Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Man Who Lost Himself: Charles Ray

In the cast of Universal's The Man Who Lost Himself is Charles Ray, silent-day star, who lost his bankroll producing an old New England picture in young Hollywood.

Charles Ray (March 15, 1891 - November 23, 1942) was a well loved silent film star, known mostly for his rolls as the country bumpkin. Charles started out in films in 1911, and eventually had 168 films under his belt. His breakthrough roll was in 1915's The Coward. Typecast in basically the same roll, Charles rebelled and was then after thought of as "difficult to work with". Since no one would finance him in rolls he wanted to play, he spent all of his money on the grand failure, 1923's The Courtship of Myles Standish. Broke and with no prospects, Thomas Ince, his mentor, put him in films just so he could earn some dough. When Ince died in 1924, Charles Ray was on Poverty Row and basically played extras for the rest of his life. Ray died in 1943 of an infection caused by an impacted tooth at the age of 52.

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