Nicholas Ray

Director, Actor, Radio writer-director
Having been one of the first to portray disaffected youths in a number of social dramas, director Nicholas Ray pioneered a subgenre while almost singlehandedly putting a spotlight on teenage angst. Ray perfected the ... Read more »
Born: 08/07/1911 in Galesville, Wisconsin, USA

Filmography

Director (22)

We Can't Go Home Again 2010 (Movie)

(Director)

Lightning Over Water 1980 (Movie)

(Director)

55 Days at Peking 1963 (Movie)

(Director)

King of Kings 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

The Savage Innocents 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

Bitter Victory 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Party Girl 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Wind Across the Everglades 1958 (Movie)

(Director)

Bigger Than Life 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Hot Blood 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

The True Story of Jesse James 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Rebel Without a Cause 1955 (Movie)

(Director)

Run For Cover 1955 (Movie)

(Director)

Johnny Guitar 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

The Lusty Men 1952 (Movie)

(Director)

Flying Leathernecks 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

On Dangerous Ground 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

Born to Be Bad 1950 (Movie)

(Director)

In a Lonely Place 1950 (Movie)

(Director)

A Woman's Secret 1949 (Movie)

(Director)

Knock on Any Door 1949 (Movie)

(Director)

They Live By Night 1949 (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (9)

We Can't Go Home Again 2010 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Crystal Gazing 1981 (Movie)

Cul-de-Sac (Actor)

Lightning Over Water 1980 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hair 1979 (Movie)

General (Actor)

The American Friend 1976 (Movie)

Prokasch-- (Actor)

I'm a Stranger Here Myself 1973 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

55 Days at Peking 1963 (Movie)

American Minister (Actor)

Edge of Outside (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (7)

We Can't Go Home Again 2010 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Murder of Fred Hampton 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Circus World 1964 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Savage Innocents 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bitter Victory 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rebel Without a Cause 1955 (Movie)

(From Story)

They Live By Night 1949 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))
Producer (1)

We Can't Go Home Again 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)
Production Management (1)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 1945 (Movie)

(Assistant Director)
Other (6)

Earth Girls Are Easy 1989 (Movie)

film extract("Rebel Without a Cause" (1955)) (Other)

Heavy Petting 1989 (Movie)

film extract("Rebel Without a Cause" (1955)) (Other)

Mona Lisa 1986 (Movie)

film extract("They Live By Night" (1948)) (Other)

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid 1982 (Movie)

film extract("In a Lonely Place" (1950)) (Other)

Lightning Over Water 1980 (Movie)

film extracts("The Lusty Men" (1952) "We Can't Go Home Again") (Other)

James Dean, the First American Teenager 1974 (Movie)

film extract("Rebel Without a Cause" (1955)) (Other)

Biography

Having been one of the first to portray disaffected youths in a number of social dramas, director Nicholas Ray pioneered a subgenre while almost singlehandedly putting a spotlight on teenage angst. Ray perfected the character of the detached loner railing against integration into society with "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), which starred James Dean in the young actor's most iconic role before his tragic death just months before the film's release. Prior to "Rebel," Ray directed "They Live by Night" (1949), one the hallmarks of film noir, and "In a Lonely Place" (1950), which featured arguably one of Humphrey Bogart's finest performances of his career. Ray continued his exploration into the darker corners of American life with "On Dangerous Ground" (1951), before breaking away from noir with a pair of Westerns, "The Lusty Men" (1952) and the female-centric "Johnny Guitar" (1954). But it was "Rebel Without a Cause" that cemented his legacy and made him a darling of the French New Wave critics from Cahiers du Cinema, who hoisted him up as something of a filmmaking god, despite Ray's failure to achieve such success again. Struggling with drug and alcohol addiction later in life, Ray hit bottom with "Party Girl" (1958) and "The Savage Innocents" (1960), before taking a big payday to direct his final two movies, "King of Kings" (1961) and "55 Days at Peking" (1963). Ray collapsed on set of the latter film and never returned to directing Hollywood movies, only to live out the rest of his days as a professor in upstate New York. Despite the obscurity of his final years, Ray nonetheless loomed large over cinema history for both his technical and thematic influences that were felt decades later.

Relationships

Julie Ray

Daughter

Nicca Ray

Daughter

Timothy Ray

Son

Jean Evans

Wife

Gloria Grahame

Wife
married in 1948 he directed her in "A Woman's Secret" (1949) and "In a Lonely Place" (1950) divorced in 1952 she later married Ray's son Anthony (by a previous marriage)

Susan Ray

Wife
Married 1969 until his death 1979

Anthony Ray

Son

Betty Utey

Wife

EDUCATION

University of Wisconsin

Madison , Wisconsin
stayed one year

University of Chicago

Chicago , Illinois
won scholarship due to a radio play he wrote; stayed one year

won scholarship to study at Frank Lloyd Wright's artistic colony at Taliesin, studying architecture, music, sculpture, philosophy, and theater

Milestones

1979

Last film, "Lightning Over Water", co-directed with Wim Wenders, about the last days of his (Ray's) life

1963

Last film for over 15 years, the historical epic, "55 Days at Peking"

1948

First film as director, "They Live By Night"

1944

Began movie career as assistant director on Elia Kazan's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"

1935

Played lead role in Elia Kazan's first play as director, "The Young Go First"

1932

Moved to New York

Produced propaganda broadcasts for Voice of America during WWII

Worked as producer of CBS radio show, "Back Where I Come From"

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