Burke's Law TV Show (1963)

Burke's Law Cast

Series Description

The Burke's Law TV show was a 60 minute mystery action series on ABC about a millionaire who was also the Los Angeles, Caifornia chief of detectives.

Burke's Law Cast

Gene Barry .... Captain Amos Burke
Gary Conway .... Detective Tim Tilson
Michael Fox .... George McLeod
Leon Lontoc .... Henry
Regis Toomey .... Detective Lester Hart
Eileen O'Neill .... Sergeant Ames
Carl Benton Reid .... The Man

Burke's Law Trivia

The pilot episode for Burke's Law was actually the very first episode on another series titled, "The Dick Powell Show". Dick Powell himself played the role of Amos Burke in that episode. He most certainly would have been the star of Burke's Law too if not for the fact that he died of cancer before that series went into production. Buke's Law was Aaron Spelling's first big hit series! It was also the first murder mystery series to feature an all-star cast with many, many big name guest stars. The first eight episodes of the show had 63 stars according to an ABC press release!

Many of Burke's Law writers, producers, and others responsible for the show went on to create future series with a similar comedic-drama flare including, "Columbo (1971)", "Murder She Wrote (1984)", "Matlock (1986)", and "Diagnosis Murder (1993)".

The Burke's Law episode titled, "Who Killed the Jackpot?" featured a tough yet very feminine private detective. That character was so popular that she "spunoff" into her own series titled, "Honey West".

For some unknown reason, for the third season, someone decided to change the name of Burke's Law to "Amos Burke: Secret Agent" and change the plotline from a millionaire police detective theme to a "James Bond" type spy series (like so many others). At the same time, the show had new competition from a new series, "I Spy (1965)" which was perhaps the best comedic drama crime series of all time! So anyway, it's no mystery why the series ended.

Amazingly, nearly three decades after this series left the air, Burke's Law returned to television. Gene Barry also returned as the star and appeared to have only aged a few years! He was now the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department's homicide division. His son was grown and working for him as a detective. Many of the scripts were nearly identical to those of the original series' first two seasons. This time, however, the guest-stars were big name stars of yesteryear and not very appealing to audiences of the 1990s.

Gene Barry was a stage name. Gene's name at birth was Eugene Klass. He was a child prodigy on the violin and was also an excellent singer. He sang professionally beginning in his high school years, eventually moving on to vaudeville and performing in musical plays. His first big break was in the 1944 Mae West Broadway play, "Catherine the Great". Throughout the rest of the 1940s and most of the 50s, Gene appeared on stage and in several "B" films, none of which utilized his singing talent. His final singing role was in the 1954 film, "Red Garters". It didn't do well at the box office and Gene stopped getting singing role offers altogether. He had, however, scored big in the 1953 Sci-fi classic film, "War of the Worlds". Then in 1958, he got the lead role on the western series, "Bat Masterson". His role on that series as a suave, debonaire gentleman set him up for his role as Amos Burke and publishing tycoon Glenn Howard on the 1968 series, "The Name of the Game (1968)". Gene Barry returned to the stage in the 1970s and finally, in 1983, re-established his singing career by landing the lead role in the Broadway musical play, "La Cage Aux Folles". He obviously hadn't lost his talent as he got a Tony nomination for that role!

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