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#237: The Case of the
Gambling Lady
Original Airdate: 04/08/65

Summary Edit

From The Perry Mason TV Show Book
Peter Breck returns to play Pete Warren, a man whose soon to be ex-wife, Myrna, is killing time in a Reno casino, waiting for their divorce to go through.

But when Myrna gets involved in a counterfeit gambling chip scam, Pete makes the mistake of lying to protect her. Then, when someone cashes in Myrna’s chips permanently, the suspicion falls on Pete, who, the authorities claim, manufactured the phony chips at his novelty company. It’s left to Perry to figure out just who’s not playing with a full deck.

Credits Edit

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Starring Raymond Burr
Based upon characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner
Barbara Hale, William Hopper, William Talman, Ray Collins


Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Jonathan Latimer
Arthur Marks \ Art Seid | Producers
Gail Patrick Jackson | Executive Producer
Jackson Gillis | Associate Producer
Samuel Newman | Story Consultant

Raymond Burr as Perry Mason
Barbara Hale as Della Street
William Hopper as Paul Drake
William Talman as Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins as Lt. Tragg
Wesley Lau as Lt. Anderson

Music Composed by Richard Shores
Music Conducted by Herschel Burke Gilbert


Peter Breck as Peter Warren
Jesse White as Tony Cerro
Ruta Lee as Irene Prentice
Myrna Fahey as Myrna Warren
Benny Baker as Jerome Bentley
Kevin Hagen as Jacob Leonard
John Rayner as Ned Beaumont
Dan Seymour as Croupier
Harry Holcombe as Mr. Big
Kenneth MacDonald as Judge
Willis L. Robards as Business Man
Pitt Herbert as Coroner’s Physician
Bebe Kelly as Cocktail Waitress
Pepper Curtis as Secretary
Adair Jameson as Teller

Uncredited Actors
Don Anderson as Casino Patron (sighted by gracenote, 5/2/2011)


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 … Ed McDermott, 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 … Ford Motor Company

Perry Mason
Produced by the CBS Television Network in association with Paisano Productions

Trivia Edit

This is Ruta Lee’s fifth and final appearance on Perry, playing Irene Prentice. This is the only time that the last name of her character did not start with the letter “C.” The first four appearances, her characters were named, Cooper, Crest, Culver, and Cosgrove. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 30 October 2009.

Jessie White makes his fourth of five appearances in this episode as Tony Cerro. When I was growing up, we knew him better as "The Maytag Repairman", who was always so lonely because Maytags were advertised to be so dependable...
dwhite 1.20.13
+ I like Jessie White in this one. He is tapped to play a savvy and important (if victimized) casino owner, rather than the nice-but-unsophisticated hash-slinger and bartender roles he usually gets. JohnK, 9 February

For the umpteenth time this season, Ray Collins does not appear as Lt. Tragg despite his billing. Submitted by gracenote, 5/2/2011.
+ see my comment re: Ray Collins in Opening Credits section for Episode 236 dwhite 1.20.13

+ Ray Collins } I read somewhere that the reason they kept Ray Collins' name in the credits is so that he would still qualify for medical cover and health benefits, either from the Union or Production Company, to assist with his continuing illness. Submitted by Tragg, 14th August 2022

++Ray Collins - Gail Patrick Jackson has said they kept Ray Collins' name on the credits (at least in part) to brighten his spirits. During the last few years of his life, he was apparently very ill and feeling hopeless. Ms Jackson and the cast felt that seeing his name in the credits every week would give him hope that he might get better and return to the show. Submitted by DM

Sightings: After Drake finishes a phone call and walks back to his table at the casino, Distinguished Gentleman #1 walks behind him. Later, the Gentleman turns up in the courtroom gallery, along with Little Old Lady #1 and a blurry Pencil Mustache Man. Read more about these favorite frequent faces. Submitted by gracenote, 5/2/2011.

This is the last of three PM episodes directed by Richard Donner who went on to fame and fortune as the director for such mega-movies as Superman, the Omen, and the Lethal Weapon series. Submitted by DickieC, 4/16/13

Character Names: Actress Myrna Fahey plays a woman named Myrna and actor Peter Breck plays a man named Peter. Submitted by H. Mason 4/30/15

Reno, Nevada: For at least the second time Paul Drake went to "The Biggest Little City In The World" because of a Perry Mason case (#39 TCOT Rolling Bones). Submitted by H. Mason 4/30/15

Murder Method: Myrna Warren aka Mrs. Richard Ogden was at least the third person to be killed with a gun by being struck instead of shot (#83 and 182). Submitted by H. Mason 4/30/15

This is the second of four PM appearances for Bebe Kelly (Cocktail Waitress), who would have a recurring role as Nurse Clover on "Trapper John, M. D."...MikeM. 2/27/2017

In his phone call to Paul Drake from the murder scene, Perry manages to hold the phone in an odd way. His fingers appear to be wrapped around his tightly wound handkerchief, without touching the receiver at all. ..Bob61571, 3/5/2017
+ Perry holds the phone that way in order to avoid leaving his fingerprints on the receiver. jfh 29Jul2018.

This is the third of four PM appearances for Myrna Fahey (Myrna Warren), who passed in 1973 from cancer at the age of 40...MikeM. 3/5/2018

This is the third of three PM appearances for Peter Breck (Peter Warren), who is best known for his role as Nick Barkley on the television series "The Big Valley". Breck later established an acting academy in Vancouver, British Columbia. Peter Breck passed away in Vancouver, British Columia in 2012 at the age of 82...MikeM. 7/9/2018

The Case of the Substitute Coffee Set: The plastic West Bend Thermo Serv coffee carafe and a couple of matching cups are in use at Perry's office. Della no longer pours, nor is the coffee served on chinaware. Submitted by catyron, July 11th, 2018

Ruta Lee and Dan Seymour also appeared in TCOT Libelous Locket. Submitted by Steve Fox, 10/26/23.

Comments Edit

The character Ned Beaumont was previously in Dashiell Hammett's 1931 novel "The Glass Key", and Beaumont's first scene (on page 1) is of him throwing dice in a gambling joint. Writer Jonathan Latimer worked on the screenplay for the 1942 movie version of "The Glass Key". Even though the 1942 and 1935 movie versions changed Beaumont's name to "Ed", I wonder if Latimer was attempting a homage to Hammett, who died in 1961. A less-silly story would have been better (why, for example, is Tony Cerro still alive?), though the double play of Ruta Lee and Myrna Fahey definitely chips in for enjoyment. Submitted by (lowercase, with a comma and period) masonite, 07/01/13.
+ Toss in the delectable Della and make it a trifecta. Submitted by DellaFan, 1-19-2014.

The two times Jacob Leonard showed the photograph to Peter he asked Mr. Warren if he knew "the dark-haired woman". Myrna was the only woman (and just about the only person) in the picture. He should have asked: "Do you know this woman?" Submitted by H. Mason 4/30/15

Myrna seems to be doing her best to channel Elizabeth Taylor ala “Butterfield 8”. DOD 04/12/21

In another of PM's many subtle attempts to break the color barrier, a black couple appears as customers in the casino. DOD 03/14/19

When Perry calls Paul from the dead woman's apartment, he sure seems to go out of his way to reveal a lot of information for the benefit of Leonard.

Sound Effect: The doorbell at Myrna's apartment was heard twice. There was a chime beside the door that should have made a different sound. Submitted by H. Mason 4/30/15

The killer's comments near the end of the court hearing: "I couldn't have that. I just couldn't have that", were similar to remarks made by the killer in # 100 TCOT Lavender Lipstick. Jonathan Latimer was credited with writing the teleplay for both stories. Submitted by H. Mason 5/1/15
I commented on the Lavender Lipstick page how much I enjoyed that confession. No disrespect, but Dabs did it better. Happy this site is still alive and well, Rickapolis 04/27/22
There was no "wrap up" scene after the court room drama. Were there any more such episodes. Was this a fetv cut? Joe B. 12/30/21
+It must have been an FETV cut. They’re always egregious. The usual chuckle-up ending takes place back at the casino with the cast and Bentley doing an explainer. And Della at the slots. Submitted by Wick 4/27/2022.

In the Chips Integral to the plot, and discussed extensively - yet without detail - is the concept of counterfeiting casino chips. Nowadays there are probably any number of technologies to make this task difficult, but one wonders what methods were in use in 1964: copying the chips themselves would seem to be quite easy, so there must have been frequent changes in design and rotation of inventory ...almost nightly, I would think, would have been necessary. Pondered by Notcom, 073019.

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