Let's be clear here; Raymond Burr didn't need to be featured in Godzilla 1985 for monetary purposes. His agent and close friends at the time all expected him to flatly turn down the offer from a low-budget production house to reprise his role at Steve Martin. He was now a household-name actor, and able to demand more money from better productions, such as the newer Perry Mason movies. But, in his own words to Tom Shales of The Washington Post, Raymond Burr explains his decision to reprise both Steve Martin and Perry Mason in the 80's.
When they asked me to do it a second time, I said, 'Certainly,' and everybody thought I was out of my mind. But it wasn't the large sum of money. It was the fact that, first of all, I kind of liked 'Godzilla,' and where do you get the opportunity to play yourself 30 years later? So I said yes to both of them.
So Raymond Burr was hired on to the American version of Godzilla's reboot film, and immediately started dictating what was and what wasn't appropriate for their Americanization of the film. He single-handedly saved the movie from becoming nonsensical dubbing farce. He is given a "do-nothing" role, and yet it is the one of the best parts of the entire movie. (His soliloquy at the end of the film, dare I say, is more powerful than anything in the original Japanese production, and his role as a whole even seemed to predict where the future of the Japanese productions were going.) This is the only man working on this film who was involved with the birth of Godzilla as an international phenomenon, and his contributions to Godzilla 1985 are incalculable. May God rest is beautiful, passionate soul.