George Raft - Actors and Actresses





Nationality: American. Born: George Ranft in New York City, 26 September 1895. Family: Married Grayce Mulrooney, 1923 (separated 1923, died 1970). Career: From age 13, worked as boxer, pool player, dancer; 1919—dancer in vaudeville, in the next few years touring on the Orpheum and Keith Circuits; also dancer at Jimmy Durante's Club Durante and Texas Guinan's El Fey Club; 1925—Broadway debut in The City Chap ; 1929—film debut in Queen of the Nightclubs with Texas Guinan; early 1930s—several roles as gangsters in films, with much publicity concerning his friendship with nonfictional gangsters; 1932—classical role in Scarface , contract with Paramount, then in 1939 contract with Warner Brothers, and freelance after 1942; organized sports show for entertaining the troops during World War II; 1953—in TV series I'm the Law ; early 1960s—public relations director for Consumer Marts stores; 1966–67—host of Colony Club casino, London, but banned from England as persona non grata because of alleged gangster connections. Died: In Los Angeles, 24 November 1980.

George Raft
George Raft

Films as Actor:

1929

Queen of the Nightclubs (Foy) (as gigolo)

1931

Quick Millions (Brown) (as Jimmy Kirk)

1932

Hush Money (Lanfield) (as Maxie); Palmy Days (Sutherland)(as Joe the Frog); Taxi! (Del Ruth) (as Willie Kenny); Scarface (Hawks) (as Guido Rinaldi); Night Court (Van Dyke); Night World (Hensley) (as Ed Powell); Love Is a Racket (Wellman) (as Stinky); Dancers in the Dark (Burton) (as Louie Brooks); Madame Racketeer (Hall) (as Jack Houston); Night after Night (Mayo) (as Joe Anton); If I Had a Million (Lubitsch and others) (as Eddie Jackson)

1933

Under-Cover Man (Flood) (as Nick Darrow); Pick-Up (Gering)(as Harry Glynn); The Midnight Club (Hall) (as Nick Mason); The Bowery (Walsh) (as Steve Brodi); All of Me (Flood) (as Honey Rogers); Bolero (Ruggles) (as Raoul Debaere)

1935

Rumba (Gering) (as Joe Martin); The Trumpet Blows (Rob-erts) (as Manuel); Limehouse Blues (Hall) (as Henry Young); Stolen Harmony (Werker) (as Ray Angelo/Ray Ferraro); The Glass Key (Tuttle) (as Ed Beaumont); Every Night at Eight (Walsh) (as Tops Cardona); She Couldn't Take It (Garnett) (as Spot Ricardi)

1936

It Had to Happen (Del Ruth) (as Enrico Scaffa); Yours for the Asking (Hall) (as Johnny Lamb)

1937

Souls at Sea (Hathaway) (as Rowdah)

1938

You and Me (Lang) (as Joe Dennis); Spawn of the North (Hathaway) (as Tyler Dawson)

1939

The Lady's from Kentucky (Hall) (as Marty Black); I Stole a Million (Tuttle) (as Joe Laurik); Invisible Stripes (Ba-con) (as Cliff Taylor); Each Dawn I Die (Keighley) (as Hood Stacey)

1940

The House across the Bay (Mayo) (as Steve Larwitt); They Drive by Night (Walsh) (as Joe Fabrini)

1941

Manpower (Walsh) (as Johnny Marshall)

1942

Broadway (Seiter) (as George)

1943

Background to Danger (Walsh) (as Joe Barton); Stage Door Canteen (Borzage) (as himself)

1944

Follow the Boys (Sutherland) (as Tony West)

1945

Nob Hill (Hathaway) (as Johnny Angelo); Johnny Angelo (Marin) (title role)

1946

Whistle Stop (Moguy) (as Kenny); Mr. Ace (Marin) (as Eddie Ace); Nocturne (Marin) (as Lt. Joe Warne)

1947

Christmas Eve (Marin) (as Mario Torio)

1948

Intrigue (Marin) (as Brad Dunham); Race Street (Marin) (as Dan Gannin)

1949

Outpost in Morocco (Florey) (as Capt. Paul Garard); Johnny Allegro (Tetzlaff) (title role); Red Light (Del Ruth) (as John Torno); A Dangerous Profession (Tetzlaff) (as Vince Kane); Nous irons à Paris (Boyer) (as guest)

1951

Lucky Nick Cain (Newman) (title role); I'll Get You (Freidman)(as Steve Rossi)

1952

Loan Shark (Freidman) (as Joe Gargen); Adventure in Algiers ( Secret of the Casbah )

1953

The Man from Cairo (Enright) (as Mike Cannelli)

1954

Black Widow (Johnson) (as Det. Bruce); Rogue Cop (Rowland)(as Dan Beaumonte)

1955

A Bullet for Joey (Allen) (as Joe Victor)

1956

Around the World in Eighty Days (Anderson) (as bouncer)

1959

Some Like It Hot (Wilder) (as Spats Columbo); Jet over the Atlantic (Haskin) (as Stafford)

1960

Ocean's Eleven (Milestone) (cameo role)

1961

The Ladies Man (Lewis) (as himself); Two Guys Abroad (Sharp)

1964

For Those Who Think Young (Martinson) (as detective); The Patsy (Lewis) (as himself)

1965

Du Rififi à Paname (de la Patellière) (as Charles Binnaggio)

1966

Casino Royale (Huston and others) (as himself)

1968

Five Golden Dragons (Summers) (as Golden Dragon); Skidoo! (Preminger) (as Capt. Garbaldo)

1972

Hammersmith Is Out (Ustinov) (as Guido Scartucci); Dead-head Miles (Zimmermann) (cameo role)

1978

Sextette (Hughes) (as himself); The Man with Bogart's Face (Fenady) (as Petey Cane)



Publications


By RAFT: articles—

Interview with R. Donaldson, in Movie Classic Magazine , June 1932.

"You've Got to Be Tough in Hollywood," in Films and Filming (London), July 1962.


On RAFT: books—

Yablonsky, Lewis, George Raft , New York, 1974.

Parish, James Robert, and Steven Whitney, The George Raft File: The Unauthorized Biography , New York, 1974.

Neibaur, James L., Tough Guy: The American Movie Macho , Jefferson, North Carolina, 1989.


On RAFT: articles—

Beaver, J., "George Raft," in Films in Review (New York), April 1978.

Obituary, in Image et Son , January 1981.

The Annual Obituary 1980 , New York, 1981.

Sikov, E., "George Raft," in Architectural Digest (Los Angeles), April 1996.


* * *


George Raft was instrumental in the development of the character of the hardboiled gangster, a character that became a standard of the American cinema for decades. In fact, he fit the type so well that his rather shady background became the object of endless speculation, and both the public and the studio refused to accept him in any but the most indistinguishable tough-guy parts. Perhaps he filled these parts even too well, for he never became as popular or sympathetic as James Cagney or Humphrey Bogart, and, in his apparent effort to overcome the image, he rejected several roles that turned Bogart into a major star: The Maltese Falcon , Casablanca , and High Sierra .

Raft began his career as a dancer in clubs and on the stage, and although his physical grace was evident in even the most undignified roles and the most violent situations, his musical talent was exploited in very few of his films. Once his part as Paul Muni's coin-tossing sidekick in Howard Hawks's Scarface had established his career and his image, Raft played variations on that role as a Paramount contract player throughout the 1930s and then in a series of increasingly minor melodramas for less prestigious studios. Finally, when advancing age and the changing demands of the audience ended his leading roles once and for all, he turned to self-caricature, often appearing as himself in miniscule cameo parts.

In Hollywood, a strong personal image is usually seen as a lack of versatility, and George Raft's career is illustrative of this tendency which has limited many actors even at the height of their popularity. While few of his films were successful in any way, either with audiences or with the critics, Raft's real failure was in his inability to outgrow the character that he helped to create.

—Richard Wilson

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