—lots of little things that make him endearing, in my opinion. I realise there are quite a lot of conservative PM fans out there, from the things I've read at message boards, and I hope I'm not putting any of you off (it takes all kinds to make a world, as they say), but there you have it. I'm not into politics at all, but would be considered so far left that I get turned round sometimes, and am, unequivocally, a complete weirdo, even to the weirdos. That's not expressing a tenth of it, actually, and I'm sure even Mr. Hopper would think I'm a total weirdo too. Oh well. Anyway... back to the topic at hand...
    The eyes. Gus said once that Billy's eyes are rather like a mountain lion's, and I'd agree. Interesting about the falling eyelid, it's quite visible in baby pictures, and you'll notice he's most frequently photographed from the right side (though not always; I have one from Mantis that's a perfect left-sided profile ). On a related note, Prince Edward I, born at Westminster in the year 1239 was,

'"Of handsome appearance," he was unusually tall owing to the great length of his legs, hence his name, "Longshanks". He was taller, stronger, bigger than most men, and very deep-chested. Extremely good-looking ... his only blemish being the falling eyelid which he inherited from his father ... his hair was flaxen in youth, dark brown in manhood, and silver white in old age.' – Medieval Costume and Fashion, by Herbert Norris

    Er, alright, I'm not sure how that's related other than I thought the similarities were interesting.
    Apart from his obvious good looks, his height and background, I find his overall demeanour and his voice quite lovely. There's a slight awkwardness to both, but he also strikes me as someone who can take care of himself, if you will. Gus is like that as well come to think of it, and actually, shares a number of physical similarities with Mr. Hopper, but I don't think he'd (Gus, that is) want me to rabbit on about that too much. I don't go for the blustery man's man type, you know, Clark Gable (though I think he's a great actor and enjoy many of his films) or John Wayne (can't stand his pictures or style, sorry. Yes, I know Billy's in one of 'em...). He didn't become a 'great star', but, again, I must say this is only another reason to be fonder of him. Showoff actors bore me. I'd rather he got to lie about in the sun and swim a lot, two of the things he's supposed to have enjoyed. Ok, so I'd've preferred he didn't sun so much, but...! You catch my drift, surely.
    He has marvellous eyebrows, that were tweezed too much later on (1961 onwards) either by the PM makeup artist or him. He started in the 1930s. I have an odd affection for eyebrows and am jealous of my own rather thick ones. Too much tweezing can be a tragedy. I told you I was a weirdo. Absolutely perfect nose. Intimidatingly sexy pouty mouth that lost a bit of its beestung-ness from smoking, I suppose, but gained a new inviting charm later on anyway. I can take or leave chin clefts/dimples; his I'll take, of course. Another thing you might've noticed: his teeth; sometimes there's a gap between the two front, sometimes there isn't. People who have gaps sometimes get a bridgeing apparatus made by their dentist which is removable. I like his gap, very much. His boyish smile is positively accentuated by it. And, well, his hands (particularly when accoutred by the pinkie ring) drive me wild, as does everything else of his. Dark hair or grey, he looks best in dark suit.
    Oh! How could I go on so long without yet mentioning this? His smoking: there is little out there quite so titillating as watching him smoke. He does it with such deliciously forceful ease. Sigh. All right, I'll shut it now. Good-night, everyone. Sweet dreams.

Well, the local station has finally cycled round to the first season. FOX shows two episodes in a row; today was TCOT Final Fadeout and... one from the first season. Should be TCOT Restless Redhead, no? Alas, the schedule lists Nervous Accomplice instead (I was napping, so I'm not positive that's what was actually aired). I'll write and ask why they're choosing to broadcast them out of order, and if they're going to be playing TCOT Sunbather's Diary (amoungst others) as I'd really like to get that one recorded!

So... I'm thinking about starting a Dreams of Billy diary here. I occasionally have him visit me in dreams, you know, tee-hee, and some of these nocturnal excursions are interesting, some of them weird, some psychic-ish! Yes. I'd have to transcribe a handful from my paper dream journal. It'd be fun, though, I think, and maybe doing so would cause me to have more dreams of him. I've lately been intensifying my lucid dreaming practises, so doing this as well would probably be quite complimentary. Fun!

Yow. Who knew Dewolf Jr. could sing? Remember that dream I had last year in March? That he was singing in some comedic short films Hedda was producing, and that he sang at a higher pitch than his speaking voice? Well it's exactly the opposite. He—at least as Handsome Sam in Cowboy Quarterback—sings in a much deeper voice and actually sounds rather like Vaughan Monroe! Bizarre. At first I thought it was an overdub of someone else singing, but it was him! I encourage you to watch and listen for yourself. We hear him playfully belting out, "It's the rich whats gets the gravy etc." as a joke in TCOT Dead Ringer, but in Cowboy he's singing quite, er, seriously.

I enjoyed an interesting dream of Billy early this morning. Contrary to what one might think, I don't dream of him often—of course I intend to rectify the situation! I like mucking about with my dream content and encourage everyone to try his/her hand at it. Er, anyway, he and I worked together at some government agency. Some of the employees lived at headquarters; I'm not sure if I was amoungst them, but he definitely was. It was his birthday or some occasion on which I felt he needed a present. I'd bought him red knee bands (FYI: recently, in waking life, Gus and I watched an episode of Poirot in which Captain Arthur Hastings, reading from the I Ching, mentions a man with scarlet knee bands) and called out to him as I was walking down the curved hallway to his room, "I've bought you red knee bands, because I know you always wear them." Apparently, I was quite serious—laughing, mind you, but sincere in my words and belief that he daily donned these peculiar garters. Incidentally, I have a "thing" for men in sock garters. Yes. Well. So I enter his room. It is small and light though not bright, morning sun pouring softly in through the window. Beneath the window is a white radiator and the bottom halves of the walls are seafoam green (like the crayon). He is lying a-bed partially under the bedclothes (sheets etc.), wearing, I soon discover when I sit on the edge of the bed next to him, suit trousers and a half-unfastened dress shirt (exposing an undershirt, sleevless variety). And, after slipping a hand round one of his knees I feel a kneeband under the trouser leg! Well, I'll end it there, not that it got too pornographic or anything***... Also in the dream was the number 75, though I don't recall its significance. There were four bedrooms down that round corridor. Seventy-five and four, numerologically speaking, equal seven, which is a significant number in my life. Hrm.

I never thought I'd say this, but I've found that one of my favourite PM eps hails from the 9th season!!! TCOT Dead Ringer! Superbly directed and acted (with the unfortunate exception of Maurice Manson playing Jess Parkinson; maybe he was trying for some affect that went over my head...), I got that wonderful feeling I get watching one of the finest from seasons 1-3. Seeing Raymond Burr play Grimes—love that cockney!—was an experience I never would have expected could be such great fun. Not because Burr isn't a fantastic actor, because he is, but because I'd no idea his villainous role in this episode would be such a departure from the hard men he played early in his career. I was under the impression he was just going to be playing another thug, which I always enjoy, but his Grimes was so mad and marvellous, so much a different creature altogether from any I could imagine Burr portraying! "It's the rich what gets the gravy!" Aaaah! And Paul coming in at the end singing like Grimes! AAAAh!

Resembles a young William Hopper

And now, a curiousity: see that colour image at your left? Click it. Its the artwork for the month of September on the calendar hanging in our main room. That gent smoking the pipe looks an awful lot like a young William Hopper, no? The image is an Italian tobacco advert from sometime around the 1910s to the 1930s.

Rubeus Hagrid: I shouldn'ta said that.

Gee! TCOT Garrulous Gambler is fantastic. Really wonderful direction. This episode is on Vol. 16 of the CH DVD series along with TCOT Dangerous Dowager (excellent) and TCOT Lucky Legs. In regards to Lucky Legs: there are some interesting production notes on the DVD, which do not speak well of the 1930s film loosely based on E.S.G.'s novel. I must say, however, that that film is probably quite a bit livelier than the television episode. Sigh. If ever a PM ep could put me to sleep, this would be the one to do it. I never thought I'd say that.

It's true! He was married twice! Bundles and bundles of thanks and ♥ to Ellen for writing in with this information!!! Jane (Billy's first wife) didn't get on with ol' Hedda at all, apparently, which created too much tension for the marriage to bear. Too bad; one can't blame her for disliking that shrike, why didn't her man wise up? Well, I suppose most people are weird about their parents. You know, a sailor friend of ours once said to me, "You couldn't possibly have a mother. You just floated down out of the æthers." Sounds good to me! Any road, our fellow's second wife was/is named Jan, oddly enough, and somehow reconciled he and mummy. Interesting business, no?

Thinking here, some more, in relation to some mental adjustments I've been making lately (and the past number of years, for that matter, to use a temporal reference, which I dislike doing, but, er...), I don't want to be insensitive. Everyone does the best s/he can with what s/he feels s/he knows at the time. I suppose Hedda felt compelled to behave in the ways she did (might've been racist, aimed to destroy the careers of those she found morally objectionable etc.). It may sound trite, but we all make mistakes. And though it's obvious to most of us what is agreeable vs. disagreeable behaviour, I feel that righteous declarations regarding badness and goodness as absolutes are unhelpful. For that matter, who didn't float down out of the æthers? Riddle me that, hey?

Urm, back on the subject at hand: a video and sound clip from Hedda Hopper's Hollywood #2 is forthcoming. Evidence of wife one's opinion of "Hopsie" (that's mother dearest) is in a guffaw. Stay tuned.

Hey! I've just happened upon some fascinating trivia! Jane Gilbert, William Hopper's wife, had a more famous sister: Margaret Lindsay. Guess what Margaret starred in? The Case of the Curious Bride—not the 1957 television version, but the 1935 film starring Warren William. She played the curious bride Rhoda, a rôle filled by Christine White in the tele adaptation.

By the way, I'm not sure, but Mr. Hopper might've been married twice. The reasons for my conjecture: His marriage is said (in The Perry Mason TV Show Book) to have gone on the rocks, so to speak, in 1962; he has a stepson; his stepson's mother (whomever she may be) dated Lenny Bruce.

After a punishing stretch of housecleaning I sat down and re-watched TCOT Jaded Joker. Wow. One of the best Masons ever. I'd previously allowed Paul's derogatory comment about beatniks sour the episode in my mind. Yes, I still think the comment ("No life, no liquor, no laughs. They just sit around hating themselves.") was stupid and the portrayal of beatniks rather shallow and absurd, but! Still one of the best! Gerd Oswald just can't be beat in the direction department, methinks. Frankie Laine was awesome, too. I wish he'd been in more episodes. And, er, need I say it? Regardless of what's coming out of his mouth, Paul looks fantastic.

It appalls me no end that the "fake commercial" scene where Danny is about to kill himself is, in the syndicated version, absent. It's such a chilling, beautifully shot and acted scene!

Towards the end, where Perry is talking with Buzzy at the Purple Wall, oh! The marvellous poetry issuing from Buzzy's lips! I wish more people talked that way. It'd be interesting to start a club in which members (during meetings) speak to one another only in imagery-based poetry. The group would have to be a small one, though. Less than eight people, for certain. With exclusive rules against egomaniacal nuts! Any road, despite Mr. Troup's (the fellow playing Buzzy) talent, he really gave me the willies at first because of his close resemblance to a chap I used to go out with who treated me most shabbily!

TCOT Glittering Goldfish is very good, and, although it is a very Paul-cheap episode (that means there are few scenes with Paul) I cheerfully await its arrival on DVD. Day before yesterday I began reading TCOT Velvet Claws, the very first Perry Mason novel published. It's excellent thus far and such fun to read the descriptions of each character. This is March's book-of-the-month for the Della-Perry Discussion List at Yahoo Groups.

Ugh! TCOT Angry Astronaut is really awful! There were a few bits I enjoyed (the way Beethoven's 9th was used during the body's discovery, the fight between Perry and Paul, and the impersonationist), but the rest was just smelly. I really despise the way Paul's character was changed in the later eps, so military-oriented and goody goody. Puke.

Onto pleasanter shores... I watched TCOT Dangerous Toy and TCOT Spurious Sister the other night, and a couple nights before that TCOT Moth-Eaten Mink (for the umpteen-thousandth time)—now there's quality. Mink, especially, is one that can be rewatched again and again without ever losing an ounce of its wonder and charm in the eyes/mind of the viewer. If you ask me, anayway. Did anybody ask me?

Although I don't personally celebrate birthdays, I feel compelled to wish our gorgeous gent a merry one. Happy Birthday, William DeWolf Hopper Jr.! One is given to wonder, however, whether 26 January 1915 was his "actual date of birth". Why? Well, Hedda (his mum) was very keen on astrology, so much so, in fact, she had her own birth date changed to reflect a more auspicious stardate and changed her name at the behest of her own personal astrologer. Considering she had designs for her son becoming a celebrity actor it is possible that she had his birthday changed as well. I haven't checked the census information or newspapers or anything yet, but the answer surely lies in them. Another reason I am slightly dubious of 26 Jan., is that it would make him an Aquarius, and I am invariably attracted to Capricorns! ADDENDUM: I've just had a look at the Social Security Death Index and according to it, a fairly reliable source of info I guess, 26-01-15 is indeed correct!

Oh! I nearly fell over! Guess what? Turner Classic Movies will be showing Mystery House (1938) on 15 March at 2am Pacific DST!!..! Set a reminder for yourself and then bask in the glory of you-know-who! Our beloved, by the way, is fourth billed—not bad.

Sigh. I am loth to say it, but IMDB hath steered me wrong again. William Hopper is listed as playing (uncredited) a reporter in the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon. I watched, I taped, I rewatched, and saw neither hide nor hair of DeWolf Jr.—or any reporter, for that matter! I'm wondering if the person who made the entry forgot to type 'scenes deleted' alongside 'uncredited' or if they have the wrong film altogether. Perhaps he appears in Satan Met a Lady, (the 1936 version of the Dashiell Hammett classic). By the way, the first "wrong steer" was a listing for him as the second customer in Larceny, Inc (1942). Totally different actor. Looks more like David Manners than DeWolf Jr. I'm not complaining, though. IMDB is such an awesome resource. It's incredible... (thank you, Napoleon). I love having access to all those loads and loads of information about early film (and modern, on occasion) and the ability to add my own discoveries.

Say.... I just had another look at the credits for Larceny, Inc. and they've been updated. William Hopper is back on the bill, now as an (uncredited) traffic policeman. Who, I beg you, who is the marvellous being "in the know"?

"'s what we're going to do about it: we're going to push this baby up until she's going as fast as she can, we're gonna climb until we get back into that jetstream and then... (uneasy pause) and we're going to try to go back where we came from."  Quoth John Anderson's character Captain Farver in The Twilight Zone episode The Odyssey of Flight 33. Remember John? The good-looking gent who seems to share his voice with Willard Sage? He appeared in three eps of Perry Mason (TCOT Calendar Girl, Bartered Bikini, Greek Goddess) and four of The 'Zone (The Old Man in the Cave, Of Late I Think of Cliffordville, The Odyssey of Flight 33, A Passage for a Trumpet). Happy New Year, Mr. Anderson! Let's have drinks or coffee in your favourite netherworldly/ætherworldly haunt, ok? ♥

The other night I was looking for something on television, something good to play in the background whilst I pencilled my graphic novel, when I happened upon a blurry black and white... something or other. An old film being played on a religious channel (remember, I was "channel surfing"). It looked interesting so I kept it on. Then, I noticed a pair of huge eyes on one of the larger actors. His familiar gait and gestures confirmed my giddily rising suspicions—it was Raymond Burr! Quite a lot huskier than he ever had been on Mason and clad in flowing robes, a turban and a beard! (He was playing the Wise Man Balthazaar.) The film is called A Star Will Rise and it was released in 1952. In addition to Burr, it is crammed full of other Perry Mason actors, including Morris Ankrum as King Herod! Very interesting. See screenshots to your left.

Fear not, dearest visitors, my adoration for William DeWolf Hopper Jr. hath not waned. I'll have some new DVD captures soon.

And Happy New Year to you, too! :)

The coma-state of our main hard drive, mentioned in the previous entry, has discouraged me from updating this site recently. I have, however, begun a new Perry Mason folder, by downloading the html etc. from the server at which this website is hosted. When we recover the data from aforesaid drive... er, I'm not sure where I was going with that (I got up for a moment to answer the telephone). Any road...

It was a delight to see Zasu Pitts in TCOT Absent Artist. She didn't look so much different from the way she did in the 1930s.

What? No entry for October? Well, anyway... Is Mercury in retrograde or something? The hard drive containing my websites (including this one) died and the audio on our VCR blew out. Granted, the latter was fairly clearly my own fault, as I plugged an "in" into an "out" (or vice versa) trying to get audio clips from some VHS tapes. Regardless! Mercury's disagreeable position in the heavens is an interesting topic!

    I'm on Columbia House's 8th Perry Mason DVD; five to go. ADDENDUM 6 OCTOBER 2004: I have since been informed that the Columbia House DVD set has increased from 13 to 18—ahhh... so I will, after all, get The Crimson Kiss...

After Gus and I watched Armored Car Robbery, it occurred to me that William Hopper ought to have starred in some noir. He'd have done particularly well in a "good man gone bad" rôle, a la Roadblock's Joe Peters (played by Charles McGraw, who incidentally, plays the main copper in Armored Car Robbery). Hrm! I guess we'll have to wait until digital recreation of actors/actresses is perfected. Or employ metaphysical means. Yes. Even better.

My good chap and I watched Armored Car Robbery the other night. Details and images to come.

Paul: Perry, I'm going downstairs to the Starbucks they put in next to Clay's Grille—can I get you anything?

Perry: Why, yes, Paul, why don't you get me a quad hazelnut latte. And tell them to put a little more foam on, this time.

Paul: Sure thing, chief. How about you, beautiful?

Della: Oh, I don't knoww... I suppose an iced vanilla latte does sound pretty good.

Paul: Will do.

...Come now! Paul, Perry, Della! I should think you'd rather support a locally owned café! Ah, well, so it goes with alternate realities...

Gee, what astoundingly beautiful, huge eyes Raymond Burr has! Watched TCOT Lucky Loser and TCOT Curious Bride today (observe his eyes in Bride!). Curious Bride is Gus's favourite episode, and rightly so! I remembered it being super swell, but it's even better than that! It contains S. John Launer's first appearance on PM, one of my favourite character actresses (Christine White, who plays Rhoda Reynolds), hilarious courtroom arguments and hijinks, and an excellent plot. I look forwards to reading the book.
    Everyone's hair looks really good in TCOT Lucky Loser. I mean, Annabell always coiffed the cast fabulously, but for some reason, Perry, Della and Paul's crowning glories appear particularly smart in that episode.
    What the hell is Paul eating in TCOT Buried Clock? A tomato? With salt? Just curious.... (long pause) Great. Now I want some tomatoes. Sigh.

I'm not thinking of an appropriate noise to enter here, or onomatopœa—I've just had the immense pleasure of seeing two first season episodes I'd never before seen!!! Yes, I am in ecstasy. The first is one I've been waiting to see for... maybe a year and a half? Longer, perhaps? Hallmark doesn't play it and I'd never caught it on Fox for some reason: TCOT Crimson Kiss. It is one of the best episodes, and I don't know how I could emphasize that point enough. With the bonus of getting a long gander at young Paul in a dark suit (he never wears dark suits, except that tux at the end of TCOT Crooked Candle) I nearly fainted. The interaction between Paul and Perry in Perry's office as they're discussing the lipstick mark on the victim's forehead is an absolute classic and during it Paul's character strikes me as quite a lot calmer than usual, and more interesting (for one thing, I like his comment regarding the possibility of the smooch being made by a man). Have a look at the way he's poured into the chair, too, will you?
    Della is so cool in Crimson Kiss, I love it! When I say cool I not only mean fabulous but also calm, steady, strong—much closer to the way she's presented in the books. In later episodes it seems as though they were trying to make her seem more fainthearted; in the '50s I suppose that made her a more attractive woman. Bullocks to that, of course, I like her in the books! Swearing, smoking, a bit more sure on her feet, and yet always with class...
    The second episode was TCOT Vagabond Vixen, which, by the title alone I thought I had seen, but I was confusing it with TCOT Haunted Husband and TCOT Footloose Doll. It was excellent as well, full of wonderful main character interaction.

Well! All right then, some of the later season episodes are also quite good, TCOT Scarlet Scandal being one of them.
    At last, early this afternoon, I saw TCOT Twice-Told Twist (the only colour episode). While I thought the fate of the defendant was a bit stupid (and unrealistic), and the hyper-'60s music drove me nutty, I did enjoy TTT very much! It was great seeing Della in that dark red wrap at the beginning. What was that weird train-ish thing she and Perry boarded and disappeared onto for ten minutes, by the way? Did they go for drinks or something? And since we're talking "What was", what was that frighteningly hideous rust-coloured poly-velour top Paul was wearing in Mexico? Christ! I like sexy, 1957 Paul in shiny suits. Balls to "business casual"!
    ADDENDUM 18 JULY 2004: The "weird train-ish thing" was an actual train, and Perry and Della went to get some papers signed. Ah!

Golly, some of those latter season episodes are miserable to watch. The cast seem so tired (particularly Perry), Paul appears to have aged about twenty years, Tragg is absent, I can't stand the '60s incidental music and the acting is often really dreadful (at least amoungst the character actors, not the main cast). But, er, as I don't like to leave things on an unhappy note, let me point you in the direction of this. Oh, and, guess wot? Gene Raymond was/is as gay as an Easter parade! Or at least he had/has quite a tendency to swing that way as well as this. You'll find few girls gayer for gay men than myself. *sighs wistfully, an ecstatic smile making her countenance sparkle...*

George Clooney as Perry Mason? Helena Bonham Carter as Della Street?

David Duchovny as Paul Drake? Tommy Lee Jones as Lieutenant Arthur Tragg?

Kenneth Branagh as District Attourney Hamilton Burger?

There's been a rumour flying about for some time regarding the possibility of George Clooney playing Perry Mason on the big screen. Whence comes this rumour? Is there any truth in it? Well, regardless, it's got my mind spinning. What modern actors would you have filling the rôles of the beloved Erle Stanley Gardner classic? Up until fairly recently, in my mind, Clooney was little more than "eye candy for the ladies" (though not my type of eye candy, exactly). After seeing him in O Brother Where Art Thou, however, and watching a couple of interviews, I'm convinced! He's the perfect choice.
    In Della's shoes I see Helena Bonham Carter, brilliant Brit actress who seems capable of mastering any accent. She possesses a similar classic beauty to that of youngish Barbara Hale as well as a broad facial bone structure and petite figure.
    Needless to say, imagining anyone apart from William Hopper in the part of Paul Drake is exceedingly difficult for me. At long last I've come round to half-accepting David Duchovny as a good choice. If he can just shed that lethargic smugness that characterizes him personally as well as in pretty much every rôle he's played... maybe he can do it! He's an excellent actor both dramatically and comedically (see The X Files and The Larry Sanders Show).
    Tommy Lee Jones as Lieutenant Arthur Tragg was suggested by Bill C. at the Perry Mason Bulletin Board and I must say it's a suggestion nothing short of brilliant! He'd be a grand Tragg!
    Last but certainly not least, how about Kenneth Branagh as District Attourney Hamilton Burger? He has the fiery looks and personality, and yet, is a bit huskier than Talman, thus perhaps truer to ESG's vision (Burger is described as bear-like in the novels). Don't get me wrong—I love Bill Talman's portrayal. Well, ladies and gentlemen, what do you think?

John Anderson, image one Willard Sage, image one

John Anderson, image two Willard Sage, image two

Two months ago, I confessed to unwittingly counting two Perry Mason character actors as one, the two being John Anderson (Calendar Girl, Bartered Bikini, Greek Goddess,) and Willard Sage (Baited Hook, Glittering Goldfish, Clumsy Clown). You might also remember that I expressed a desire to upload a photo and voice comparison. Well, it's done! Although a juxtapositioning of their faces reveals a number of dissimilarities, one will note that their voices are shockingly alike. I'd be so bold as to say nearly identical! Please feel free to listen for yourselves: here is John Anderson (playing George Andrews in TCOT Calendar Girl); and here is Willard Sage (playing Robert Dawson in TCOT Baited Hook). The sound clips are in the universally playable mp3 format. Coincidentally, John and Willard are addressing the same man (George Neise plays the villain/victim in both episodes)!

Della sitting on her bed

Say, have you ever noticed that Perry, Della and Paul, all, have padded headboards? Yes, of course, 'twas the fashion of the day. I'm just having a bit of fun, ahem. See also telephone6.html and telephone8.html for further reference.

Fabulous quotation of the day:

From TCOT Silent Partner,
"The last time I got public-spirited it almost earned me a shroud." – Lola

I'm kneeling here going through my drawing photos, studying faces, sipping coffee... There is an image I got a while back from eBay of DeWolf Jr. looking rather self-satisfied—I'd almost say arrogant—smoking (surprise! Haha) and wearing what I'd originally presumed was a smoking jacket. A few weeks ago, however, I acquired a better quality version of the same photo and in the process discovered the garment to be a reproduction of an ordinary men's sportcoat from around 1900, which he wore for his role in One Desire (haven't seen it yet). Forget the jacket, though. Sorry. I ramble. The thing that startled me about the photo was the detail visible in his face. That glorious mug of his is a bit more careworn than I originally thought; his eyes are bigger, too. No complaints here—merely some observations. Photographs are strange things, I'm always saying, but what about moving pictures? Stranger still, or more accurate?

Oh how I covet the coffee carafe Della uses at the end of TCOT Singular Double and the beginning of TCOT Lavender Lipstick! Incidentally, TCOT Lavender Lipstick is the episode in which we see, very briefly, a topless Paul in a steam bath (ooh-la-la).

In two years and seven months I will have accumulated the first three seasons of Perry Mason on DVD (which equals 31 DVDs). Oh brother! I can't wait that long! *rubs eyes pitifully*

Have I lost it completely? Did I just see Lieutenant Drumm singing and dancing and hoisting Lana Turner up on his shoulder in a circa early-'50s promo short on TCM? I'd bet money on it. Talking of identity certitude... I discovered a couple of days ago that I'd been counting two Perry Mason character actors as one: John Anderson (TCOT Calendar Girl, Bartered Bikini, Greek Goddess) and Willard Sage (Baited Hook, Glittering Goldfish, Clumsy Clown). Some time I must get a photo comparison of the two up on this site, not to mention a voice comparison. Quite strange. Verily, they could be brothers.

Fabulous quotations of the day:

#1 from TCOT Bartered Bikini,
"Baby, sometimes you've gotta ride this crazy world sidesaddle." – Mr. Ferrand

#2 from TCOT Lost Last Act,
"It's a long arm of coincidence that reaches all the way from Los Angeles to New York and takes twelve years to do it." – Perry

A note about TCOT Wayward Wife: very cinematic! The last scene as the camera is pulling back from Arthur Poe who sits writing at his desk is particularly striking. Bethel Leslie (the defendant in Wayward Wife), by the way, is one of my favourite recurring character actresses, while John Anderson who played Mr. Ferrand (see "sidesaddle" quote above) is my favourite recurring character actor. Yay!

Bah on my speculation of earlier, I'm nutters.

Juvenile humour alert! Paul: "Perry, I've located that truck driver... his name is Harry Jonson" From TCOT Lame Canary.

Am I the only one who wishes the series had begun in, oh, 1951? The cast would've been younger, which means poor Ray Collins/Tragg could've completed the series run and Paul's looks wouldn't have changed so drastically, and the programme would never have been forced to change its format from Noir to 1960s Cop Show.

William Hopper has a falling eyelid on the left side, doesn't he? It's one of the first things I noticed about him when I happened upon Perry Mason late one night a few years ago. It certainly doesn't take away from his appeal. King Edward I (1272-1307) had a falling eyelid as well, so hey!

Gene Raymond

Billy Boyd

Della and Paul in TCOT Screaming Woman, I think

I've just awoken from a dream in which Hedda had made a series of short comedic films in the early 1940s. There was a regular group of players that included her son. William's rôles were major and he sang too! His singing voice was a fair pitch higher than his speaking voice, as is the case with a couple of my other favourites, Gene Raymond and Billy Boyd (see images at left).

Do you ever wonder if our fine gent was trying to put the moves on Barbara Hale early in the series run, around second season? Why do I ask? Well I have a habit of paying attention to parts of the scene the director likely was not and I've spotted a couple of interesting things. Remember, the actors and actresses we are watching are human, and most humans are subject to the whim of their emotions and bodily sensations*, which often drives them to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do in a calm, rational, unencumbered state of being/mind. Also, you may want to recall the way some of your coworkers behave and keep in mind that acting is just a job too. It's not nice for someone to insinuate him/herself romantically into the life of another who is married or otherwise already entangled. One must admit, however, that (sh) it does happen. Not to our virtuous castmembers, of course, but humour me as I waffle on, will you?

So any road, here is just a tiny fragment (i.e. the bit I'm remembering, currently) of what I've seen: At the end of TCOT The Dangerous Dowager, after Paul puts the dime in Della's hand, he sits down on the table and stares and stares and stares at her. She gives him a funny little flirtatious look, that seems to me to contain quite a lot more than Della's usual seductive expression.** And yet, in other episodes, I've seen her give him a look that would wilt even the most conceited of souls, to which he reacted one time by immediately averting his gaze, his smirk fading fast.

In my speculation, and it is just speculation, I don't really take into account those "Hello/Good-bye beautiful" moments, because in them Paul and Della are the focus of the action, and (mostly, ahem) doing what they've been told to do. Just so you know.

William Hopper's dad, DeWolf Hopper Sr., was well known as a womanizer. Hedda was his fifth wife if six! Do you suppose that his young son witnessing this behaviour or hearing of it from his mum was influenced subconsciously*, and if so, in what way? Hrm!


*Some believe that the body itself is the subconscious mind, which I find infinitely fascinating.

**That's something I've always found perplexing about her character on television, she's frequently got these "bad girl" looks on her face, and yet she's so wholesome! She could do very powerful things with that face. I ♥ Della.

*** Unfortunately.

Pick up the phone to return home! Updates at the website and new things of interest to Masonites! Pages full of images--always growing! Audio and video clips from Perry Mason and William Hopper's Films! Pulp novels, X's favourites, notebook and bio, miscellaneous info and more! Registry, links to great, Mason-oriented sites, bulletin boards and email lists!
Perry Mason's Della Street.