Arthur Tragg

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Lt. Arthur Tragg is a fictional character in the Perry Mason novels as well as in their radio and television adaptations. He was a principal character, in the "first team" of recurring characters in the novels.[1] Tragg first appeared in the 1940 novel The Silent Partner. He was described as a "slim, sophisticated bachelor" who remained a "friendly enemy" of Mason.[2] Tragg was played on radio from 1943 through 1955 by Frank Kane.[3] Tragg was played on TV by actor Ray Collins from 1957 through 1965.[4] After Ray Collins left the show due to emphysema, the part of an adversarial character was played by Wesley Lau and Richard Anderson. On the short-lived revival The New Perry Mason, which ran only from September 1973 through January 1974, Tragg was played by Dane Clark.[5]

Invariably Lt Tragg of Homicide would find Perry Mason at the scene of a homicide and would later show up with an arrest warrant for Mason's client, who would then usually be proven innocent in the pre-trial hearing. Tragg and prosecutor Hamilton Burger "always went after the wrong suspect".[6]

Although adversaries, Tragg saved Mason's life once, when he prevented a corrupt police sergeant from killing Mason in his office. ["The case of the moth eaten mink"] Another time, Tragg helped Mason trap a murder suspect who was caught red-handed with evidence of the crime ["The case of the green eyed sister"] In one episode at the end after Mason interviews a dying man who is the suspect in a murder case, Mason meets Tragg on the way to interview the suspect and simply remarks "It was self defense"-Tragg declines to interview the suspect-who is mortally ill and has less than six months to live.["The Case of the Wayward Wife"]


  1. [1] Robbins, Frank E., "The world of Perry Mason," Quarterly Review, a journal of university perspectives, 1949, volume 56, pages 345-352. Retrieved 16 August 2016
  2. [2] Brunsdale, Mitzi M., "Icons of mystery and crime detection: From sleuths to superheroes, Volume 1" Greenwood, 2010. ISBN 978-0-313-34530-2 Page 562
  3. [3] Terrace, Vincent, "Radio programs, 1924-1984: A catalog of more than 1800 shows; 1247 Perry Mason" McFarland & Company, Inc., 1999. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4 Page 269.
  4. [4] Newcomb, Horace "Encyclopedia of television, Second edition" Taylor & Francis Group, 2004. ISBN 978-1579583941 Page 1746
  5. [5] Hyatt, Wesley "Short-lived television series 1948-1978," McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003, ISBN 0-7864-1420-0 page 221
  6. [6] Newman, Roger K. Editor "The Yale biographical dictionary of American law; Gardner, Earl Stanley," Yale University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-300-11300-6 page 214

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