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Ray Milland was born Reginald Alfred John Truscott-Jones in Wales in 1905. He spent 3 years as a guardsman with the Royal Household Cavalry in London, and then started appearing in English movies in 1928. He moved to Hollywood the following year and he had little success for several years, but after around five years, he found his niche playing the younger brother or the rival to the male lead. In the middle 1930s he started getting leads in romantic comedies or dramas to the type of leading ladies who did not want too strong of a male co-star! It seemed like his career would never get better than this, but in 1944 he surprised everyone with his very strong performance in Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear, and the following year he got even more positive reviews for his role as the alcoholic writer in Billy Wilder's The Lost Weekend, for which he won the Best Actor Oscar. In 1954, when Milland was pushing 50, he was offered the role of the duplicitous husband in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, and he gave one of the best performances of his career. But roles started drying up for the aging balding leading man, and he started taking many TV roles. He also took the lead roles in some truly dreadful low budget horror movies (including The Thing with Two Heads, where he played a rich white racist who had to spend the entire movie tied into a ridiculous body suit with giant black pro football player Rosey Grier!), although he did make a strong appearance as the father in Love Story, and he guest starred in two memorable Columbo episodes. Milland was a really first-rate actor, and when he had an important role for a top level director he proved he was as good as anyone, but sadly much of his career was spent on minor roles or in very minor movies. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 79.
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