Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Raymond Massey (1896-1983) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Raymond Massey carried a lifelong love of theater into the Great War, where he served his country until wounded at Ypres. The Lieutenant returned to active service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force for a 1919 Siberian campaign, where he organized minstrel performances to help boost morale. Massey made his London stage debut in Eugene O'Neill's In the Zone in 1922, and spent the next ten years immersed in the London theater. He had a couple of 1929 film bits, but his first billed movie role came as Sherlock Holmes in The Speckled Band (1931). A Broadway performance of Hamlet was panned in 1931, but around this time Massey followed second wife Adrianne Allen to Hollywood, where he appeared in The Old Dark House (1932) before returning to the London stage. He had a hit with The Shining Hour in Toronto, then Broadway, then back to London, where he took time to appear in the film The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934) for Alexander Korda, who he'd also work for in Things to Come (1936), Fire Over England (1937), and The Drum (1938). Massey had a career-defining role on Broadway with Abe Lincoln in Illinois in 1938, a part that also earned him his only Academy Award nomination for his 1940 film portrayal. Major Massey served briefly in the Canadian Army during World War II. He became an American citizen in 1944. In 1941, he signed with Warner Bros., where he worked for years in titles such as Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), The Fountainhead (1949), and East of Eden (1955). He played abolitionist John Brown twice on film and more famously voiced the part on stage in John Brown's Body (1953), in which he also played Lincoln. He began to do a lot of TV in the mid-1950s, later making his mark as Dr. Gillespie on NBC's Dr. Kildare series between 1961-66. Massey's final theatrical release was Mackenna's Gold (1969), though he continued to work on stage through 1975. His third wife died in 1982 after over forty years of marriage. Massey died of pneumonia at age 86. His and Allen's two children, Anna and Daniel, were also well-known actors.
Birthday: August 30