Raymond Massey

Actor, Playwright, Director
Exceptionally tall, with distinctive, unconventional features and a commanding presence, actor Raymond Massey built an impressive career out of playing reassuring authority figures and scheming villains equally well ... Read more »
Born: 08/29/1896 in Toronto, Ontario, CA

Filmography

Actor (45)

The President's Plane Is Missing 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

MacKenna's Gold 1969 (Movie)

The Preacher (Actor)

Doctor Kildare 1961 - 1966 (TV Show)

Actor

How the West Was Won 1962 (Movie)

Abraham Lincoln (Actor)

The Queen's Guards 1962 (Movie)

Capt Fellowes (Actor)

The Fiercest Heart 1961 (Movie)

Willem (Actor)

The Great Impostor 1960 (Movie)

Abbot Donner (Actor)

The Naked and the Dead 1958 (Movie)

General Cummings (Actor)

Omar Khayyam 1957 (Movie)

Shah (Actor)

The Naked Eye 1957 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Battle Cry 1955 (Movie)

General Sipes (Actor)

East of Eden 1955 (Movie)

Adam Trask (Actor)

Seven Angry Men 1955 (Movie)

John Brown (Actor)

Prince of Players 1954 (Movie)

Junius Brutus Booth (Actor)

The Desert Song 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Chain Lightning 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Fountainhead 1948 (Movie)

Gayle Wynand (Actor)

Mourning Becomes Electra 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

Possessed 1947 (Movie)

Dean Graham (Actor)

Stairway to Heaven 1947 (Movie)

Abraham Farlan (Actor)

God Is My Co-Pilot 1945 (Movie)

Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault (Actor)

Arsenic and Old Lace 1944 (Movie)

Jonathan Brewster (Actor)

The Woman in the Window 1943 (Movie)

District Attorney Frank Lalor (Actor)

Action in the North Atlantic 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Desperate Journey 1941 (Movie)

Otto Baumeister (Actor)

Reap the Wild Wind 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Santa Fe Trail 1939 (Movie)

John Brown (Actor)

Hurricane 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Prisoner of Zenda 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

Things to Come 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Old Dark House 1931 (Movie)

Philip Waverton (Actor)

Uncle Tom's Cabin 1926 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Abe Lincoln in Illinois (Movie)

Abraham Lincoln (Actor)

All My Darling Daughters (TV Show)

Actor

Barricade (Movie)

Wolf Larsen (Actor)

Carson City (Movie)

Big Jack Davis (Actor)

Come Fill the Cup (Movie)

John Ives (Actor)

Dangerously They Live (Movie)

Dr. Ingersoll (Actor)

David and Bathsheba (Movie)

Nathan (Actor)

Fire Over England (Movie)

Philip of Spain (Actor)

Hotel Berlin (Movie)

Arnim von Dahnwitz (Actor)

Roseanna McCoy (Movie)

Old Randall McCoy (Actor)

The Speckled Band (Movie)

Sherlock Holmes (Actor)

Under the Red Robe (Movie)

Cardinal Richelieu (Actor)

Biography

Exceptionally tall, with distinctive, unconventional features and a commanding presence, actor Raymond Massey built an impressive career out of playing reassuring authority figures and scheming villains equally well. The Canadian-born actor first honed his craft on the stages of the U.K. for nearly 10 years before venturing across the Atlantic to appear on Broadway as "Hamlet" and in early sound pictures like "The Speckled Band" (1931), in the role of Sherlock Holmes. Massey demonstrated his versatility with venomous characters in films like "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937) juxtaposed against his career-defining portrayal of the 16th U.S. president in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" (1940), based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play written with him in mind. Massey became the stuff of Hollywood legend when the aftermath of his divorce from actress Adrianne Allen inspired the beloved Tracy-Hepburn comedy "Adam's Rib" (1949). As an actor, Massey continually impressed with is ability to make difficult characters sympathetic in such films as "The Fountainhead" (1949), opposite Gary Cooper, and as James Dean's emotionally unavailable father in "East of Eden" (1955). A younger generation of fans came to appreciate his later work as Richard Chamberlain's authoritative mentor Dr. Gillespie on "Dr. Kildare" (NBC, 1961-66). Even as his half-century career neared its end, Massey continued to make memorable contributions to such big-budget Hollywood offerings as the Western "Mackenna's Gold" (1969). One of the first and best examples of a "working actor" in film, Massey never failed to elevate the integrity of any project.

Relationships

Adrianne Allen

Wife
married 1929-39

Anna Massey

Daughter
born 1937 mother Adrianne Allen

Daniel Massey Actor

Son
born in 1933 mother Adrianne Allen

Vincent Massey

Brother

EDUCATION

Victoria College, University of Toronto

Toronto , Ontario 1914

Balliol College, Oxford University

1919 - 1921
acted with Dramatic Society in "The Dynasts"; did not complete degree

St Andrews College

Appleby School

Upper Canada College

Toronto , Ontario

Milestones

1975

Final stage performance in LA production of "The Night of the Iguana"

1964

Campaigned for Barry Goldwater

1958

Final Broadway appearance in "JB"

1952

Authored play "The Hanging Judge"; staged by Michael Powell in England; later made for TV in both GB and US

1943

Became US citizen

1940

Signed with Warner Bros.

1939

US short film debut in "For auld lang syne"

1938

Began two-year run as "Abe Lincoln in Illinois", written especially for Massey by Robert Sherwood

1937

Returned to Hollywood; first films, John Cromwell's "The Prisoner of Zenda" and John Ford's "The Hurricane"

1932

First Hollywood film, James Whale's "The Old Dark House"

1932

After having troubles finding film work in Hollywood, returned to England and successfully found feature work there

1931

To US; Broadway debut in "Hamlet" (dir. Norman Bel Geddes); then to Hollywood and contract with Universal (where wife Adrienne Allen was just signed as actress) as writer-director

1931

Film acting debut in "The Speckled Band" (GB)

1929

Film debut (a bit) in "High Treason" (Great Britain)

1925

Took over as manager of Everyman; Everyman collpased 1927

1924

In West End production including debut of G.B. Shaw's "St. Joan"

1922

To England to pursue professional acting career

1921

Returned to Canada, appearing in amateur productions

1919

Discharged from army; to Oxford, England

1917

Artillery and trench warfare instructor at school in Toronto, Yale and Princeton

1915

Lieutenant with Canadian Field Artillery in France; after year at the front returned to Canada suffering from shell shock; served as artillery instructor alongside fellow-officer and future actor Walter Pidgeon

1914

Stage debut at Appleby in "She Stoops to Conquer"

Joined Everyman Theatre, Hempstead; professional stage debut in their "In the Zone"

To Siberia with Canadian Expeditionary Force; in charge of entertainment while stationed at Vladivostok

Played Dr. Leonard Gillespie on the NBC medical drama series, "Doctor Kildare", with Richard Chamberlain in the title role

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