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Walston as Boothby on
Star Trek: The Next Generation
|Born||Herman Raymond Walston
November 2, 1914
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
|Died||January 1, 2001
Beverly Hills, California
|Cause of death||Lupus|
|Spouse(s)||Ruth Calvert (March 15, 1916–January 26, 2004)(m. November 3, 1943–his death)|
|Children||Katharine Ann Walston|
Ray Walston (born Herman Raymond Walston; November 2, 1914 – January 1, 2001) was an American stage, television and film actor best known as the title character on the 1960s CBS situation comedy My Favorite Martian. In addition, he is also remembered for his roles as Luther Billis in South Pacific (1949/1958), Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees (1955/1958), J.J. Singleton in The Sting (1973), high school teacher Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and Judge Henry Bone on the CBS drama series Picket Fences from 1992–96.
Early life 
Herman Raymond Walston was born on November 2, 1914 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the second son and youngest child of Harry Norman (1881–?)–a lumber man–and Mittie (née Kimball) Walston (December 25, 1883–August 16, 1950). He started acting at an early age, beginning his tenure as a "spear carrier" rounding out productions at many New Orleans theaters. He mostly played small roles with stock companies, where he not only starred in traveling shows but also worked at a movie theater, selling tickets and cleaning the stage floors. His family moved to Dallas, Texas, where he joined a repertory theater company under Margo Jones, debuting in 1938.
Stage work 
Walston was popular with Margo Jones's team of actors before he traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent three years with the Cleveland Play House. He then traveled to New York City, where he made his Broadway debut in a 1945 production of Hamlet. Just three years later, Walston would become one of the first members admitted to the newly formed Actors Studio.
In 1949, he appeared in the short-lived play Mrs. Gibbons' Boys directed by George Abbott, who later cast him as Satan in the 1955 musical Damn Yankees opposite Gwen Verdon as his sexy aide Lola. The chemistry between the two was such that they both garnered critical success and won awards for their roles. After a decade in New York theater, he won a Tony Award, and he and Verdon were invited to reprise their roles in the 1958 film version. He starred as Luther Billis in the 1949 London production of South Pacific. He reprised that role in the 1958 film adaptation. He and Juanita Hall (as Bloody Mary) were the only cast members to appear in both the stage and movie versions.
Additional Broadway credits included The Front Page, Summer and Smoke, King Richard III, Wish You Were Here, and House of Flowers. Walston had a prominent role in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Me and Juliet, portraying the stage manager of the musical-within-the-musical, but his character did not participate in any of the musical numbers.
Film and television work 
Walston had a successful movie career in addition to Damn Yankees!, beginning with Kiss Them for Me (1957), and then South Pacific (1958), where he played Luther Billis; Say One for Me (1959); Tall Story, featuring Psycho star Anthony Perkins and future Oscar winner Jane Fonda, Portrait in Black, and The Apartment (all in 1960); Convicts 4 (1962); Wives and Lovers, and Who's Minding the Store? (both in 1963); Kiss Me, Stupid (1964); Caprice (1967); and Paint Your Wagon (1969). Walston is also featured in the 1973 Best-Picture-Winner The Sting, in which he is crucial to the successful swindling of an unsuspecting griftee (played by Robert Shaw) and in Silver Streak. He also played Mr. Timmer, a prominent character in the 1986 BMX movie "Rad". He was also among many of the actors who played themselves in cameos for Robert Altman's The Player (1992), although Walston along with several other stars, are actually in character for a movie within a movie sequence.
Walston narrated many United States Department of Defense and Atomic Energy Commission (now United States Department of Energy) films about nuclear experiment; amongst them there were the Operation Hardtack I nuclear test film series of 1958.
He guest starred on numerous television programs, including a role in 1960-1961 as a judge on NBC's The Outlaws with Barton MacLane and in another NBC series, The Americans, based on family conflicts during the American Civil War. He appeared on the television version of Going My Way, with Gene Kelly as a Roman Catholic priest in New York City. Walston had some of his greatest success on the small screen.
My Favorite Martian 
Walston achieved his greatest success as the title character (Uncle Martin) on My Favorite Martian from 1963–66, alongside co-star Bill Bixby. Although the show gained a large audience in syndication, My Favorite Martian typecast Walston and he had difficulty finding serious roles after the show's cancellation.
He returned to character actor status in the 1970s and 1980s and guest starred in such series as Custer, The Wild Wild West, Love, American Style, The Rookies, Mission: Impossible, Ellery Queen, The Six Million Dollar Man, Little House on the Prairie, and The Incredible Hulk, again with Bill Bixby, in which Walston played Jasper the Magician in an episode called "My Favorite Magician". In 1976, he played the part of sleazy Edgar Whiney in the film Silver Streak.
Walston was also known for playing Starfleet Academy groundskeeper "Boothby" in Star Trek: The Next Generation and later on Star Trek: Voyager. Some non-canon Trek material pays tribute to Walston's most famous role by suggesting that Boothby was Martian, a native of the human settlements on Mars.
Television comeback 
From 1980–92, Walston starred in fourteen movies, including 1981's Galaxy of Terror, and 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High (as well as the 1986 television adaptation) as Mr. Hand. In a 1999 interview, Walston said that he was happy and relieved that when he walked down the street, young fans shouted at him "Mr. Hand" because he had finally torn away from his Martian role.
In 1984, Walston played a judge on an episode of Night Court. Six years later, he worked with David E. Kelley guest-starring on L.A. Law as a suffering father. These roles led to his work as Judge Henry Bone on Picket Fences, which began production in 1992 for CBS. Judge Bone was originally a recurring role on the show, but Walston proved to be so popular that he was given a starring role the following year. In his late 70s, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for the first time. Walston made an appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Boothby, head groundskeeper at Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, and he reprised the character twice on Star Trek: Voyager, despite the series being set in a distant part of the galaxy. (The first time, he actually played an alien participating in a simulation of the Academy; the second appearance was in a dream sequence.) During his appearance on Star Trek: Voyager in "In the Flesh", he often had trouble with remembering his lines during long one-shot dialogue scenes, but while the cameraman was changing the film for the scene in the briefing room, he quoted a line from Hamlet. Robert Beltran then quoted the next line, and Walston the next. The two went on for several minutes, amazing the entire cast and crew. Tim Russ remembered in an interview for the special features of the Voyager Season 5 DVD that it was so quiet beside them, you could hear a pin drop, and that when they were done, everyone broke out in applause.
In 1985, Walston made a brief appearance in the opening credits of Steven Spielberg's series Amazing Stories, as a caveman acting out a story for his tribe. Only a few seconds long, this performance began every episode of the subsequent series.
In 1992, Walston played the role of Candy in the big-screen remake of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. He would work alongside Sinise again two years later in the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand.
Walston was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Picket Fences, winning twice, in 1995 and 1996. Though Walston enjoyed his work in the series, its ratings were beginning to slip, and CBS cancelled the show after four seasons in 1996. However, Walston made a memorable guest appearance in an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman entitled "Remember Me", in which he portrayed the father of Jake Slicker, who was stricken with Alzheimer's disease.
Walston married Ruth Calvert (March 15, 1916–January 26, 2004)–a great-granddaughter of former Governor Oran Roberts of Texas –on November 3, 1943. The couple had one daughter, Katharine Ann.
Walston was the youngest of three children. He had a sister, Carrie (1907–?), and a brother, Earl (February 4, 1908–December 4, 1998).
Later years 
After gaining popularity both as the Martian and as the judge on the small screen, his career was coming to an end when he played Grandfather Walter Adams in Addams Family Reunion (1998), a Reboot to the blockbuster 1991 film The Addams Family, this time starring Tim Curry as Gomez Addams and Daryl Hannah as Morticia Addams. One year later, he appeared in the movie remake of his hit series, My Favorite Martian (1999). His final movie role was in the independent film Early Bird Special, which wasn't released until after his death. He also appeared in an AT&T long distance TV commercial in which his dialogue implied he was Uncle Martin from Mars, looking for good rates to talk to fellow Martians living in the United States.
Walston died at the age of eighty-six on January 1, 2001 in Beverly Hills, California, six years after being diagnosed with lupus. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two grandchildren. He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his daughter.
- Kiss Them for Me (1957)
- South Pacific (1958)
- Damn Yankees! (1958)
- Say One for Me (1959)
- Tall Story (1960)
- The Apartment (1960)
- Portrait in Black (1960)
- The Americans (1961)
- Convicts 4 (1962)
- Wives and Lovers (1963)
- My Favorite Martian (1963–1966)
- Who's Minding the Store? (1963)
- Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)
- Caprice (1967)
- Paint Your Wagon (1969)
- The Sting (1973)
- Silver Streak (1976)
- The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (1977)
- Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979)
- Stop Susan Williams (1979)
- Math Country (late 1970s)
- Popeye (1980)
- Galaxy of Terror (1981)
- O'Hara's Wife (1982)
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
- Private School (1983)
- Johnny Dangerously (1984)
- Santa Barbara (1984)
- Amazing Stories (1985)
- Silver Spoons (1982)
- The Mouse and the Motorcycle (1986)
- Rad (1986)
- Paramedics (1987)
- From the Hip (1987)
- O.C. and Stiggs (1987)
- Blood Relations (1988)
- Runaway Ralph (1988)
- Saturday the 14th Strikes Back (1988)
- I Know My First Name Is Steven (1989) (TV movie)
- A Man of Passion (1989)
- Fine Gold (1989)
- Blood Salvage (1990)
- Ski Patrol (1990)
- Popcorn (1991)
- Ralph S. Mouse (1991)
- Star Trek: The Next Generation (1992)
- Space Case (1992)
- Of Mice and Men (1992)
- Picket Fences (1992–1996)
- The Stand (1994)
- House Arrest (1996)
- Project ALF (1996)
- Star Trek: Voyager (1998–1999)
- Addams Family Reunion (1998)
- My Favorite Martian (1999)
- 7th Heaven (2000)
- Touched By An Angel (2000)
- Early Bird Special (2001)
- "Herman Walston, 1 January 2001". "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Texas, Deaths (New Index, New Images), 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K3C6-W8R : accessed 10 Mar 2013), Mittie K Walston, 1950.
- Dick Kleiner: "The Actors Studio: Making Stars Out of the Unknown," The Sarasota Journal (Friday, December 21, 1956), p. 26. "That first year, they interviewed about seven hundred actors and picked fifty. In that first group were people like Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Julie Harris, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Margaret Phillips, Maureen Stapleton, Kim Stanley, Jo Van Fleet, Eli Wallach, Ray Walston and David Wayne."
- Gussow, Mel (January 3, 2001). "Ray Walston, Broadway Star And TV Martian, Dies at 86". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-03-20. "Ray Walston, who won a Tony Award for playing the Devil opposite Gwen Verdon in the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees," repeated his role in the film version and went on to a long career playing eccentric, oddly endearing characters in movies and on television, died on Monday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 86."
- "Operation HARDTACK Military Effects Studies: Underwater Tests : United States Department of Defense : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Archive.org. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High DVD documentary
- "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JLV8-J2R : accessed 10 Mar 2013), Ruth Walston, 26 January 2004.
- "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JBHQ-7ZF : accessed 20 Mar 2013), Earl L Walston, 4 December 1998.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ray Walston|
- Ray Walston at the Internet Movie Database
- Ray Walston at the Internet Broadway Database
- Ray Walston at AllRovi
- Ray Walston at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)