Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Lonely Heiress 

A lonely heiress, Marylin Clark, looks for a con man who swindled her sister through a lonely hearts magazine, leading to the sister's death. Marylin finds Charles Barnaby, but he winds up dead, and she is charged with murder.


Laslo Benedek


Erle Stanley Gardner (based on the novel by), Donald S. Sanford


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Episode complete credited cast:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
Robert H. Harris ... Edmund Arthur Lacey
Anna Navarro Anna Navarro ... Delores Coterro
L.Q. Jones ... Charles Barnaby
Kathleen Crowley ... Marylin Cartwright
Richard Crane ... George Moore
Betty Lou Gerson ... Agnes Sims
Gail Kobe ... Margo - Drake's Secretary
Robert B. Williams ... Lt. Kramer (as Robert Williams)
Frank Wilcox ... Judge
Robert McQueeney Robert McQueeney ... Dr. Louis J. Palmer


Edmund Lacey runs a lonely hearts magazine where people respond to ads in it. One particular ad has been placed by a woman who says she inherited a considerable fortune and is quite good looking. She receives volumes of replies but has not responded to any of them. Lacey contacts Paul Drake to help determine who she is saying the postal service is concerned he may be abetting fraud. Paul is able to compose a letter that does get a response that Lacey intercepts. His real desire is to have the con man Charles Barnaby make contact with her to swindle her. On the other end she is looking for the man who she blames for the death of her sister. Barnaby makes contact saying he is land poor with money needed to finish drilling for oil on his property. He falls for the heiress Marylin Clark who is indeed quite beautiful. He decides to cut Lacey out of most of the profits while at the same time his female partner Delores Coterro becomes jealous of the beautiful Marylin. When Barnaby dies from ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

1 February 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Early in this episode, there is a scene in Paul Drake's office and there is a framed drawing of Dick Tracy on his desk. See more »


In an apparent unsuccessful murder attempt, one character shoots at another, firing six shots from a five-chambered revolver without reloading. Later, Perry comments that only five shots were fired. See more »


[first lines]
Agnes Sims: He's here, lover.
Edmund Arthur Lacey: Who?
Agnes Sims: Who do you think? Box 96.
See more »

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User Reviews

Watch Out for that Handbag
4 November 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

One reason to comment here is the contrast between then (1958) and now. The lovely Anna Navarro delivers a spirited performance as Delores, the Mexican spitfire, central to this episode. How one responds to her fractured English and fiery temperament probably depends on what one thinks of racial stereotyping during this period when it was still acceptable. But, whatever one thinks, Delores definitely conforms to the stereotypical volatile Mexican senorita of the time, and would likely not make it to the screen now. The show used "types" routinely, such as the hard-driving businessman, the helpless ingénue, the cranky millionaire, probably to make plotting easier (remember, the writers had to do at least 30 of these whodunits per season). However, Delores amounts to a racial stereotype many would now find objectionable, despite Navarro's lively performance.

That cultural point aside, it's a solid entry with a clever solution. No one is who they seem, so you may need a scorecard as the con-games unfold. L. Q. Jones is excellent as the country bumpkin, along with often-seen little bald guy Robert H. Harris as the shady publisher. See if you agree—when Delores whacks the countryboy with her purse, it looks real as heck, and he goes down like a bag of cement. No "slipped" punches here. I hope there was a cushion in that purse, otherwise Jones should have been paid double for a trip to the dentist.

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