Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He and his mother moved to Vallejo, California, where she raised him with the aid of her parents. As he got older, Burr began to take jobs to support his mother, younger sister and younger brother. He took jobs as a ranch hand in Roswell, New Mexico; as a deputy sheriff; a photo salesman; and even as a singer in nightclubs. In World War II, Burr served in the United States Navy. In Okinawa, he was shot in the stomach and sent home. In 1946, Burr made his film debut in San Quentin (1946). From there, he appeared in more than 90 films before landing the role of defense attorney Perry Mason (1957). After a battle with cancer, Burr died at age 76 on September 12, 1993 at his ranch home in Sonoma, California.