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Raymond Massey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (20) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 30 August 1896Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death 29 July 1983Los Angeles, California, USA  (pneumonia)
Birth NameRaymond Hart Massey
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Educated at the University of Toronto & Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Canadian Field Artillery in World War I, served in France & was wounded. His first appearance was in a stage production in Siberia, during its occupation by American Forces in 1918. Raymond returned to Canada & the farm implement business after the war, but footlights proved a greater allure than plowshares. He appeared at the Everyman Theatre, London in "In the Zone" in 1922 and from then his acting career never looked back. As adept in front of arc lights as the footlights, he was signed up for a 5 year contract by Alexander Korda. Major Massey was invalided from the Canadian Army in 1943. Raymond was devoted to his American wife Dorothy, to whom he referred all queries and problems. He had an ardent radio following in the States and became an American citizen. This was natural as his mother and maternal grandmother were Americans. A bad traveler, Raymond hated the sea and airplanes. A good sportsman, he excelled at golf and fishing, A scholar, he loved good literature. A modest man, he regarded himself as supremely uninteresting.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Spouse (3)

Dorothy Whitney (10 July 1939 - 15 July 1982) (her death)
Adrianne Allen (12 November 1929 - 6 July 1939) (divorced) (2 children)
Margery Fremantle (8 June 1921 - 1929) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

His portrayal of Abraham Lincoln, whom he portrayed in four different dramatic productions, all by different authors.

Trivia (20)

Father of Anna Massey, Daniel Massey and Geoffrey Massey. Grandfather of the producer Raymond Massey and Alice Massey.
Younger brother of Canadian politician Vincent Massey (1887-1967), who was the first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada (1952-1959).
Although born a Canadian and serving in the Canadian Army in both world wars, he later became an American citizen.
He is buried in the Ludington family plot in Beaverdale Cemetary, in the suburb of Hampden area, which is in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Scion of the Massey family whose farm implement manufacturing business merged with the Harris company in 1891 to form Massey-Harris. Then in 1953, it merged with the Ferguson company to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson, shortened to Massey-Ferguson in 1957. Massey-Ferguson, now an AGCO (formerly Varity) subsidiary, is the largest selling farm tractor brand in the world. Vincent and Raymond Massey were the last Masseys to have a direct role in the company. Each elected to pursue other careers.
Massey said the British thought he was American and the Americans thought he was British. He was actually Canadian. But his mother and paternal grandmother were both Americans and his branch of the Massey family migrated from England to Canada via the United States.
Played Abraham Lincoln a total of four times; once on TV, twice in the movies, as well as in the stage play "Abe Lincoln in Illinois.". Massey portrayed Abraham Lincoln in the 1950s "Du Pont Show of the Month" television drama "The Day That Lincoln Was Shot", opposite Lillian Gish as Mary Todd Lincoln, in the films Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), and How the West Was Won (1962).
There was much dissatisfaction among the public when it was learned that Massey, a Canadian with clear diction and a fine speaking voice, had been selected to play Abraham Lincoln in the stage production of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" - until he received rave reviews for his performance. His subsequent reprise of the role in the 1940 film version (Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)) earned him an Oscar nomination.
Spoke the lines given to Abraham Lincoln in the staged dramatic reading of Stephen Vincent Benet's "John Brown's Body", in which he also spoke John Brown's lines.
Was a two-time Wound Badge winner, having been wounded in both world wars.
Died the same day as his The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) and Stairway to Heaven (1946) co-star David Niven.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 554-555. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
During the 1964 presidential race, he endorsed Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.
Massey's divorce from his ex-wife Adrianne Allen was the inspiration for the 1949 film Adam's Rib (1949). Each was represented by one half of a famous husband-and-wife team of divorce lawyers, Dorothy Whitney and her husband William Dwight Whitney. After the trial was over, the Whitneys divorced. The ex-Mrs. Whitney married Massey, and the ex-Mrs. Massey married the ex-Mrs. Whitney's ex-husband.
Was a veteran of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force (CSEF) composed of 4,000 soldiers that were sent to Russia to combat the Bolshevik menace. This was authorized on August 12, 1918. Massey announced his participation during the airing of The Lux Radio Theater:Action in the North Atlantic broadcast on May 15, 1944.
Is one of two actors to have received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for portraying Abraham Lincoln; the other is Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (2012).
Former father-in-law of Penelope Wilton.
He has three roles in common with Charlton Heston: (1) Massey played Sherlock Holmes in The Speckled Band (1931) while Heston played him in The Crucifer of Blood (1991), (2) Massey played Cardinal Richelieu in Under the Red Robe (1937) while Heston played him in The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge (1974) and (3) Massey played Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), Pulitzer Prize Playhouse: Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1950), Ford Star Jubilee: The Day Lincoln Was Shot (1956) and How the West Was Won (1962) while Heston played him in The Great Battles of the Civil War (1994).
Distantly related to Anthony Steel.
He and his children Daniel Massey and Anna Massey all worked with Laurence Olivier: Raymond in Fire Over England (1937) and 49th Parallel (1941), Daniel in The Entertainer (1960) and Anna in Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), David Copperfield (1970) and A Little Romance (1979).

Salary (1)

49th Parallel (1941) £2,000 (for 2 weeks)

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