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Ray McDonald was an actor who had a successful Hollywood career. McDonald started off his career in film with roles in the Mickey Rooney musical "Babes on Broadway" (1941) and the Lewis Stone musical comedy "Life Begins For Andy Hardy" (1941). McDonald began to focus on film after appearing in "Born to Sing" (1942), the Judy Garland musical "Presenting Lily Mars" (1943) and the comedic adaptation "Good News" (1947) with June Allyson. He also appeared in "Till the Clouds Roll By" (1947) with Robert Walker. Later in his career, McDonald acted in "That's Entertainment! III" (1994) with June Allyson.
albatros1 ( 2007-12-05 )
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Date of Birth
27 June 1920, New York City
Date of Death
20 February 1959, New York City
Ray was still in grade school when he and older sister (by three years) Grace McDonald formed a popular vaudeville tap dancing act. By the age of 16 Ray had made it to Broadway in the musical "Babes in Arms". Talent scouts took both of them to Hollywood, Ray was signed by MGM. He first played a leading role as a youth in the low-budget programmer Down in San Diego (1941), then kicked up his heels in the musical Babes on Broadway (1941). He appeared with Rooney again in the star's vehicle Life Begins for Andy Hardy (1941). After that, things stopped clicking. Unable to rise above the secondary ranks, the June Allyson/Peter Lawford collegiate musical Good News (1947) would prove to be Ray's last feature for MGM. He appeared in Shamrock Hill (1949) and There's a Girl in My Heart (1950), and later in the musical All Ashore (1953) for Columbia, with Mickey Rooney, Dick Haymes and Ray as three swabbies on leave. This would be Ray's last film. Ray popped up on TV variety shows and in 1959, while in New York to appear on a show, he died after choking on food in his hotel room. He was only 37. Not remembered well today, as is the case with sister Grace, Ray McDonald nevertheless had a great musical talent and ingratiating presence, which certainly deserves a mention.
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