New Westminster, British Columbia – Best known by his TV characters Perry Mason and Ironside, Raymond Burr was born in New Westminster on May 21, 1917. His father was a hardware salesman and his mother a concert pianist and music teacher. This parents separated when he was six and he moved to California with his mother, but he got his first acting job when he returned to Canada to visit his father at the age of 12 – he was hired by local theatre company and spent the summer touring the country.
After being wounded in the battle of Okinawa in WWII he perused an acting career, which included more than 50 feature films, such as the classic ‘A Place in the Sun’ and the westernized versions of the Godzilla films. In 1989 he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of British Columbia for his work with local charities. He died of liver cancer on Sept. 12, 1993 and is buried with his family in Fraser Cemetery, in this city on the north bank of the Fraser River, in Greater Vancouver.
The Raymond Burr Performing Arts Centre opened at 530 Columbia St. in New Westminster in 2000, but it closed in 2006. It was the custom to have a picture of Raymond Burr included somewhere on each set. Raymond Burr was added to Canada’s Walk of Fame in the Entertainment District of Toronto On September 12, 2009.
In New Westminster you can see the world’s biggest Tin Solider, and take a short cruise on the Fraser.
Fraser Cemetery, 100 Richmond St New Westminster, (Vancouver) British Columbia