Ray Smith (actor)

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Ray Smith
Born Raymond Smith
1 May 1936
Trealaw, Wales
Died 15 December 1991(1991-12-15) (aged 55)
Llandough, Wales
Occupation Television actor

Ray Smith (1 May 1936 – 15 December 1991) was a Welsh actor who played the tough-talking police chief, Detective Superintendent Gordon Spikings, in the television series, Dempsey and Makepeace.

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in Trealaw in the Rhondda Valley, but lived for most of his adult life in Dinas Powys. He became interested in acting while he was at school and became determined not to become a miner like his father, who had been killed in a pit accident when Smith was only three years old.

After leaving school Smith became a builder's labourer. Following National Service, in the Army, he began acting professionally at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cardiff, then joined the Swansea Grand Theatre as an assistant stage manager. He later moved to London, where he spent a year being unemployed before he landed a part in a play about a Hungarian uprising.

Television career[edit]

Smith made his television debut in Shadows of Heroes in 1959, and then his appearances in series such as Z-Cars and A Family at War made him known to the public. He also appeared as Detective Inspector Percy Firbank in Public Eye, a role he started playing in 1971. Two years later came one of his most famous roles, as George Barraclough in Sam, one of Granada Television's drama series set in northern England.

Later years[edit]

Ray Smith died at the age of 55 in Llandough Hospital after a major heart attack. He had been shooting one of his last scenes in the television adaptation of Kingsley Amis's novel The Old Devils when he was taken ill on location in Newport. An onscreen credit dedicated the series The Old Devils to his memory and his performance in it won him a posthumous BAFTA Cymru Award (Best Actor) in 1992.

His son is the musician Huw Justin Smith, a.k.a. Pepsi Tate.

TV roles and filmography[edit]

  • Nick of the River (1959)
  • The House under the Water (1960)
  • Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre (1960) ("Candidate for Murder")
  • The Terrorists (1961)
  • Ben Casey (1962)
  • No Hiding Place (1960–1963) (2 episodes)
  • The painted smile (1962)
  • Suspense (1963)
  • Murder Can Be Deadly (1963)
  • The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling (1964)
  • Ring Out an Alibi (1964, TV miniseries)
  • Moulded in Earth (1965) (TV miniseries)
  • Z-Cars (1965–1970) (4 appearances)
  • Candidate for Murder (1966)
  • Softly Softly (1966–1967) (4 episodes)
  • Callan (TV series, 1967–1972)
  • The Informer (1967)
  • The Wednesday Play (1968) ("Mrs Lawrence Will Look After It")
  • Half Hour Story (1968) (Stella)
  • Detectives (1969)
  • Saturday Night Theatre (1969) ("Bangelstein's Boys")
  • A Family at War (TV serial, 1970)
  • Shadows of Fear (1970–1971)
  • Man at the Top (1971)
  • Public Eye (TV series, 1971-1975)
  • Made (1972)
  • Country Matters (1972)
  • Jackanory (24 appearances between 1972 and 1985)
  • Colditz (1972)
  • The New Adventures of Black Beauty (1972)
  • New Scotland Yard (TV series, 1972-1974)
  • Under Milk Wood (1973)
  • The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1973)
  • Sam (TV series, 1973-1975)
  • The Main Chance (1975)
  • Thriller (1975)
  • Crown Court (1975)
  • The Next Voice You See (TV movie, 1975)
  • Look Back in Darkness (TV movie, 1975)
  • Madame Bovary (TV serial, 1975)
  • The Hanged Man (TV series, 1975)
  • How Green Was My Valley (1975)
  • Hunter's Walk (TV series, 1973–1976)
  • Bill Brand (1976)
  • King Lear (1976)
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy (1976)
  • Rogue Male (TV movie, 1976)
  • 1990 (episode "Health Farm", 1977)
  • Play for Today (2 episodes 1977 and 1980)
  • The Sailor's Return (1978)
  • The Mill on the Floss (TV serial, 1978)
  • The Hills of Heaven (TV serial, 1978)
  • Enemy at the Door (1978)
  • Target (1 episode, 1978)
  • The Beast (TV special, 1979)
  • Juliet Bravo (1 Episode, 1980)
  • Masada (TV miniseries, 1981)
  • The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (1981)
  • Plays for Pleasure (episode "Like I've Never Been Gone", 1981)
  • Maybury (1983)
  • We'll Meet Again (TV series, 1982)
  • The Citadel (TV movie, 1983)
  • Struggle (TV series, 1983)
  • Shades of Darkness ("Bewitched" 1983)
  • Dempsey and Makepeace (30 episodes, 1985-1986)
  • King Lear (1987)
  • Three for the Road (1987)
  • The District Nurse (episode "Bedside Manners" 1987)
  • The Old Devils (TV serial, 1992)

References[edit]

  • Anthony and Deborah Hayward TV Unforgettables - Over 250 Legends of the Small Screen, Guinness, 1993

External links[edit]