About Christmas TV History

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Raymond Burr

In the post-holiday season, I've been catching up on my reading. If you follow my blog closely you know I have been reading my new Morrissey encyclopedia (click here to see that post). I've also recently completed this 2009 biography of actor Raymond Burr entitled "Hiding in Plain Sight" by Michael Seth Starr.

Friends who know me know I've been obsessed with watching the late 1960s-early 70s TV series Ironside for the past year or more. I've discovered that the police drama shares many similarities with the current hit TV series House, M.D. Another reason I love it is this fabulous theme song:

Anyway, my passion for Ironside and Raymond Burr is obnoxious enough to have made it into a newspaper interview I did last fall when I was promoting my book tour. (click here to see that interview).

DVD box cover

Unfortunately, neither of Raymond Burr's long-running TV series Perry Mason nor Ironside has a Christmas-themed episode. However, Burr does star in an episode of the dramatic anthology series, Family Theater. The 1952 episode entitled "A Star Shall Rise" is a dramatization of the story of the Three Magi following the bright star in the sky, looking for the prophesied newborn King. Told from their perspective, the three travelers find themselves in Jerusalem asking for any news and contacting King Herod for what he may know about the baby. They follow the star to Bethlehem, meet the humble mother and offer their gifts to the baby. Raymond Burr plays Balthazar. In addition to Burr, the guest stars include Anthony Caruso, Richard Hale and Jay Novello.

Part 1 of "A Star Shall Rise"

Part 2

This episode is also available for viewing on the above mentioned DVD release Rare Christmas Classics, Volume 2. Of course, this Christmas TV episode and many others are covered in my encyclopedia of Christmas television programs and movies, Tis the Season TV.

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