Charles Ray

Charles Ray
Photo: Albert Witzel (1879-1929)

1891 - 1943

The actor Charles Ray was derious to become an actor and his sister supported his undertaking by paying the teaching fee at the Wallace Dramatic School.

After his education he went on tour and appeared on different stages. In 1912 he returned to Los Angeles and began to work as an extra for Thomas H. Ince's studio.

There he soon was engaged for bigger roles and finally he impersonated leading roles. 
To his first movies belong "The Fortunes of War" (12), "The Favorite Son" (13), "The Grey Sentinel" (13), "The Boomerang" (13), "The House of Bondage" (13), "The Black Sheep" (13), "The Soul of the South" (13), "The Path of Genius" (14), "Desert Gold" (14), "The Curse of Humanity" (14), "The Thunderbolt" (14) and "The City of Darkness" (14).

Charles Ray became a well-known movie actor soon and with his role in "The Coward" (15) he became a star whose name was not only well known in the USA but also in Europe. 

To his movies in the next years belong "The Grudge" (15), "The Cup of Life" (15), "The Lure of Woman" (15), "Home" (16), "The Weaker Sex" (17), "The Pinch Hitter" (17), Sudden Jim" (17), "The Hired Man" (18), "The Law of the North" (18), "The Busher" (19), "Bill Henry" (19) and "Red Hot Dollars" (19).

The 20s marked the change of his career. The success left it's mark and it seemed that the fame affected his personality in a negative way. He upseted many producers and he founded his own company "Charles Ray Productions Inc", which existed from 1920 to 1923.
At the beginning he was able to produce some successful movies but finally he invested most of his money into the production of "The Courtship of Myles Standish" (23) but the movie failed.
He lost his fortune and was faced with ruin. His former mentor Thomas H. Ince engaged him again and offered him roles in some of his movies. 

But when Thomas H. Ince died suddenly in 1924 the great career of Charles Ray came to an end. He was able to took part in numerous other movies in the next years but he was no longer the star of the pictures but one of many other support actors.

To his movies of the 20s belong "Paris Green" (20), "Peaceful Valley "(20), "The Barnstormer" (22), "After the Storm" (22), "Alias Julius Caesar" (22), "Robin Hood" (22), "Percy" (25), "Sweet Adeline" (26), "The American" (27), "Nobody's Widow" (27), "The Garden of Eden" (28) and "The Count of Ten" (28).

With the rise of the sound film followed a longer interruption of Charles Ray's film career and he tried unsuccessfully to gain a foothold at the theater. At the end he faced more and more poverty and therefore returned to the big screen in 1932 but got offered minor roles only. 
To his last movies belong "School for Girls" (34), "Ticket to a Crime" (34), "Hollywood Boulevard" (36), "The Man Who Lost Himself" (41), "A Yank in the R.A.F." (41), "Rio Rita" (42), "Mrs. Miniver" (42), "The Postman Didn't Ring"* (42) and "Slightly Dangerous" (43).

Besides his activity as an actor Charles Ray was also busy as a director, writer and producer. 

The once celebrated movie star died at the age of 52 nearly forgotten by the public in 1943 because of an infected wisdom tooth.

Other movies with Charles Ray:
The Sharpshooter (13) The Barrier (13) The Lost Dispatch (13) The Sergean't Secret (13) The Sinews of War (13) Bread Cast Upon the Waters (13) A Slave's Devotion (13) Joe Hibbard's Claim (13) Old Mammy's Secret Code (13) Red Mask (13) The Quakeress (13) The Gambler's Pal (13) The Bondsman (13) Exoneration (13) For Mother's Sake (13) The Witch of Salem (13) The Buried Past (13) The Open Door (13) Eileen of Erin (13) A Military Judas (14) Narcotic Spectre (14) For Her Brother's Sake (14) Repaid (14) For the Wearing of the Green (14) The Squire's Son (14) Shorty's Sacrifice (14) The Rightful Heir (14) The Card Sharps (14) In the Cow Country (14) Shorty's Strategy (14) The Latent Spark (14) Desert Thieves (14) The City (14) The Gangsters and the Girl (14) The Silver Bell (14) One of the Discard (14) The Word of His People (14) The Power of the Angelus (14) The Friend (14) Not of the Flock (14) The Fortunes of War (14) In the Tennessee Hills (15) The Wells of Paradise (15) The Spirit of the Bell (15) The Renegade (15) The Shoal Light (15) The Conversion of Frosty Blake (15) The Ace of Hearts (15) The Forbidden Adventure (15) The Painted Soul (15) Peggy (16) The Dividend (16) The Deserter (16) Honor Thy Name (16) The Wolf Woman (16) Plain Jane (16) A Corner in Colleens (16) The Honoralbe Algy (16) Skinner's Dress Suit (17) Back of the Man (17) The Millionaire Vagrant (17) The Clodhopper (17) The Son of His Father (17) His Mother's Boy (17) Staking His Life (18) The Family Skeleton (18) Playing the Game (18) His Own Home Town (18) The Claws of the Hun (18) A Nine O'Clock Town (18) A Liberty Bond Plea (18) String Beans (18) The Girl Dodger (19) The Sheriff's Son (19) Greased Lightning (19) Hay Foot, Straw Foot (19) The Egg Crate Wallop (19) Crooked Straight (19) Alarm Clock Andy (20) Homer Comes Home (20) 45 Minutes from Broadway (20) The Village Sleuth (20) An Old Fashioned Boy (20) Nineteen and Phyllis (20) The Old Swimmin' Hole (21) Scrap Iron (21) A Midnight Bell (21) Two Minutes to Go (21) R.S.V.P. (21) Saved from the Depths (22) African Love (22) Gas, Oil and Water (22) Mystery of the Mission (22) The Deuce of Spades (22) Double Corssed (22) Smudge (22) A Tailor-Made Man (22) The Girl I Loved (23) Ponjola (23) The Courtship of Myles Standish (23) Dynamite Smith (24) Some Pun'kins (25) Bright Lights (25) The Auction Block (26) Paris (26) The Fire Brigade (26) Girl in the Rain (27) Getting Gertie's Garter (27) Varity (27) The Bride's Bereavement or The Snake in the Grass (32) Stolen by Gypsies or Beer and Bicycles (33) Ladies Should Listen (34) By Your Leave (34) Welcome Home (35) Just My Luck (35) A Little Bit of Heaven (40) The Lady from Cheyenne (41) Hurry, Charlie, Hurry (41) Wild Geese Calling (41) Married Bachelor (41) Appointment for Love (41) Harvard, Here I Come! (41) The Mad Martindales (42) The Magnificent  Dope (42) Tennessee Johnson (42) An American Romance (44) 

Dangerous Business (20) Scrap Iron (21) Smudge (22)

Scrap Iron (21) A Midnight Bell (21) Two Minutes to Go (21) R.S.V.P. (21) The Barnstormer (22) Gas, Oil and Water (22) The Deuce of Spades (22) Smudge (22) Alias Julius Caesar (22) 

The Old Swimmin' Hole (21) A Midnight Bell (21) Two Minutes to Go (21) The Barnstormer (22) Gas, Oil And Water (22) The Deuce of Spades (22) Alias Julius Caesar (22) A Tailor-Made Man (22) The Girl I Loved (23) The Courtship of Myles Standish (23)