Ray Butt grew up in London as an only child with his mother and father. He left school at 16 and served national service in the RAF.
He produced Only Fools and Horses until Series 5, directing most episodes himself, when he moved onto new projects. Ray Butt is also remembered for his work on Last of the Summer Wine and Are You Being Served?. Butt directed the 1976 two-part episode from Last of the Summer Wine's third series consisting of the episodes, "The Great Boarding House Bathroom Caper" and "Cheering up Gordon." Butt would also serve as primary producer for Are You Being Served? between 1975 and 1977. He frequently collaborated with writer John Sullivan, directing for four different series written by Sullivan.
Butt retired in 1989. He died on 12 July 2013 and was survived by his partner, Jo Blyth, and a daughter from an earlier marriage.