Ray Milland biography
Date of Birth: January 3, 1907
Birth Name: Reginald Alfred Truscott-Jones
Born in Wales, Ray Milland put in three years of service as a guardsman with the Royal Household Cavalry in London before breaking into British films in 1929, first as an extra, then graduating to bit parts. Just a year later, he left to try his luck in America, and immediately began landing small roles in Hollywood films, gradually working his way up to second leads, and finally, leading roles. As with most actors of the era, he was signed with a studio and averaged four to five films per year. But it wasn't until he played the lead role in The Lost Weekend (1945) that his skill as an actor was fully appreciated. Playing an alcoholic writer, he won an Academy Award for Best Leading Actor. When Milland went up to accept the award, he didn't say a word, just simply bowed his head in appreciation before leaving the stage. He won several more awards for his performance, including a Golden Globe and a Cannes Film Festival award.
He continued to work steadily in films until the 1960s, when he began to cut back on his appearances, making only five films within the decade. He made a strong comeback in Love Story (1970), playing Ryan O'Neal's snooty father. Milland also became a familiar figure on television, starring in his own sitcom The Ray Milland Show and the drama Markham. He appeared in the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) and Testimony of Two Men (1977) as well as numerous TV movies, including Ellery Queen (1975), Battlestar Galactica (1978), The Dream Merchants (1980) and The Masks of Death (1984) before retiring in 1986.
Milland loved to read, and released an autobiography in 1972 -- the best-selling Wide-Eyed in Babylon. He preferred to avoid the Hollywood party scene, instead staying at home with his wife of 54 years, Malvina Webber. Together, they raised a son, Daniel and a daughter, Victoria. Milland, who has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, died in California on March 10, 1986 of lung cancer.