Vintage original 7.5 x 9.5 in. US double-weight matte photograph of silent film actor CHARLES RAY c.1916.
He is depicted in a close studio shot that was taken by the acclaimed Hollywood photographer, Gerald D. Carpenter. This photograph was signed by Charles Ray in black ink ("Sincerely yours - Charles Ray"). It is in very fine- condition.
*"Charles Edgar Ray (March 15, 1891 – November 23, 1943) was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Ray rose to fame during the mid-1910s portraying young, wholesome hicks in silent comedy films.
He began his career on the stage before working for director Thomas H. Ince as a film extra in silent shorts in December 1912. He appeared in several bit parts before moving on to supporting roles. Ray's breakthrough role came in 1915 when he co-starred opposite Frank Keenan in one of his first full length feature, the historical American Civil War drama The Coward. The film was a box office success and critics praised Ray’s mannerisms and natural acting style.
Ray's popularity grew after appearing in a series of light silent comedy features which cast him in juvenile roles, primarily young, wholesome hicks or naive, unsophisticated "country bumpkins" that foiled the plans of thieves or con men and won the heart of his dream girl. In March 1917, he signed with Paramount Pictures and resumed working with director Thomas H. Ince. By 1920, Ray enjoyed critical and commercial success and was earning a reported $11,000 a week (approximately $161,000 today). As Ray’s public popularity continued, he had gained a reputation in Hollywood for being difficult and egomaniacal. In 1920, he abruptly left Paramount after studio head Adolph Zukor refused to give him a substantial pay raise. Zukor later wrote in his autobiography, The Public Is Never Wrong, that Ray's ego and behavior had become problematic and that Ray "... was headed for trouble and [I] did not care to be with him when he found it."
Ray soon formed his own production company, Charles Ray Productions, and used his fortune to purchase a studio on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles (now known as the KCET Studios) where he planned to produce and shoot his own films.
Released to theaters on December 30, 1923, The Courtship of Miles Standish received some critical acclaim, mainly for its cinematography, but received generally lukewarm reviews and was a box office failure. Ray lost all of the money he invested in the film and, due to the film’s box office failure, his popularity quickly declined. Thomas Ince, who had worked with Ray early in his career, attempted to help Ray by casting him in the drama Dynamite Smith (1924), directed by Ince's brother Ralph. The film did little to help boost Ray's popularity. While he continued working in films until the 1940s, Ray never regained the popularity he once attained. For the remainder of his career, he was relegated to small supporting and uncredited extra work.
On November 23, 1943, Ray died of a systemic infection caused by an impacted wisdom tooth at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles for which he had been hospitalized six weeks prior. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in an unmarked grave in Glendale, California."
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