New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Place of Death
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
My Favorite Martian
Profile Bio Text
Ray Walston (November 2, 1914 – January 1, 2001) was an American stage, television and film actor best known as the title character on the 1960s situation comedy My Favorite Martian. In addition, he was also known for his role as high school teacher Mr. Hand in the 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Judge Henry Bone on the drama series Picket Fences. Walston was born Herman Walston in New Orleans, Louisiana (some sources indicate Laurel, Mississippi) He started acting at an early age, beginning his tenure as a "spear carrier" rounding out productions at many New Orleans theaters. He mostly played small roles with stock companies, where he not only starred in travelling shows but also worked at a movie theater, selling tickets and cleaning the stage floors. His family moved to Houston, Texas, where he joined the Houston Civic Theater`s repertory company under Margo Jones, debuting in 1938.
Walston had a successful movie career in addition to Damn Yankees!, beginning with Kiss Them for Me in 1957, and then South Pacific (1958), where he played Luther Billis; Say One for Me (1959); Tall Story, Portrait in Black, and The Apartment (all in 1960); Convicts 4 (1962); Wives and Lovers, and Who`s Minding the Store? (both in 1963); Kiss Me, Stupid (1964); Caprice (1967); and Paint Your Wagon (1969). Walston is also featured in the 1973 Best-Picture-Winner The Sting, in which he is crucial to the successful swindling of an unsuspecting griftee (played by Robert Shaw). He was also among many of the actors who played themselves in cameos for Robert Altman`s The Player, although Walston along with several other stars, are actually in character for a movie within a movie sequence.
Walston narrated a U.S. Department of Defense film about the Operation Hardtack nuclear test series conducted in the Pacific in 1958. He guest starred on numerous television program, including a role in 1960-1961 as a judge on NBC`s The Outlaws with Barton MacLane. Walston went on to some of his greatest success on the small screen. Walston would achieve his greatest success as the title character (alias "Uncle Martin") on My Favorite Martian from 1963 to 1966, alongside co-star Bill Bixby.
Walston died at the age of 86 on 1 January, 2001 in Beverly Hills, California, after a 6-year battle with lupus. He was survived by his widow, Ruth, his daughter, Katherine Ann, and two grandchildren. Walston was cremated, and his ashes were given to his daughter, Kate.
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Ray Walston (born Herman Raymond Walston; November 2, 1914 – January 1, 2001) was an American stage, television and film actor best known as the title character on the 1960s CBS situation comedy My Favorite Martian. He is also remembered for such iconic stage, film and television roles as Luther Billis (South Pacific); Mr. Applegate (Damn Yankees); J.J. Singleton (The Sting), Mr. Hand (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Candy (Of Mice and Men), and Judge Henry Bone (Picket Fences).
American Stage / Television / Film Actor
Harry Norman Walston (A Lumber Man)
Ruth Walston (Wife), Katherine Ann (Daughter), Two Grandchildren
Margo Jones (Theater Company Owner), George Abbott (Director)
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