Ray Milland

Ray Milland with Ellen Drew on BBC programme Picture Page in 1939

Last updated: 13 January 2011

Academy Award-winning actor Ray Milland enjoyed success with hit films including Beau Geste, The Lost Weekend and Dial M for Murder, and had another box office hit later in his career as Ryan O'Neal's father in 1970 film Love Story.

Born Reginald Alfred John Truscott-Jones in Cimla, Neath on 3 January 1907, he swapped his real name for Ray Milland, taking his new surname from an area of Neath.

In 1929 he entered the film industry after spending three years as a guardsman with the Royal Household Cavalry in London.

Many of his early acting parts were in light romantic films, but he became much sought after in Hollywood in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1945 he won an Oscar for his intense portrayal of alcoholic novelist Don Birnam in Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend.

Appearances in other classic films include Beau Geste, The Man with X-Ray Eyes, Escape to Witch Mountain and Hitchcock's Dial M For Murder, in which he played opposite Grace Kelly.

In later years he had a substantial television career, which included appearances on Battlestar Galactica; Hart to Hart; Rich Man, Poor Man; Ellery Queen; Columbo and Markham. He had also had his own TV show in America in the 1950s.

Married to wife Mal for 54 years, he died in California of lung cancer on 10 March 1986.

Selected roles

  • Beau Geste (1939)
  • Arise, My Love (1940)
  • Ministry of Fear (1944)
  • The Lost Weekend (1945)
  • The Big Clock (1948)
  • The Thief (1952)
  • Dial M for Murder (1954)
  • Markham (1959/1960)
  • X/The Man With The X-Ray Eyes (1963)
  • Love Story (1970)
  • Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)
  • Rich Man, Poor Man (1976)

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