Gene Raymond


Actor
Gene Raymond

About

Also Known As
Raymond Guion
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
August 13, 1908
Died
May 03, 1998
Cause of Death
Pneumonia

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 employe...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

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

Notes

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

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 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).

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Million Dollar Weekend (1948)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Five Bloody Graves (1969)
The Voice of Death
The Best Man (1964)
Don Cantwell
I'd Rather Be Rich (1964)
Martin Wood
Plunder Road (1957)
Eddie
Hit the Deck (1955)
Wendell Craig
Sofia (1948)
Steve Roark
Million Dollar Weekend (1948)
Nicholas Lawrence
Assigned to Danger (1948)
Dan Sullivan
The Locket (1946)
John Willis
Smilin' Through (1941)
Kenneth Wayne/Jeremy Wayne
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
Jeff [Custer]
Cross-Country Romance (1940)
Larry [Smith]
Stolen Heaven (1938)
Carl
The Life of the Party (1937)
Barry [Saunders]
There Goes My Girl (1937)
Jerry Martin
She's Got Everything (1937)
Fuller Partridge
That Girl from Paris (1937)
Windy McClean
The Bride Walks Out (1936)
Michael Martin
Love on a Bet (1936)
Michael MacCreigh
Smartest Girl in Town (1936)
Richard "Dick" Smith
Walking on Air (1936)
Pete Quinlan
Hooray for Love (1935)
Douglas Tyler
The Woman in Red (1935)
Johnny Wyatt
Transient Lady (1935)
Carey Marshall
Seven Keys to Baldpate (1935)
Magee
Sadie McKee (1934)
Tommy [Wallace]
I Am Suzanne! (1934)
Tony [Malatini]
Behold My Wife! (1934)
Michael Carter
Coming Out Party (1934)
Chris Hansen
Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round (1934)
Jimmy Brett
Brief Moment (1933)
Rod [Deane]
Flying Down to Rio (1933)
Roger Bond
Ann Carver's Profession (1933)
["Lightning"] Bill [Graham]
Ex-Lady (1933)
Don [Peterson]
Zoo in Budapest (1933)
Zani
The House on 56th Street (1933)
Monte [Van Tyle]
Forgotten Commandments (1932)
Paul Ossipoff
Red Dust (1932)
Gary Willis
The Night of June 13 (1932)
Herbert Morrow
If I Had a Million (1932)
John Wallace
Ladies of the Big House (1931)
Standish ["Mac"] McNeil
Personal Maid (1931)
Dick Gary

Writer (Feature Film)

Million Dollar Weekend (1948)
Original Story

Music (Feature Film)

Café Society (2016)
Song Performer
Smartest Girl in Town (1936)
Composer

Cast (Special)

The Hanged Man (1964)
The Old Man and the City (1963)
Ben Solomon

Life Events

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

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"

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"

1948

Provided story for, acted in and made directorial debut with "Million Dollar Weekend"

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"

Photo Collections

Brief Moment - Movie Posters
Brief Moment - Movie Posters
The Bride Walks Out - Scene Stills
Here are a few scene stills from RKO's The Bride Walks Out (1936), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Young.

Videos

Movie Clip

Ex-Lady (1933) - That's What He Said Now at a chic Manhattan show hosted by painter Nick (Monroe Owsley), Bette Davis, as in-demand magazine illustrator Helen, parries his advances, with provocative chat about his nudes, until they’re joined by her less-prominent but loyal beau Don (Gene Raymond), who reaffirms their plan to not marry, in the edgy pre-Code Warner Bros.’ sex comedy Ex-Lady, 1933.
Ex-Lady (1933) - I'm Not That Kind Of A Girl Opening with blonde Bette Davis in her first top-billed role, as chic New York illustrator Helen, Frank McHugh asleep, Clare Dodd his wife, Monroe Owsley as amorous Nick, and Gene Raymond the boyfriend Don who bounces back after the party, in the Darryl Zanuck production, from an original David Boehm screenplay, Robert Florey directing, Warner Bros.’ Ex-Lady, 1933.
Ex-Lady (1933) - Dash Dash Asterisk Just after intrusion from her upright immigrant parents, who busted her over his habit of staying overnight, New York single career gal Helen (Bette Davis) and boyfriend Don (Gene Raymond) joust happily over the idea of marriage, with unusual score under the dialogue, in Warner Bros.’ Ex-Lady, 1933.
Bride Walks Out, The (1936) - I Married Them Quick scene setter opening, Barbara Stanwyck, Gene Raymond as girl and boyfriend with differing financial circumstances, Hattie McDaniel wisecracking, Leigh Jason directing, in the modest RKO rom-com The Bride Walks Out, 1936.
Bride Walks Out, The (1936) - Unfair To Chorus Girls Part-time model Carolyn (Barbara Stanwyck) has just caved and married striving Michael (Gene Raymond), pal Ned Sparks their witness, when he slugs a cop (Edgar Deering), resulting in their meeting bon vivant Hugh (Robert Young) in court, in RKO's The Bride Walks Out, 1936.
Bride Walks Out, The (1936) - Just Enough Model Carolyn (Barbara Stanwyck) is not pleased when suitor Michael (Gene Raymond), scamming the management, visits her at work to propose again, Ned Sparks his sidekick, in The Bride Walks Out, 1936. kick, in The Bride Walks Out, 1936.
Mr. And Mrs. Smith (1941) - They're Making Believe We're Stuck! Determined to prove a point to her husband, Ann (Carole Lombard) insists that his friend (Gene Raymond) take her to the fair, where the parachute ride malfunctions, in Alfred Hitchcock's comedy Mr. And Mrs. Smith, 1941.
Flying Down To Rio (1933) - Music Makes Me Franklin Pangborne can’t wait to fire bandleader Gene Raymond from his Miami gig when he shows up just in time, with accordion player Fred Astaire, for Ginger Rogers’ number by Vincent Youmans, Gus Kahn and Edward Eliscu, Dolores del Rio in the house, early in Flying Down To Rio, 1933.
Red Dust (1932) - Feeling The Heat Vantine (Jean Harlow), the hooker brought to the Indochinese rubber plantation by a drunk employee, is just leaving as the head man Carson (Clark Gable) greets his new surveyor Willis (Gene Raymond) and his most unexpected wife Barbara (Mary Astor), tension rising in Victor Fleming's Red Dust, 1932.
House On 56th Street, The (1933) - The Older Ones Are Safer Director Robert Florey takes us backstage at the Gotham Theatre, 1905, where Kay Francis is showgirl "Peggy," Sheila Terry advising her about suitors, elder Fiske (John Halliday) and handsome Monte (Gene Raymond), who has an eager pal (Frank McHugh), early in The House On 56th Street, 1933.
Woman In Red, The (1935) - Isn't She A Beauty? Southern California socialites observing horse and other flesh, Gene Raymond as Johnny, escort of Nicko (Genevieve Tobin), who employs rider Shelby (Barbara Stanwyck), John Eldredge her friendly competitor, opening director Robert Florey's The Woman In Red 1935.
Woman In Red, The (1935) - Part Of The Scenery Professional rider Shelby (Barbara Stanwyck) slips away from the party thrown by her affluent employer to visit the horses, but Johnny (Gene Raymond), also a de facto employee, gives chase, in The Woman In Red, 1935, also starring Genevieve Tobin.

Trailer

Flying Down to Rio - (Original Trailer) A dance-band leader finds love and success in Brazil. The first Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie.
Ex-Lady - (Original Trailer) A female artist (Bette Davis) is torn between her belief in free love and the constraints of romance in the pre-Code drama, Ex-Lady (1933).
Best Man, The - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson are two presidential hopefuls forced to consider dirty politics in Gore Vidal's The Best Man (1964).
Life of the Party, The -- (Original Trailer) A millionaire's heir and a countess' daughter take a roundabout way to get both love and money in The Life of the Party (1937).
Smilin' Through (1941) - (Original Trailer) Future husband-and-wife Gene Raymond and Jeanette McDonald in Smilin' Through (1941), their one film together.
Red Dust - (Re-issue Trailer) A plantation overseer in Vietnam is torn between a married woman and a prostitute in the pre-code drama Red Dust (1932) starring Clark Gable & Jean Harlow.
House on 56th Street, The - (Original Trailer) A woman (Kay Francis) loses her family after being falsely convicted of a crime in the pre-code drama The House on 56th Street (1933).
Woman In Red, The (1935) - (Original Trailer) A professional horsewoman (Barbara Stanwyck) fights prejudice when she marries into society in The Woman In Red (1935).
Mr. and Mrs. Smith - (Original Trailer) A quarrelsome couple discovers their marriage isn't legal in Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941), a romantic comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Hit the Deck - (Original Trailer) Sailors on leave in San Francisco get mixed up in love and show business in Hit the Deck (1955), starring Jane Powell and Tony Martin.
Sadie McKee - (Original Trailer) A working girl suffers through three troubled relationships on her road to prosperity in Sadie McKee (1934), directed by Clarence Brown and starring Joan Crawford.

Family

LeRoy D Guion
Father
Mary Guion
Mother

Companions

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

Bibliography

Notes

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