Ray (birth name-Herman) Walston was born in New Orleans, Louisiana (some sources say Laurel, Mississippi), on December 2, 1914. The son of Harrie and Mattie Walston, Ray was interested in the theater from an early age. He began playing small roles with New Orleans stock companies while still…more
Ray Walston also worked as a reporter and a printer before he became an actor.
Ray Walston got out of bed every morning of his life as an adult at six o'clock and punched a punching bag that was located hanging in the door frame of his bedroom.
Ray Walston's only starring role in a film came in the 1964 comedy, Kiss Me, Stupid. Walston got the role when the original star, Peter Sellers, dropped out at the last minute.
Ray Walston won Theater World's Most Promising Newcomer Award for the role of Mr. Kramer, in the original production of Summer and Smoke, in 1948.
After his death from Lupus on New Year's Day, 2001, Ray Walston was cremated and his ashes given to his daughter, Katherine Ann (Kate) Walston.
Ray Walston made his Broadway debut in a 1945 production of Hamlet.
Ray Walston spent a large part of his career on stage and in association with producer George Abbott. Walston appeared in five Abbott productions over a twenty year period (1949-1969). Among the Walston-Abbott collaborations were the award winning stage productions of South Pacific and Damn Yankees.
Ray Walston received the Clarence Derwent Award.
Ray Walston was 5'8".
Ray Walston was married to Ruth Calvert from 1943 until his death in 2001. They were the parents of one daughter, Katherine Ann.
Ray Walston won a Tony Award in 1956 as Best Actor In A Musical for his role in Damn Yankees. He recreated the role for the 1958 film version of the musical.
Ray Walston was nominated for an Emmy Award three times as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, for his role in the show, Picket Fences. Mr. Walston took the Emmy home twice from the three nominations. He commented on his first win that he had thirty seconds to tell the audience that he had been waiting sixty years to finally make it to the winning podium.
In 1993 he appeared in an AT&T commercial as a customer inquiring about long distance rates to Mars, an indirect reference to his famous role in "My Favorite Martian".
Ray Walston: I suppose that when I was a kid, and I went to the movies, and later went to some plays on my own when I got a little older, in New Orleans, where I was living then, I zeroed in on the actor. I was very conscious of the actor, watched what he did.
Ray Walston: Some things have got to be learned, but when you are out on that stage in front of people and start talking and trying to be a character, talent will come out.
Ray Walston: But I would like to think that it is the actor that makes the difference in these cases. Not the director, not the guy that wrote the book, not the guy that adapted it for the screen, but the actor.
(Ray Walston's thoughts of his role as Uncle Martin on My Favorite Martian, after several episodes had aired.)
Ray Walston: I thought, What am I doing here? I'm running around with two pieces of wire coming out of my head. I must be crazy.
Ray Walston: I never should have done My Favorite Martian. I didn't work in TV or film for three years after. Everyone thought of me as a Martian.