Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Carefree Coronary 

Perry Mason is called in to investigate why an insurance company is near bankruptcy due to excessive claims. He calls in a claimant who appears to be healthy but dies when forced to come in for an exam, putting Perry in the hot seat.


Jesse Hibbs


Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by), Orville H. Hampton


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Raymond Burr ... Perry Mason
Barbara Hale ... Della Street
William Hopper ... Paul Drake
William Talman ... Hamilton Burger
Dan Tobin ... Terrence Clay
Robert Emhardt ... Arthur Wendell
Bruce Bennett ... Reve Watson
Benny Baker ... Jerry Ormond
Whit Bissell ... Dennison Groody
David Lewis ... Wallis Lamphier
Lawrence Montaigne ... Dr. Chauncy Hartlund
Hal Baylor ... Jack David
Joseph Sirola ... Dr. Raul Caudere
Shirley Mitchell ... Marilyn David
Tracy Morgan Tracy Morgan ... Doreen Wilde


Perry Mason is called in by the Lifeline insurance company when they face a flood of questionable disability claims from men who have suffered heart attacks. What intrigues Perry is that the mortality rate among the victims is far lower than the actuarial tables would suggest. Paul Drake sets out to check on some of the claimants and finds one, Jack David, to be in very good physical condition. So Perry asks to have him come in to have the insurance company's doctor examine him. Jack calls Perry the night before the appointment but can't talk. He dies upon entering the doctor's office with his wife and lawyer before he can tell anyone what was really going on, though it's clear in Perry's mind that insurance fraud has been committed. Perry sends Della to an involved doctor, who appears to be a fake, for an exam. Paul Drake goes undercover on a construction site but he too seems to suffer a heart attack and is hospitalized. Perry goes into a Coroner's hearing intent on uncovering the ... Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

17 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Perry questions Caudere in French, he is saying, "Doctor, where did you study medicine? At the Sorbonne?" See more »


While Paul Drake is watching the people that are faking heart attacks, the diner owner in his wheelchair is reading a newspaper that is just several sheets of blank paper folded to look like a newspaper. See more »


[first lines]
Jack David: [at a boxing match] Get up, you bum. You can sleep later.
See more »

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User Reviews

Perry needs a lifeline
17 April 2012 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This was an outstanding Perry Mason episode and even more unusual in that it comes toward the tail end of the series run. After nine years usually the writers have run out of ideas.

Raymond Burr is retained by an insurance company to investigate a rash of claims for disability. All heart attacks, the people don't die they just keep collecting. William Hopper goes undercover as a working stiff to find out just how this is happening with a construction outfit for which Safeline Insurance is the carrier.

They get the goods on one of the 'disabled', Hal Baylor who is a former boxer and out doing a workout that no cardiac patient should be undertaking. But when he collapses in a doctor's office with Raymond Burr right there, it's Perry Mason who is in a potential jackpot.

This episode has an unusually good cast and standing out is Robert Emhardt who is a bottom feeding shyster and the polar opposite of what Perry Mason is in the legal profession.

The murderer of Baylor and the perpetrator of the frauds also poisons William Hopper and at the Coroner's Inquest where the drama is played out as opposed to an actual trial, he gives himself away rather stupidly in my opinion. A very simple error that Burr catches does the whole scheme in.

This one is one of the Mason best.

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