Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the 12th Wildcat 

Wealthy Ellen Payne is the primary owner of the Wildcats football team. Her husband, Burt, owns ten percent. He was a successful college player but is now a drunk gambler who causes grief for everyone. When he is killed, she is charged.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Della Street
Paul Drake
Lt. Steve Drumm
Burt Payne
John Conte ...
Jud Warner
Unk Hazekian
Coach Casey Banks
Harvey Skeen
Team Doctor


Burt Payne, ten percent owner of the Los Angeles Wildcats professional football team, is a drunk gambler who takes pleasure taking down his employees or his wealthy wife, who owns the rest of the team, a peg or two. On a return trip by train from a road game, Payne tells one employee that he will fire him on return to L.A. At a train stop, his wife refuses to let him sell his stake in the team to a potential buyer. Payne's wife, Ellen, is desperate to contact Perry Mason about something so she calls him from a pay phone at a stop but she runs out of time. Back on the train, she is told by a representative of Harvey Skeen that he is on the train with $100,000 to close a deal for her husband's share of the team. Meanwhile, Perry is left with an open line wondering what she wants. He arrives at the train station to meet her, finding there has been a fire in one of the train cars and Burt Payne is dead. Ellen is charged with her husband's murder but there are several people who would ... Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

31 October 1965 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bill Williams (who plays Burt) was Barbara Hale's husband. They are the parents of William Katt, who plays Paul Drake Jr. in the later movies. See more »


Two scenes set on a football field use rather unconvincing back projection with the actors in the foreground. See more »


[first lines]
Conductor: Salinas, five minutes
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User Reviews

A solution like no other
14 May 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Mona Freeman is the Perry Mason client in this episode. She and husband Bill Williams are the owners of the Los Angeles Wildcats pro football team, but things aren't happy. All those around Freeman on the team, coach Robert Quarry, team announcer, Regis Toomey, equipment manager Karl Swenson, and business manager John Conte take her side against the unpopular Williams. As for Williams he's a boorish lout with a big gambling problem who keeps threatening to sell the team to pay off his bookies.

When Williams dies as a result of an arson fire there are a lot of alternative suspects, not just the ones I mention. But it's Freeman who is arrested.

When the Perry Mason series started there was a lot of antagonism between Hamilton Burger and Perry Mason. Over the years a certain professional respect grew between the two of them. But in this episode William Talman returned to the old days. But considering how Raymond Burr blew the DA's case apart, Talman can be forgiven a bit of hostility.

In fact the solution here was like no other I saw on the television series, but the same gambit was used in one of the Perry Mason films.

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