Andrew Ray

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Ray as Geoff and Joan Plowright as Jo from the 1960 Broadway presentation of A Taste of Honey

Andrew Ray (31 May 1939 – 20 August 2003) was an English actor, who was best known as a child star.[1][2]

He was born Andrew Olden (Ray was his father's stage name) in Southgate, Middlesex, now known as North London, the son of the famous radio comic Ted Ray and his wife, showgirl Dorothy Sibil. Ray's life was transformed at the age of 10 when he was cast in the title part of The Mudlark, a 20th Century Fox film starring Alec Guinness and Irene Dunne. He played a street urchin who ends up meeting Queen Victoria. The film was chosen as the Royal Command Performance in 1950 and catapulted Ray to child stardom.[3]

He featured in numerous films during the next few years, including The Yellow Balloon (1953), Escapade (1955), Woman in a Dressing Gown (1957), The Young and the Guilty (1958), Serious Charge (1959) with Cliff Richard, Twice Round the Daffodils (1962), and The System (1964). He also portrayed Herbert Pocket in the ITC remake of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations (1974) opposite Michael York. His later films included Rough Cut (1980), The Bunker (1981), Pope John Paul II (1984) and Paris by Night (1988).[4]

Noteworthy theatre roles included Flowering Cherry (with Sir Ralph Richardson and Celia Johnson), and A Taste of Honey on Broadway (with Angela Lansbury and Joan Plowright).[5][6]

At the age of 19, he married the Rhodesian actress Susan Burnet and they later had two children.[7]

Despite a rocky period in his twenties, Ray subsequently appeared in numerous film, theatre and television roles over the years, including as nuclear scientist Klaus Fuchs for Anglia Television and as King George VI in Crown Matrimonial on stage and television. So successful was his depiction on stage of the stammering George VI that he was cast in the same role (though then Prince Albert, Duke of York) in the television series Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978).[8]

He starred in episodes of the television series Tales of the Unexpected titled 'The Wrong 'Un', and ′Royal Jelly' plus Upstairs, Downstairs, Inspector Morse, and Peak Practice.[1][3]

In later years, Ray was a committed member of Equity and served as a Councillor of the actors' union.[9]

Andrew Ray died, at the age of 64, in 2003 from a heart attack.[3] His brother, Robin Ray, was a well-known television and radio personality, who died in 1998, also at the age of 64.[10]



  1. ^ a b "Andrew Ray". BFI. 
  2. ^ "Daily Express". 
  3. ^ a b c Dennis Barker. "Obituary: Andrew Ray". the Guardian. 
  4. ^ "Andrew Ray - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie. 
  5. ^ "Susan Olden". the Guardian. 
  6. ^ The Broadway League. "Andrew Ray - IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". 
  7. ^ "Andrew Ray". 23 August 2003. 
  8. ^ Tom Vallance Obituary: Andrew Ray, The Independent, 26 August 2003
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-24.  Andrew Ray's obituary on the British Equity website. Accessed 1 January 2008.
  10. ^ "Obituary: Robin Ray". The Independent. 

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