Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Purple Woman 

Art collector Rufus Varner has bought a famous painting from dealer Milo Girard, but the painting may be a forgery by Aaron Hubbell, and Girard's wife, Evelyn, consults Perry for protection against any involvement in the suspected fraud.


Gerd Oswald


Robert Bloomfield, Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by) | 1 more credit »


Episode cast overview:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Ray Collins ... Police Lt. Arthur Tragg
George Macready ... Milo Girard
Bethel Leslie ... Evelyn Girard
Robert H. Harris ... Aaron Hubble
Rhys Williams ... Rufus Varner
Doris Singleton ... Doris Andrews
Donald Murphy Donald Murphy ... Wayne Gordon
Stephen Bekassy Stephen Bekassy ... Laslo Kovac
Edwin Jerome Edwin Jerome ... Judge
Shirley Houser Shirley Houser ... Martha--Waitress


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Milo Girard is a high-end art dealer who is less than honest. He's recently sold a painting, The Purple Woman, to avid collector and self-described expert Rufus Varner, for $86,000. When another art expert tells Varner he's purchased a forgery, he wants his money back but Girard laughs him off and threatens to expose his gullibility. Girard commissioned the forgery from frustrated artist Aaron Hubble to whom he promised a one man show if he could produce a painting that would fool Varner. Having met his side of the bargain, Hubble now wants his show but Girard refuses. Girard's wife Evelyn learns about the forgeries and seeks legal advice from Perry Mason. She fails to tell him that she is having an affair and that she hated her husband. When Girard is murdered, there is no shortage of suspects but it's Evelyn who is charged and Perry defends her. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery



Did You Know?


In the epilogue to this episode, (Season 2, Episode 9) Perry Mason, Della and Paul are having lunch while reading the newspaper coverage of the dismissed trial. Hamilton Burger stops by and unexpectedly congratulates Perry on a job well done. Perry invites Hamilton to join them for lunch, much to Hamilton's surprise. This is the first time we see Hamilton Burger interacting socially with Perry and the gang. See more »


At one point, the judge says that the Court will "take judicial notice" of the time, and adjourns for lunch. "Judicial notice" actually pertains to evidence, and means that the court is accepting something as being so obvious and widely recognized as to be beyond dispute. But there is no reason the court would take its own lunch break into evidence. See more »


[first lines]
Rufus Varner: Yes, Mr. Kovac, there are more. I've got the finest collection of Van Hootens in the United States.
Laslo Kovac: You must feel like Alexander the Great, weeping because there are no new worlds to conquer.
Rufus Varner: That's where you're wrong, Mr. Kovac. There will always be new worlds.
See more »

User Reviews

Vanity thy name is vanity
27 August 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The art world is the setting for this Perry Mason story. In it George MacReady makes the first of several appearances on the show, in this one an art dealer. He sells a bogus rare painting off on collector Rhys Williams. Williams is like the king in the emperor's new clothes, so proud of his reputation as art collector that he won't go to the cops to expose MacReady.

Then there's Robert Harris who thinks of himself as a great artist on his own right but can't get any other work than as a high priced forger of great works. He's who MacReady hired to make the forgery he passed off on Williams.

But when MacReady is killed it's his estranged wife Bethel Leslie who becomes the Perry Mason client. She's been seeing art critic Donald Murphy. MacReady not one to let grass grow under his feet has Doris Singleton for comfort.

So lots of folks had reason to do in MacReady who is his creepiest best in a true George MacReady part.

It is vanity and Raymond Burr has to overcome that to gain Leslie's acquittal. The perpetrator is definitely in the top three you might suspect.

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Release Date:

6 December 1958 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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