Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Fatal Fortune 

A fortune teller tells Pat Keane that she will get married but it will end tragically. She later marries her boss, Max Armstead, a client and good friend of Mason's. However, a few weeks later, Max dies from an apparent case of poisoning.


Arthur Marks


William Bast, Erle Stanley Gardner (characters created by)

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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
Richard Anderson ... Lt. Steve Drumm
Dan Tobin ... Terrence Clay
Julie Adams ... Patricia L. Kean
Lee Philips ... Gordon Evans
Jesse White ... Max Armstead
Ford Rainey ... Dr. Fisher
Nan Martin ... Beth Fuller
Dean Harens ... Daniel Buckley
James Lanphier James Lanphier ... Marius Stone
Grandon Rhodes ... Judge
Nora Marlowe Nora Marlowe ... Landlady


Pat Keane visits a fortune teller, at his request, who tells her, among other things, that she can expect both riches and romance in the near future. She will wear a bride's white then a widow's black. At work, her boss, the affable Max Armstead, gives her a promotion and again asks her to marry him. She, meanwhile, has met Gordon Evans and soon begins a whirlwind romance with the handsome young man. When Max Armstead has yet another heart attack, she decides to accept his proposal and they are soon married. Max is in Perry Mason's office, not long after, with an anonymous note saying his new wife, Pat, is already having an affair. Perry is bemused by it all. Later, while Perry is with Lt. Steve Drumm, Perry receives a call from Pat saying Max is acting very strange. Perry and Steve go to Max's house where they witness Max accuse Pat of poisoning him with his dying breath. She is arrested and Perry has a defense to mount. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

19 September 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?


[first lines]
Patricia L. Kean: I fell like I'm playing What's My Line?
Marius Stone: Miss Kean, astrology, numerology and chirography are sciences.
Patricia L. Kean: Oh, I'm sure they are.
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User Reviews

Fresh story to an old plot. Comes across well
20 December 2011 | by kfo9494See all my reviews

I found this episode to be quite entertaining. The story was like many others but the way the show ended and the good casting of the actors made the show seem fresh.

It starts out as Patricia Kean (Julie Adams) goes to see a fortune teller. Pat was going for a laugh but when the predictions starting becoming true, no one could deny that something strange was going on. The fortune teller Marius Stone (James Lamphier) tells Pat that she will get a promotion, then marry an older gentleman, then become a widow before marring her prince charming.

All this is funny to Pat until the next day when her boss Max Armstead (Jesse White) tells her that she is promoted to head of marketing. And with her boss having a heart condition, he ask one more time if she will marry him. Feeling pity for the older man she agrees to marry the older man just to make him happy.

In the mean time she has met a young good-looking guy named Gordon Evans (Lee Phillips). She tells him that he is marring old man Armstead but he says that he will wait for her. This all was forecast by the fortune teller at the beginning of the show.

When old man Armstead gets a letter saying that his new wife is seeing another man he gets upset. Perry goes to see him and his last words, before falling down the stairs, were 'she poisoned me'.

Pat now goes on trial for the murder of her new husband. Most people are under the impression that she married the old man for the money then killed him to get to Gordon Evans, her prince charming. But Perry is not buying all this fortune telling stuff and will try to produce the real murderer in court.

Even though this plot has been played many times in Perry episodes, this story comes across as an interesting watch. The actors really help the story. Julie Adams is terrific as the defendant and Lee Phillips does a good job trying to woo her. James Lamphier was a perfect cast as the spooky fortune teller that was just a little to perfect in his prediction for Perry.

And even William Talman as Hamilton Burger has some nice moments. At one point in the trial gets carried away with his examination that he keeps talking over Perry's objection.

And with the court ending, that is different than most, the case comes to a close with more than one person seeing the insides of LA county jail.

This episode is a nice watch for all Perry Mason fans.

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