Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Absent Artist 

Pete Manders is given a chance to buy the cartoon strip he works on for only $10,000. However, when he learns it is the booby prize for having his girlfriend leave with the seller, he is enraged and charged when the seller is murdered.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Daphne Whilom
Otto Gervaert / Gabe Phillips
Charles (Monty) Montrose
Alexander Glovatski
Jay Barney ...
Prosecutor Harry Clark
Wesley Lau ...
Fiona Cregan (as Arline Sax)
Wynn Pearce ...
Pete Manders (as Wynne Pearce)
Pamela Curran ...
Leslie Lawrence
Carl Don ...
Det. Arnold Buck


Gabe Phillips announces he's prepared to sell his successful comic strip for $10,000 and moving to Majorca to concentrate on real art. One of the cartoonists, Pete Manders, is offered the chance to buy it and invites Perry Mason and Della Street to a farewell party Phillips is having to finalize the deal. Perry wonders why Phillips would be willing to sell his cartoon strip for one-tenth of its value, but it becomes somewhat clearer when its revealed that Manders' girlfriend, Leslie Lawrence, is leaving him for Phillips. Perry also has concerns about the ownership of the cartoon strip plus Phillips receives a call forcing him to leave before the deal can be finalized. Manders doesn't take the news very well and, in front of all the party-goers, says he will kill him and hits him before he leaves. When Phillips is killed, Pete Manders is charged with murder. It turns out Phillips may have been living under a different identity and Perry must determine which one was killed. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

17 March 1962 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Don Anderson, sporting a tuxedo, appears as a guest at the going-away party. Like many of his Perry Mason stints, Anderson's appearance was uncredited. See more »


[first lines]
Alexander Glovatski: Logic.
Alexander Glovatski: Myer, you are a cretin. In art, logic is the assassin of intuition. Do I make myself clear, Myer?
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A Walk In The Black Forest (Schwarzwaldfahrt)
Music by Horst Jankowski (uncredited)
[Played in a restaurant scene]
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User Reviews

I Led Two Lives
7 December 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Some good instinct told young Wynn Pearce who worked on a cartoon strip for Mark Roberts to hire Perry Mason as an attorney. Pearce apparently wisely thought that when something looks to good it probably is. Roberts wants to retire and live a life of luxury and with Pearce's girl. No wonder Pearce is angry enough to kill even with only having to pay $10,000.00 for the rights. Can you imagine getting Peanuts from Charles Schultz for that amount? Still this is a gift horse you look in the mouth.

The key here is that Roberts actually leads two lives. As the successful cartoonist and also a struggling artist in an artist's colony on the California coast. Only a few people know about both lives and one of them actually does the deed.

Victor Buono has a nice role as a pompous and pretentious sculptor and Zasu Pitts is like the colony den mother. Seeing her being cross examined by Raymond Burr is worth seeing this episode alone.

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