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#255: The Case of the
Original Airdate: 12/19/65
From The Perry Mason TV Show Book (Revised)
This is the second episode based on Gardner’s 1940 novel The Case of the Vagabond Virgin.
Victor Montalvo is co-owner of the popular Golden Bear Club, a nightclub featuring beautiful waitresses known as Teddy Bears. One night, Victor gives a ride to a young female hitchhiker and is later surprised to see the girl in the club working as a Teddy Bear. Not only that, but Debbie Conrad, the young lady in question, attempts to blackmail Victor, threatening to claim he took advantage of her.
Debbie is working the scam with her boyfriend, Rick Durbin, and Victor grudgingly agrees to pay them off. Before he can, he has new problems. His partner in the club, Stacey Garnett, is murdered and Victor is the chief suspect. In order to clear Victor, Perry first has to get testimony from Debbie Conrad, who is played by Angela Dorian, Playboy magazine’s “Playmate of the Year” in 1967.
Starring Raymond Burr
in Erle Stanley Gardner’s The Case of THE GOLDEN GIRLS
Based on The Case of the Vagabond Virgin
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman
Directed by Arthur Marks
Written by Orville H. Hampton and Ernest Frankel
Arthur Marks \ Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Ernest Frankel | Story Consultant
Orville H. Hampton | Associate Story Consultant
Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Richard Anderson as Lt. Steve Drumm
Dan Tobin as Terrance Clay
Music | Richard Shores
Philip Bourneuf as Victor Montalvo
Paula Stewart as Beverly Garnett
Angela Dorian as Debbie Conrad
Mark Roberts as Irving Florian
Jean Engstrom as Corinne Richland
George Neise as Stacey Garnett
Bruce Glover as Rick Durbin
John Gallaudet as Judge
Lee Fredericks as Sgt. Eggers
Lee Miller as Sgt. Brice
Charles Stroud as Ad-Lib Man
Annazette as Teddy Bear #1
Nancy Czar as Teddy Bear #2
Director of Photography … John M. Nickolaus, Jr.
Art Direction … Lewis Creber
Assistant Director … Gordon A. Webb
Film Editor … Richard H. Cahoon, A.C.E.
Casting … Harvey Clermont
Makeup … Irving Pringle
Hair Stylist … Annabell
Wardrobe Supervision … Bob Wolfe, Evelyn Carruth
Set Decoration … Carl Biddiscombe
Properties … Ray Thompson
Production Sound Mixer … Herman Lewis
Script Supervision … Marshall Schlom
Theme Composed by … Fred Steiner
Automobiles supplied by … Chrevrolet Division of General Motors Corp.
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions
This episode features lots of peppy rock music with trebly guitar—apparently part of the CBS stock library. One of the songs, which plays at about the 25-minute mark when Debbie is fussing with the Teddy Bear cases at the club, features prominently in an episode of Gilligan’s Island. It’s the music to which Mary Ann, Ginger, and Lovey (performing as the Honeybees) sing their smash hit “You Need Us.” (Bzzzz!) Great stuff! Submitted by Ed Zoerner, 9/17/2009.
This episode of Perry Mason (TCOT Golden Girls) and the first season episode TCOT Vagabond Vixen (#9, 1.9) are both based on the same Erle Stanley Gardner novel titled The Case of the Vagabond Virgin. (Note the book title is "virgin" and not "vixen".) So this current episode is often considered to be a "re-make" of the first season episode TCOT Vagabond Vixen. See repeated episodes here. Submitted by Charles Richmond, 26 April 2013.
Hooray (?) for racially diverse "Teddy Bears" in this 1965 episode.
In the first half-hour, we see quite a bit of Victoria Vetri/Angela Dorian as she appears only in either her two-piece swimsuit or her Teddy Bear costume. As she leaves the Golden Bear Club, she throws on an overdress of sorts, but when Della, Perry, and Paul come to her aid after being beaten by her boyfriend, she is, once again, only clad in her Teddy Bear costume.
This episode marks actor George Neise's fourth Mason appearance as a murder victim, a series record. It all began with his unintentionally humorous post mortem hijinks as Albert Tydings in TCOT Baited Hook (Episode #14). Submitted by BobH, 6 March 2016.
Debbie Conrad’s boyfriend, Rick Durbin, here is played by Bruce Glover in his only Perry appearance. Bruce Glover is most famous as the father of Crispin Glover. As an added irony, the same year (1965) Bruce Glover appeared in this episode, he also appeared in a movie called Who Killed Teddy Bear. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 16 October 2009.
Speaking of Bruce Glover, we have a James Bond "back to back" connection. Mr. Glover played "Mr. Wint" in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). In the previous episode, TCOT Baffling Bug, Teru Shimada was featured. He appeared in You Only Live Twice (1967). Both Bond films featured Sean Connery. Submitted by Bill-W2XOY on 08/02/2013..
Debbie Conrad, who was a Teddy Bear at a gentleman’s club in this episode, was played by Victoria Vetri using the name Angela Dorian. Two years later, "Angela Dorian" posed for Playboy as Miss September, 1967. She was chosen as 1968 Playmate of the Year, and was one of the most popular Playmates of the Vietnam War era. (Info from IMDb.) Submitted by Charles Richmond, 11/12/2009.
+ On 16 October 2010, Victoria Vetri a/k/a Angela Dorian shot her husband, Bruce Rathgeb. Her husband survived, but on 7 September 2011, at the age of 67, Victoria was sentenced to 9 years in a California prison. Submitted by PaulDrake33, 15 November 2011.
Location: I believe the Golden Bear Club Rancho de Oro is in fact Serra Retreat in Malibu. The original structure pictured here burned down in a 70’s fire and has been rebuilt. Consequently due to lack of photos it’s hard for me to match scenes up. However, I have been there many times and the road, view and mountain backgrounds all match. Serra Retreat was used in another Perry Mason episode #136, TCOT Renegade Refugee. Submitted by Eric Cooper, 27 September 10.
Uncredited Actors: We can spot Don Anderson among the patrons of the Teddy Bear Club, though it’s Charles Stroud who gets the lecherous lines and behavior. Submitted by FredK, 11 January 2011.
This was the only PM appearance for Angela Dorian, whose birth name was Victoria Vetri. I have been trying to determine if the 72-year-old 1968 Playmate of the Year is still serving time for shooting her husband in 2010. She was legally known as Victoria Rathgeb when she was sentenced to nine years...MikeM. 3/23/2017
+Despite the title, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, and Betty White do not appear in this episode. As a matter of fact none of these four women ever appeared in Perry despite being the right age. Submitted by PaulDrake 33. 16 October 2009.
Philadelphia-born John Gallaudet presided in 21 Perrys (8%): 4 as Judge Penner, 1 as Judge Penna, 1 as Superior Court Judge, 1 as Municipal Judge & 14 simply as Judge [IMDb]. Mike Bedard 2.25.15.
Yay for Della, and the writers, of course, for her closing comment to Clay. jfh 23Mar2017.