Ray Milland


Ray Milland

Infobox actor


imagesize = 250px
caption = Milland in "A Life of Her Own" trailer
birthname = Alfred Reginald Jones
birthdate = January 3, 1907
birthplace = Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
deathdate = death date and age|1986|3|10|1907|1|3
deathplace = Torrance, California, U.S.
spouse = Malvina Webber (1932-1986)
academyawards = Best Actor
1945 "The Lost Weekend"
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1946 "The Lost Weekend"
awards = Best Actor Award - Cannes Film Festival
1946 "The Lost Weekend"

Ray Milland (January 3, 1907 - March 10, 1986) was a Welsh actor and director who worked primarily in the United States. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985, and he is best-remembered for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of an alcoholic writer in "The Lost Weekend" (1945).

Biography

Early life

Milland was born Alfred Reginald Jones in Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, the son of Elizabeth Annie (née Truscott), born Birmingham, England, and Alfred Jones. It has been suggested that Ray Milland was born Reginald Alfred John Truscott-Jones, however, there is no such person in the General Registry of Births for England and Wales, so this must have been an early affectation designed to further his career, the possession of a double-barrelled surname often being taken as a sign of class superiority in Britain. He took his Hollywood stage name from an area (the "mill lands") of the town. He had three sisters. Before becoming an actor, he served in the Household Cavalry. An expert shot, he became a member of his company's rifle team, winning many prestigious competitions, including the Bisley Match in England. When his four-year duty service was completed, Milland tried his hand at acting. He was discovered by a Hollywood talent scout while performing on the stage in London, went to America, and signed with Paramount Pictures.

When WWII began, Milland tried to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Force, but was rejected because of an impaired left hand. He worked as a civilian flight instructor for the Army, and toured with a United Service Organisation (USO) South Pacific troupe in 1944. He married Malvina Webber on September 30, 1932, and they remained together until his death. The couple had a son, Daniel, and an adopted daughter, Victoria.

Career

When working on "I Wanted Wings" (1941), with Brian Donlevy and William Holden, he went up with a pilot to test a plane for filming. While up in the air, Ray decided to do a parachute jump (being an avid amateur parachutist) but, just before he could disembark, the plane began to sputter, and the pilot told Milland not to jump as they were running low on gas and needed to land. Once on the ground and in the hangar, Ray began to tell his story of how he had wanted to jump. As he did so, the color ran out of the costume man's face. When asked why, he told Ray that the parachute he had worn up in the plane was "just a prop", and that there had been no parachute. During the filming of "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942), Milland's character was to have curly hair. Milland's hair was naturally straight, so the studio used hot curling irons on his hair to achieve the effect. Milland felt that it was this procedure that caused him to go prematurely bald, forcing him to go from leading man to supporting player earlier than he would have wished.

The pinnacle of Milland's career and acknowledgement of his serious dramatic abilities came in 1946 when he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of an alcoholic in Billy Wilder's film "The Lost Weekend" (1945). In 1951 he gave a heart-breaking performance in "Close to my Heart" starring opposite Gene Tierney as a couple trying to adopt a child; the film was ahead of its time in dealing with the "nature vs. nurture" debate, it opened a conversation about the adoption process. In 1954 he starred opposite Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder". He concentrated on directing for TV and film in the 1960s, in which he achieved much success. He returned as a movie character actor in the late 60s and the 70s, notably in the cult classic "Daughter of The Mind" (1969), in which he was reunited with Gene Tierney, and in "Love Story" (1970). He also made many television appearances.

Milland gave the shortest acceptance speech of any Oscar winner: he simply bowed and left the stage.

Personal life

Milland had a tattoo on his upper right arm of a skull with a snake curled up on top of it with the tail of the snake sticking out through one of the eyes. The tattoo can be seen for a brief moment in the movie "Her Jungle Love" (1938). Also, he reportedly wore bunny slippers.

Milland had a near-fatal accident on the set of "Hotel Imperial" (1939). One scene called for him to lead a cavalry charge through a small village. An accomplished horseman, Milland insisted upon doing this scene himself. As he was making a scripted jump on the horse, his saddle came loose, sending him flying straight into a pile of broken masonry. Laid up in the hospital for weeks with multiple fractures and lacerations, he was lucky to be alive.

Milland died of lung cancer in Torrance, California in 1986, aged 79. He was survived by his wife and children in Torrance.

Filmography

* "The Plaything" (1929)
* "The Lady from the Sea" (1929)
* "The Flying Scotsman" (1929)
* "Piccadilly" (1929)
* "The Informer" (1929)
* "Way for a Sailor" (1930)
* "Passion Flower" (1930)
* "The Bachelor Father" (1931)
* "Strangers May Kiss" (1931)
* "Just a Gigolo" (1931)
* "Son of India" (1931)
* "Bought" (1931)
* "Ambassador Bill" (1931)
* "Blonde Crazy" (1931)
* "The Man Who Played God" (1932)
* "Polly of the Circus" (1932)
* "-But the Flesh Is Weak" (1932)
* "Payment Deferred" (1932)
* "This Is the Life" (1933)
* "Orders Is Orders" (1933)
* "Bolero" (1934)
* "We're Not Dressing" (1934)
* "Many Happy Returns" (1934)
* "Charlie Chan in London" (1934)
* "Menace" (1934)
* "The Gilded Lily" (1935)
* "One Hour Late" (1935)
* "Four Hours to Kill!" (1935)
* "Alias Mary Dow" (1935)
* "The Glass Key" (1935)
* "Three Smart Girls" (1936)
* "Next Time We Love" (1936)
* "The Return of Sophie Lang" (1936)
* "The Big Broadcast of 1937" (1936)
* "The Jungle Princess" (1936)
* "Bulldog Drummond Escapes" (1937)
* "Wings Over Honolulu" (1937)
* "Easy Living" (1937)
* "Ebb Tide" (1937)
* "Wise Girl" (1937)
* "Her Jungle Love" (1938)
* "Tropic Holiday" (1938)
* "Men with Wings" (1938)
* "Say It in French" (1938)
* "Hotel Imperial" (1939)
* "Beau Geste" (1939)
* "Everything Happens at Night" (1939)
* "French Without Tears" (1940)
* "Irene" (1940)
* "The Doctor Takes a Wife" (1940)
* "Arise, My Love" (1940)
* "Untamed" (1940)
* "I Wanted Wings" (1941)
* "Skylark" (1941)
* "The Lady Has Plans" (1942)
* "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942)
* "Are Husbands Necessary?" (1942)
* "The Major and the Minor" (1942)
* "Star Spangled Rhythm" (1942)
* "Forever and a Day" (1943)
* "The Crystal Ball" (1943)
* "Lady in the Dark" (1944)
* "The Uninvited" (1944)
* "Till We Meet Again" (1944)
* "Ministry of Fear" (1944)
* "Kitty" (1945)
* "The Lost Weekend" (1945)
* "The Well-Groomed Bride" (1946)
* "California" (1946)
* "The Imperfect Lady" (1947)
* "The Trouble with Women" (1947)
* "Golden Earrings" (1947)
* "Variety Girl" (1947) (Cameo)
* "The Big Clock" (1948)
* "So Evil My Love" (1948)
* "Sealed Verdict" (1948)
* "Miss Tatlock's Millions" (Cameo, 1948)
* "Alias Nick Beal" (1949)
* "It Happens Every Spring" (1949)
* "A Woman of Distinction" (1950)
* "A Life of Her Own" (1950)
* "Copper Canyon" (1950)
* "Close to my Heart" (1951)
* "Circle of Danger" (1951)
* "Night Into Morning" (1951)
* "Rhubarb" (1951)
* "Bugles in the Afternoon" (1952)
* "Something to Live For" (1952)
* "The Thief" (1952)
* "Jamaica Run" (1953)
* "Let's Do It Again" (1953)
* "Dial M for Murder" (1954)
* "The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing" (1955)
* "A Man Alone" (1955)
* "High Flight" (1956)
* "Lisbon" (1956)
* "Three Brave Men" (1956)
* "The River's Edge" (1957)
* "The Safecracker" (1958)
* "The Premature Burial" (1962)
* "Panic in Year Zero!" (1962) (also director)
* "" (1963)
* "The Confession" (1964)
* "Red Roses for the Führer" (1968)
* "Hostile Witness" (1968)
* "Daughter of The Mind" (1969)
* "Love Story" (1970)
* "Columbo:Death Lends a Hand" (1971)
* "Embassy" (1972)
* "The Big Game" (1972)
* "Frogs" (1972)
* "The Thing with Two Heads" (1972)
* "Columbo:The Greenhouse Jungle" (1972)
* "The Student Connection" (1973)
* "The House in Nightmare Park" (1973)
* "Terror in the Wax Museum" (1973)
* "Gold" (1974)
* "Escape to Witch Mountain" (1975)
* "The Million Dollar Fire" (1976)
* "The Swiss Conspiracy" (1976)
* "Aces High" (1976)
* "The Last Tycoon" (1976)
* "The Girl in Yellow Pajamas" (1977)
* "The Uncanny" (1977)
* "Battlestar Galactica" (1978)
* "Slavers" (1978)
* "Blackout" (1978)
* "Oliver's Story" (1978)
* "A Game for Vultures" (1979)
* "Survival Run" (1980)
* "The Attic" (1980)
* "The Sea Serpent" (1984)

Further reading

*Milland, Ray. (1974). "Wide-Eyed in Babylon". New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-688-00257-9

External links

*imdb name | id=0001537| name=Ray Milland
*tcmdb name | id=131656 | name=Ray Milland
*Find A Grave|id=6283189

Persondata
NAME= Milland, Ray
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Jones, Alfred Reginald
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Actor, director
DATE OF BIRTH= January 3, 1907
PLACE OF BIRTH= Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
DATE OF DEATH= March 10, 1986
PLACE OF DEATH= Torrance, California, U.S.


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