Leah Ray

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Leah Ray Hubbard Werblin (February 16, 1915 – May 27, 1999) was an American singer born in Norfolk, Virginia who performed in the Big Band era and who sang and acted in more than a dozen motion pictures.

Singing[edit]

Soon after Ray moved to California, her uncle introduced her to Phil Harris and arranged for a tryout. As a result, she was singing for the Harris orchestra at age 16.[1] She also sang with Tommy Dorsey's orchestra.[2]

Film[edit]

Ray's screen debut came in One in a Million (1936).[3] Her other work on screen included the short film which was Bob Hope's movie debut, Going Spanish (1934), and The Holy Terror (1937).

Ray had a co-starring role in 1937's 20th Century Fox musical comedy Sing and Be Happy, opposite singer Tony Martin.

In a situation described in a newspaper article as "extraordinary," Ray's mother (also named Leah Ray Hubbard) was her daughter's stand-in, "working with her in all her pictures."[1]

Personal life[edit]

While performing with the Phil Harris orchestra, she met Music Corporation of America executive Sonny Werblin. They married on March 27, 1938,[4] and had three sons: Robert, Thomas, and Hubbard. The Werblin's were married for more than 50 years until his death in 1991. She and her husband established the David and Leah Ray Werblin Foundation that provided financial support for Rutgers University, charitable causes, and cultural activities. [1]

Thoroughbred racing[edit]

Sonny Werblin was a shareholder and director of Monmouth Park Racetrack and builder of the Meadowlands Sports Complex which included a horse racing venue. Leah Ray Werblin and her husband raced Thoroughbred horses under the nom de course, Elberon Farm. Among their racing successes, their colt, Silent Screen, was voted the 1969 American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.

Leah Ray Werblin died on May 27, 1999, at her home in Rumson, New Jersey at the age of 82.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Packer, Eleanor (March 28, 1937). "Mother Did Know Best!". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah, Salt Lake City. p. 30. Retrieved August 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ Anda, Roberta H. Van (2015). Legendary Locals of Rumson. Arcadia Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 9781439651216. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "High Cost of Marriage License Sent Leah Ray to Radio". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. June 27, 1937. p. 60. Retrieved August 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "Leah Ray Weds". The Times. California, San Mateo. International News Service. March 28, 1938. p. 43. Retrieved August 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ Staff. "Leah Ray Werblin, Singer, 82", The New York Times, June 4, 1999. Accessed February 14, 2011. "Leah Ray Werblin, a vocalist in the Big Band era and later, with her husband, the owner of the Elberon Farm in thoroughbred racing, died in her sleep May 27 at her home in

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