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Also Known As: Raymond Guion Died: May 3, 1998
Born: August 13, 1908 Cause of Death: pneumonia
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, TV host, writer, director, songwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A handsome blond whose career encompassed stage and screen, Gene Raymond was one of the few performers who was successfully able to make the transition from child actor to adult star. Born Raymond Guion in NYC, he started acting in children's shows in stock at age five. By age 12, he was appearing on Broadway in "The Piper" (1920). Over the course of the decade, he was constantly employed in stage productions, including a two-year run in "The Cradle Snatchers" (1925-27), featured alongside Humphrey Bogart and Edna May Oliver. With the advent of talking pictures, he was among the many stage-trained actors who headed to Hollywood.In 1931, now billed as Gene Raymond, he made his debut in "Personal Maid" beginning a string of roles in melodramas that often cast him opposite many of the screens notable females, to mixed results. In "Red Dust" (1932) he was Mary Astor's husband whose absence allows her to consummate an affair with Clark Gable. "Ex-Lady" (1933) effectively paired him with proto-feminist Bette Davis but "Brief Moment" (also 1933) saw him overshadowed by Carole Lombard. Raymond was the love interest for Delores Del Rio in the delightful "Flying Down to Rio" (1933) and he held his own opposite...

A handsome blond whose career encompassed stage and screen, Gene Raymond was one of the few performers who was successfully able to make the transition from child actor to adult star. Born Raymond Guion in NYC, he started acting in children's shows in stock at age five. By age 12, he was appearing on Broadway in "The Piper" (1920). Over the course of the decade, he was constantly employed in stage productions, including a two-year run in "The Cradle Snatchers" (1925-27), featured alongside Humphrey Bogart and Edna May Oliver. With the advent of talking pictures, he was among the many stage-trained actors who headed to Hollywood.

In 1931, now billed as Gene Raymond, he made his debut in "Personal Maid" beginning a string of roles in melodramas that often cast him opposite many of the screens notable females, to mixed results. In "Red Dust" (1932) he was Mary Astor's husband whose absence allows her to consummate an affair with Clark Gable. "Ex-Lady" (1933) effectively paired him with proto-feminist Bette Davis but "Brief Moment" (also 1933) saw him overshadowed by Carole Lombard. Raymond was the love interest for Delores Del Rio in the delightful "Flying Down to Rio" (1933) and he held his own opposite Joan Crawford in "Sadie McKee" (1934). After RKO put him under contract in 1935, he continued in the same vein in efforts like "The Bride Walks Out" (1935), with Barbara Stanwyck and "That Girl From Paris" (1937), alongside Ann Sothern. He offered delightful support to Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard in Alfred Hitchcock's sole comedy "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (1941). That same year, Raymond had his only screen pairing with his wife, singer-actress Jeanette MacDonald, in "Smilin' Through" (1941).

The outbreak of WWII interrupted Raymond's career as he chose to serve as a bomber pilot in the US Army Air Force. As tastes changed after the war, he found good roles scarce, turning instead to the emerging medium of television. Raymond served as host of and occasional performer on the NBC anthology series "Fireside Theater" (1949-55). The stage also provided an outlet, with the actor appearing in national tours of Broadway shows (i.e., "The Best Man" 1960) and summer stock (e.g., "Kiss Me, Kate"). His last film appearances were in "I'd Rather Be Rich" and "The Best Man" (both 1964). Raymond was a series regular, as an assistant to George Hamilton, in the short-lived adventure show "Paris 7000" (ABC, 1970).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Million Dollar Weekend (1948) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Five Bloody Graves (1969) The Voice of Death
2.
 The Best Man (1964) Don Cantwell
3.
 I'd Rather Be Rich (1964) Martin Wood
4.
 Plunder Road (1957) Eddie
5.
 Hit the Deck (1955) Wendell Craig
6.
 Sofia (1948) Steve Roark
7.
 Assigned to Danger (1948) Dan Sullivan
8.
 Million Dollar Weekend (1948) Nicholas Lawrence
9.
 The Locket (1946) John Willis
10.
 Smilin' Through (1941) Kenneth Wayne/Jeremy Wayne
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1914:
Made acting debut on stage at age 5 in children's plays (date approximate)
1920:
Broadway acting debut in "The Piper"; billed as Raymond Guion
:
Throughout the 1920s appeared frequently on Broadway in plays like "Why Not?" (1922) and "Sherlock Holmes" (1928)
1925:
Had long run in the Broadway play "The Cradle Snatchers", co-starring with Humphrey Bogart and Enda May Oliver
1929:
Last Broadway appearance as Raymond Guion, "Young Sinners"
:
Moved to Hollywood; adopted stage name of Gene Raymond
1931:
Feature film debut, "Personal Maid"
1932:
Had supporting role in"Red Dust"
1933:
Appeared as the love interest of Delores Del Rio in "Flying Down to Rio"
1935:
Put under contract by RKO
1941:
Appeared opposite wife Jeanette MacDonald in "Smilin' Through"
:
Served in the US Army Air Force as a bomber pilot during WWII
:
Was a colonel in the US Air Force Reserve
1948:
Provided story for, acted in and made directorial debut with "Million Dollar Weekend"
:
Was host of the anthology series "Fireside Theater" on NBC
:
Toured in summer stock and national companies of Broadway plays in the 1950s
:
Hosted "TV Readers Digest" (ABC)
1957:
Returned to the stage as Mercutio in a Pasadena production of "Romeo and Juliet"
1964:
Had featured role in "The Best Man"
1967:
As Air Force Reserve colonel, flew jets in South Vietnam
1969:
Final film credit, provided the voice of Death in "The Gun Riders"
1970:
Was series regular on the short-lived ABC adventure "Paris 7000"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Professional Children's School: New York , New York -

Notes

Raymond was awarded the Legion of Merit in the 1960s.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jeanette MacDonald. Actor. Married from June 16, 1937 until her death in 1965.
wife:
Nelson Hees. Married from September 8, 1974 until her death in 1995; previously married to Bentley Hees.

Family close complete family listing

father:
LeRoy D Guion.
mother:
Mary Guion.

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