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Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (13)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 8 August 1908Mountain Home, Idaho, USA
Date of Death 25 July 2005Santa Monica, California, USA  (complications from multiple strokes)

Mini Bio (1)

American character actor of stage, films, and television. A native of Idaho, Rainey was the son of a colorful character who was, among many other things, a champion of local dance contests. As a boy, Rainey was painfully shy, but found an outlet in school plays. He pursued stage work in regional companies, then went to New York to study with the legendary Michael Chekhov. He worked numerous "civilian" jobs while attempting to make a career as an actor, including work as a logger, a lineman, and a licensed carpenter. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, then went to California where he helped start the Ojai Valley Players and then acted in his first film in 1949. He became a familiar face in films and television shows of all sorts during the next five decades while maintaining a deep attachment to the theatre. In his ninetieth year, he played Giles Corey in "The Crucible" at Theatricum Botanicum, the Topanga, California theatre founded by his friend, the late Will Geer.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (1)

Sheila Hayden (4 March 1954 - 25 July 2005) (his death) (3 children)

Trivia (13)

His austere, authoritative looks were perfect for playing presidents, which he did several times on TV, including the pilot episode of Lost in Space (1965) and on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964).
Supported himself as a linesman, logger and carpenter during the lean years.
Children: sons James and Robert; daughter Kathleen.
Before he was able to make a full-time living as an actor he held a variety of other jobs, including logger, lineman, fruit picker, fisherman and clam digger.
He made his movie debut with an uncredited role in the 1949 James Cagney picture White Heat (1949).
At age 90 started breeding tropical birds. He won many awards in various competitions for his efforts.
First played Abraham Lincoln in a 1953 Hallmark Hall of Fame production of "Miss Curtis Goes to Washington". Went on to play the President a number of times after that.
Mother was a schoolteacher.
Graduated from Centralia Junior College in Washington State and the Cornish Drama School in Seattle.
Was an excellent horseman and fencer which served him well in westerns and dashing adventures.
Tended beehives at his Malibu ranch house in later years. He owned his own solar heater and earned the nickname "The Wizard" from neighborhood children. At age 90 he was breeding birds and won trophies from several Southern California competitions.
His final appearances as an actor was his reoccurring role as "Mickey", Arthur Spooner's friend on the television series, King of Queens.
He played the same character (President Abraham Lincoln) in three different series: Sunday Showcase (1959), The Time Tunnel (1966) and Captains and the Kings (1976).

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