If it’s Thursday, this must be the mailbag.
Q: Could you please tell me when actor Raymond Burr was born and when he died? Also, how many shows did he star in? I am a big fan.
A: Burr was born in Canada in 1917 and died in California in 1993. His most famous role was, of course, as Perry Mason in the lawyer series of the same name from 1957 to 1966. In 1967, he began starring in Ironside, as a detective in a wheelchair; that series ran until 1975. (There were screen Perry Masons before and after Burr, but you may be surprised to learn that a new Ironside starring Blair Underwood is reportedly in the works.)
In 1977 came Kingston: Confidential, with Burr as a communications company executive and former reporter who still took on investigations. That was far less successful than his other two series, ending in a matter of months. Burr also starred in a couple of dozen Perry Mason reunion movies from 1985 to 1993, and an Ironside reunion movie in 1993. He appeared as a guest star on other people’s shows, and had a movie career before Perry Mason that included memorable turns in Meet Danny Wilson, the original Godzilla, King of the Monsters, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.
Q: I thought “The Killing” or its new name was to come back to TV. Still planned for the future? Did I miss it because of a new title?
A: No. It’s still called The Killing, and the third season will begin June 2 on AMC. According to the network, the new season begins one year after the close of the Rosie Larsen case. Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) no longer working as a detective. But the search for a runaway girl leads to a gruesome string of murders that connects to a previous murder investigation by Linden — and draws her back into her old life.
Joel Kinnaman returns as Linden’s ex-partner, Stephen Holder, while new cast members include Peter Sarsgaard, Elias Koteas and Amy Seimetz.
Q: Could you tell me the status of “Rookie Blue?” Also, what city is the show supposed to take place in?
A: The police drama returns to ABC’s lineup on May 23. Shot in Toronto, the series is vague about its setting; the cars and shoulder patches just say “police,” but close watchers have noted references to Canadian locations. By the way, this will be the fourth season of the series. The first two are available on DVD and Blu-ray, with the third due on DVD on May 7.
Q: Is “Long Island Medium” returning?
A: According to TLC, it will be back in May.
Q: I’ve read varying accounts as to whether the American versions of “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” will ever be made. I enjoyed all three Swedish versions of the “Tattoo” movies and the American version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Is there any light you can shed on this?
A: I believe there will be a second movie. Sometime. Eventually. Maybe 2014. With, you know, actors. And a director.
The late Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy of novels would seem to be perfect for a successful series of movies, In fact, all three were adapted for Swedish films. And the subtitle-hating crowd got its turn in 2011, with an English-language version of the first novel starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, and directed by David Fincher. The movie was reasonably well-received at the box office, especially for an R-rated film with harrowing content. Reviews were overwhelmingly positive. But the second film seems stuck.
In an interview with the Art Of The Title website last August, Fincher said he was “trying to figure out a sequel to Dragon Tattoo. We’ve got to be able to make it our own thing.” There have also been reports that Craig wants a bigger payday from the next movie, and that the studio is balking. So, again, I would expect another couple of movies, but the when and how are up in the air.
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.