Gene Raymond (August 13, 1908 – May 2, 1998) was an American film, television, and stage actor of the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to acting, Raymond was also a composer, writer, director, producer, and decorated military pilot. Inscribed Photograph, n.d. - 8 x 10 B/W from the RadioPictures by John N. Miehle ™ written in fine blur ink pen with noted ridging seen in lettering. Some yellowish edge toning seen otherwise, fine condition.
Raymond was born Raymond Guion on August 13, 1908 in New York City. He attended the Professional Children's School while appearing in productions like Rip Van Winkle and Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. His Broadway debut, at age 17, was in The Cradle Snatchers which ran two years. (The cast included Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver, and a young Humphrey Bogart.) .
His most notable films, mostly as a second lead actor, include Red Dust (1932) with Jean Harlow, Zoo in Budapest (1933) with Loretta Young, Ex-Lady (1933) with Bette Davis, Flying Down to Rio (1933) with Dolores del Río, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, I Am Suzanne (1934) with Lilian Harvey, Sadie McKee (1934) with Joan Crawford, Alfred Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941) with Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery, and The Locket (1946) with Laraine Day, Brian Aherne, and Robert Mitchum. MacDonald and Raymond made one film together, Smilin’ Through, which came out as the U.S. was on the verge of entering World War II.
Following the beginning of war in Europe in 1939, Raymond felt certain the U.S. would eventually enter the war. He trained as a pilot for that eventuality, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army Air Forces. He served as an observer aboard B-17 anti-submarine flights along the Atlantic coast before attending intelligence school and shipping out to England in July 1942.
He served with the 97th Bomb Group before taking over as assistant operations officer in the 8th Bomber Command. He was transferred back to the U.S. in 1943 and piloted a variety of aircraft, both bombers and fighters, in stateside duties. He remained in the United States Air Force Reserve following the war, retiring in 1968 as a colonel.
Raymond wrote, directed and starred in the 1949 film Million Dollar Weekend. In later years he appeared in only a few films. His last major film was “The Best Man” in 1964 with Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson.
In the 1950s he mostly worked in television, appearing in "Fireside Theatre," "Hollywood Summer Theatre" and "TV's Reader's Digest". In the 1970s he appeared on ABC Television Network's Paris 7000 and had guest roles in The Outer Limits, Robert Montgomery Presents, Playhouse 90, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ironside, The Defenders, Mannix, The Name of the Game, Lux Video Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre and U.S. Steel Hour.
On May 2, 1998, Raymond died of pneumonia in Los Angeles, California.
For his contribution to the motion picture and television industry, Gene Raymond has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7003 Hollywood Boulevard and 1704 Vine Street.