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on 29 November 2003
If you are interested in the late Raymond Burr, but lack the time or desire to do the research, then this book may well suit you. A large amount of information from around the world is gathered into one neat, little package. On the other hand, if you are looking for an intelligent insight, which goes beyond the old studio biographies and publicity material, then you will be disappointed.
The author has produced a good framework on which to build a book - and then fails to write it! Her affection for her subject is obvious, but she takes it no further than a collection of information, some of which was dubious in its original form.
This lack of personal insight far outweighs the better parts of the book. I was disappointed to note that there are a number of people missing from the work. One person in particular, who formed an integral part of Raymond Burr's life for over thirty years, is relegated to three brief mentions. Other people have a slightly better time, and manage the odd paragraph.
Ona Hill is a good writer, who has sold herself short. Instead of producing an excellent personal insight into an intriguing man, she has distanced herself just a little too far from her subject. Objectivity in this type of work is an admirable thing, but get too far away and you miss the fine detail. The book shies away from any intimacy with its subject, preferring a non-controversial rehash of some originally doubtful material, than a thoughtful study of a complex individual.
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on 6 October 2000
I have been a fan of Raymond Burr since watching countless episodes of Ironside, but have never found much information on this wonderful actor. The book covers his childhood beginnings his doomed relationships, and his rise to fame. It tells of the many tragedies in his life, his love of travel and gives plenty of information on his acting career ending with his death from cancer in 1993.If your a fan it's well worth reading.
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