In 1956, Burr auditioned for the role of District Attorney Hamilton Burger in Perry Mason, a new courtroom drama based on the highly successful novels written and created by Erle Stanley Gardner that was to air on CBS. William Talman tried out for the title role. The producers of the show allowed Burr to try for the title role and when Gardner, who was present at the audition, saw him he declared, "He is Perry Mason." Burr eventually won the role with which he was most closely identified. The series ran from 1957 to 1966, and Burr won Emmy Awards in 1959 and 1961 for his performance as Perry Mason.