William Whiney Talman Jr was born in Detroit, February 2nd, 1915. Born to some wealth, Talman was raised an Episcopalian and from that remarked in later interviews he always loved the underdog. Religious fervor still in his blood, he made a brief stint as a spokesman/evangelist in the Moral Re-Armanent Movement. This public responsibility would re-appear later in his anti-smoking campaigns in the late 60s, where he did the first-ever anti-smoking campaigns on TV, which was a result of contracting terminal cancer from smoking, which took his life in 1968.
He began acting through smaller stage roles in New York and in 1949, after moving to Hollywood, he played a gangster in Red, Hot and Blue (1949). He made a habit of playing the bad guy and this seemed to fit him well. The Hitchhiker (1955), which has since become a cult c, where he portrayed a killer who always had one eye open.
In 1957 he was offered the role of Perry Mason's Hamilton Burger, LA District Attorney.... one of TVs c "underdogs". Although portrayed as the foil to Mason who never won a case in over 250 episodes, he did indeed win one..but you'll have to watch the series to find out.
This role he played during the entire run of the series, with only a short hiatus due to a run-in with LA Police for his participation in an alleged "wild party" which included marijuana. It was only on the insistence from Raymond Burr for Talman's return, that he rejoined the cast. Talman died in 1968 at age 51. He was interred at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, California.