John Shelton

  1. William Holden, Golden Boy, 1938.   Born and bred in LA, Shelton  lost the boxer Joe Bonaparte but played a compensatory bit role. Three years later,  he was up for another  boxer in…  
  2. Robert Sterling,  Ringside Maisie, 1941.   Sterling  grabbed the lead  from Shelton. Andthe girl – by promptly marrying hco-star Ann Sothern, during 1943-1949. (Shelton’s five wives included Kathryn Grayson, 1941-1946).
  3. Raymond Burr, Perry Mason, TV, 1957-1966.    When the overweight Burr agreed to shed 60 lbs to be the LA DA Hamilton Burger, Shelton was in the mix for Mason, the defence attorney who rarely lost a case. As were Richard Carlson, Richard Egan, William Holden, William Hopper (he became Mason’s private eye, Paul Drake), Fred MacMurray, William Tallman (given Ham Burger (!), instead). “Wecouldn’t afford a big star,” explained producer Gail Patrick Jackson. No shows did in  the 50s – they simply made big stars. Such as two other Mason wannabes: Mike Connors (becoming Mannix, 1967-1975) and Efrem Zimbalist Jr (77 Sunset Strip, 1958-1964).

 Birth year: 1915Death year: 1972Other name: Casting Calls:  3