Paula Raymond

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Paula Raymond
Raymond in 1950
Paula Ramona Wright

(1924-11-23)November 23, 1924
DiedDecember 31, 2003(2003-12-31) (aged 79)
Other namesPaula Rae Wright
Rae Patterson
Years active1938–1994
Spouse(s)Floyd Patterson (1944–1946)(divorced) 1 child
H. Leslie Williams (1965-1966)[1]
ChildrenRaeme Dorene Patterson (1946-1993)
Jack Kelly and Paula Raymond in Maverick (1961)

Paula Raymond (born Paula Ramona Wright, November 23, 1924 – December 31, 2003) was an American model and actress who played the leading lady in numerous movies and television series. She was the niece of American pulp-magazine editor Farnsworth Wright.[2]

Early years[edit]

Raymond was born on November 23, 1924 as Paula Ramona Wright in San Francisco, California.[3] Her father was a corporate lawyer. Following her parents' divorce, Raymond and her mother moved to Los Angeles.[4]

As a child, Raymond studied ballet, piano, and singing. She was a member of both the San Francisco Opera Company and the San Francisco Children's Opera Company. She graduated from Hollywood High School in 1942.[2] Following graduation, she returned to San Francisco to attend college. She also worked with two theater groups there.[5]


Before she became an actress, Raymond was a photographers' model. She told author Leo Verswijver "I got started modeling at $25 an hour and [I] forgot all about acting, because I was earning a living."[4] Her work included posing for the cover of True Confessions magazine.[5]


Raymond's first acting role was playing Bettina Bowman in Keep Smiling (1938),[5] credited as Paula Rae Wright. In 1950, she was put under contract by MGM, where she played opposite leading men such as Cary Grant and Dick Powell. Earlier in her career, Raymond acted in film noir thrillers such as City That Never Sleeps (with Gig Young, Mala Powers and Marie Windsor), and later in her career, she acted in horror films.

In 1952, she played the heroine in The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Her low-budget horror movies included Blood of Dracula's Castle. In 1954, she starred as Queen Berengaria in the film King Richard and the Crusaders. She also starred in a 1955 western The Gun That Won the West.

Raymond did some work for Paramount Pictures using the screen name Rae Patterson.[5]


In the late 1950s and 1960s, Raymond appeared in many television shows including Perry Mason (five episodes), Maverick, Hawaiian Eye (five episodes), M Squad (three episodes) with Lee Marvin, 77 Sunset Strip (four episodes), as Martha Harrington in Peter Gunn season 1, episode 11, in 1958. She turned down the role of saloon keeper Kitty Russell in the long-running western classic series Gunsmoke[6] and the role went instead to Amanda Blake. She was noted as saying of this: "I didn't want to play a woman who worked in a saloon, week after week. I have a freckle on my face, and I sometimes put a beauty mark over it. They even put it on Amanda Blake, who finally got the part—although it was put on the opposite side from mine. I wanted them to soften the character but didn't think they’d do it. As it turned out, the character wasn't a trashy woman at all. She was just the type I would have liked to have played".[6]

Raymond appeared in a 1959 episode "The Paymaster" of the ABC/Desilu western series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.[7] In Have Gun - Will Travel, "Lady with a Gun", season 3, episode 30, she played Eve McIntosh, a woman seeking revenge for her brother's killing. In 1960, she appeared in a “Bat Masterson episode as Angie, “Last of the Night Raiders.” In 1961, she also played opposite Jack Kelly in an episode from the final season of the Western comedy television series Maverick, titled "The Golden Fleecing."

She also appeared in the third episode of the first season, initially broadcast on February 3, 1959, in the science fiction series Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond titled "Emergency Only," which also memorably featured Jocelyn Brando as a screaming fortune teller at a party.

In 1962, she portrayed the role of Franny Wells in the episode "House of the Hunter" on Rawhide.

Raymond was cast as former Union Army spy Pauline Cushman in the 1964 episode "The Wooing of Perilous Pauline" of the syndicated series Death Valley Days.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1962, Raymond was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree on Sunset Boulevard. Her nose was severed by the rear view mirror. After a little more than a year of extensive plastic surgery and recovery she returned to acting. In 1977, while working on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, after only three appearances, she accidentally tripped on a telephone cord and broke her ankle. She was written out of the show.[9] In 1984, she broke both hips, and in 1994, she broke her shoulder.

In 1944, Raymond married Floyd Leroy Patterson. In 1946, they divorced shortly after the birth of their daughter, Raeme Dorene Patterson. In 1993, Raymond's daughter died.

Raymond was Catholic[10].


On December 31, 2003, Raymond died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles[5] from a series of respiratory ailments. She was 79.[11] She is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

References in literature[edit]

Paula Raymond is referenced in Joan Didion's Play It as It Lays with an unnamed character remarking "'Gee, Paula Raymond was a pretty girl... Funny she never became a star.'" This quote comes after the protagonist, an actress named Maria, has a traumatic abortion, and seems to be drawing a parallel between Maria and Raymond.[12]

Partial filmography[edit]


  • Parla, Paul; Charles P. Mitchell (2000). "Paula Raymond: Pursuing the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". Screen Sirens Scream! Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s. Jefferson, N.C. and London: McFarland. pp. 197–121. ISBN 0-7864-0701-8.


  1. ^ "Paula Raymond - The Private Life and Times of Paula Raymond. Paula Raymond Pictures".
  2. ^ a b Parla, Paul; Mitchell, Charles P. (2000). Screen Sirens Scream!: Interviews with 20 Actresses from Science Fiction, Horror, Film Noir and Mystery Movies, 1930s to 1960s. McFarland. pp. 197–199. ISBN 9780786445875. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Paula R Wright, Born 11/23/1924 in California |".
  4. ^ a b Verswijver, Leo (2003). "Movies Were Always Magical": Interviews with 19 Actors, Directors, and Producers from the Hollywood of the 1930s through the 1950s. McFarland. pp. 148–149. ISBN 9780786411290. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e McLellan, Dennis (January 10, 2004). "Paula Raymond, 79; MGM Leading Lady in '50s, Prolific TV Actress". Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Paula Raymond Interview".
  7. ^ ""The Paymaster" on the Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, December 1, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  8. ^ "The Wooing of Perilous Pauline". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
  9. ^ Bergan, Ronald (January 14, 2004). "Paula Raymond". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  10. ^ Morning News, January 10, 1948, Who Was Who in America (Vol. 2)
  11. ^ Independent News and Media Limited (2009). Paula Raymond Leading actress in the 1950s. Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  12. ^ Play it as it lays: a novel (3. print. ed.). New York, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 1970-01-01. OL 24927567M.

External links[edit]