solved many mysteries as TV lawyer Perry Mason and TV detective Ironside but it appears that one of the biggest unsolved mysteries involving the late actor ? his dubious claim that he had been married three times in real life ? can finally be put to rest.
"There was only one wife," Burr's sister, Geraldine Fuller, says on this Thursday's A&E Biography (8 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. PT). "I met her but I didn't care for her."
Burr, who led a secret gay life with long-time companion Robert Benevides right up until his death in 1993, had told reporters over the years that he had been to the altar three times: first, with a Scottish actress who was shot down in an airplane over the Atlantic by German attackers in 1943; second, to actress Isabella Ward, a 1947 marriage that was annulled after three months; and third, to Andrina Morgen, a 1954 marriage that ended tragically when she died of cancer. He also claimed he and Morgen had a son who died of leukemia at age 10. According to Fuller, only the short-lived marriage to Ward was for real.
"Raymond Burr was a puzzle," says Bob Thomas, who became friendly with the actor as a writer for the Associated Press. "You couldn't quite figure him out."
Still, Burr's closest friends didn't seem to mind his secretive ways. Says pal Marilyn Hedley Gozzano: "I think the way he survived in Hollywood all those years was through keeping this inner part of himself private and having this little secret place he could always go to."