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"Perry Mason" TV show Detective Drake (William Hopper, left) and Perry Mason (Raymond Burr). File photo. ORG XMIT: MIN2013080215364438

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William Shatner as he appeared in the television series "Star Trek." Undated file photo. ORG XMIT: MIN2013080215374540

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FILE - This 1999 file photo provided by HBO, shows James Gandolfini as mob boss Tony Soprano, in an episode from the first season of the HBO cable television mob series, "The Sopranos." HBO and the managers for Gandolfini say the actor died Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Italy. He was 51. (AP Photo/HBO, Anthony Neste, File) ORG XMIT: MIN2013071910490425 ORG XMIT: MIN1307191053280130

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Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing in the 1996 made-for-television movie "Dallas: J.R. Returns." Photo by Charles Bush provided by CBS Inc. ORG XMIT: MIN2013080215401941

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From Perry Mason to Tony Soprano: The de-evolution of the TV hero

  • Article by: NEAL JUSTIN
  • Star Tribune
  • August 10, 2013 - 2:00 PM

The de-evolution of the TV hero Holding out for an unflawed hero? You may need a time machine.

1950s: Perry Mason

Boasts an unbeatable track record without ever having to chase after an ambulance.

1960s: James T. Kirk

Boldly goes where no man has gone before, with time left over for ego trips.

1970s: Theo Kojak

He loves ya, baby, unless you’re on the wrong side of the law.

1980s: J.R. Ewing

Greed is good.

1990s: Amanda Woodward

Be late with the rent at your own peril.

2000s: Tony Soprano

Woke up this morning, got himself a gun.

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