George Raft

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George Raft

Born

9/26/1895, New York City, New York, USA

Died

11/24/1980

Birth Name

George Ranft

Gender

Male
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
3 votes

Biography

EDIT
New York born actor famous both for his tough guy roles in the 1930s and 1940s and for the roles he turned down which included The Maltese Falcon, Casblanca, and Double Indemnity. Raft's career declined considerably in the late 1940's and he was reduced to taking bit parts…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Raft has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Raft was buried in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetary in Los Angeles.

    • A recent critic called George Raft the "Bruce Willis of his day." That remark was not meant as a compliment.

    • In Some Like It Hot, Raft's character, Spats Columbo, was based on Al Capone.

    • In the 1982 remake of Scarface, Raft's character was played by Steven Bauer.

    • Raft once appeared as the Mystery Guest on an episode of What's My Line?

    • Raft was a close friend of Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher.

    • Raft's final appearance on-screen was a cameo in the 1980 film The Man With Bogart's Face.

    • Raft grew up in the tough Hell's Kitchen section of New York City.

    • Raft had serious difficulties with the IRS in the 1950's.

    • James Cagney claimed Raft used his underworld connections to get a mob contract on Cagney canceled. Cagney, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, had been fighting the mob's attempts to infiltrate and takeover his union.

    • Raft was declared personna non grata and denied entry into Great Britain in 1966 because of his alleged mob ties.

    • Raft was married to Grace Mulrooney from 1923 until her death in 1970 but they had separated years earlier. To his credit, Raft faithfully supported his estranged wife until her death.

    • Raft had a long and public affair with Betty Grable in the early 1940's but she ended up dumping him and marrying bandleader Harry James.

    • Raft stood 5 feet, 6 inches tall.

    • Raft was portrayed by Ray Danton in the 1961 biopic The George Raft Story.

    • Raft's last truly memorable screen appearance came in 1959 when he satirized his gangster image in Some Like It Hot in support of Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

    • Joe Mantegna portrayed Raft in the 1991 film Bugsy.

    • Raft has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Raft made two cameo appearances on episodes of Batman.

    • Raft is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetary in Los Angeles.

    • Raft refused the leading role in 1944's Double Indemnity because he didn't want to work with Edward G. Robinson. The role went to Fred McMurray instead.

    • Raft never watched any of his own movies. He even turned away when a clip of They Drive by Night was shown during a Today show appearance in 1974.

    • Raft appeared in two movies with Humphrey Bogart: Invisible Stripes and They Drive by Night. In both films, Bogart had the supporting role to Raft.

    • Raft and Edward G. Robinson, both known for their gangster roles, despised each other.

    • Raft turned down roles in High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. Both roles eventually went to Humphrey Bogart and helped make him a star.

    • Raft's 1932 film Night After Night marked the film debut of Mae West. He also appeared in her final film, the atrocious 1978 bomb Sextette.

    • Raft's trademark was flipping a coin in the air which is what his Scarface character did in that movie.

    • Raft claimed to have been friends with notorious mobster Al Capone but today most doubt that the two men ever met.

    • Raft's first big movie success was in the 1932 gangster film Scarface.

    • Raft reportedly slugged Peter Lorre on the set of Background to Danger because he thought Lorre was deliberately trying to steal a scene from him.

    • Raft was reportedly close friends with mobsters Owney Madden and Bugsy Siegal.

    • Raft's first entry into show biz was as a dancer.

    • Raft's father was German and his mother was Italian.

    • Raft sold the movie rights to his own life story in 1961 because he desperately needed money.

    • Raft reportedly turned down the lead role in Casablanca because he didn't want to work with "some unknown Swedish broad" named Ingrid Bergman. Humphrey Bogart got the role (and cinematic immortality) instead.

  • Quotes

    • George Raft: I must have gone through $10 million during my career. Part of the loot went for gambling, part for horses and part for women. The rest I spent foolishly.

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