Ray Middleton (actor)

Raymond Earl Middleton (February 8, 1907 – April 10, 1984), known and billed as Ray Middleton, was an American singer and stage, TV and movie actor.

Ray Middleton
Born(1907-02-08)February 8, 1907
DiedApril 10, 1984(1984-04-10) (aged 77)
Years active1933–1984
Spouse(s)Caroline Maye
Ray Middleton and Mary Martin in South Pacific (1950)

Early yearsEdit

Middleton was born in Chicago, Illinois,[1] and attended the University of Illinois.[2]


Soon after he graduated from college, Middleton sang with the Detroit Civic Opera Company, after which he sang with the St. Louis Opera Company and the Chicago Civic Opera. He declined to join the Metropolitan Opera Company, preferring a career in film.[3]

In 1933, Middleton appeared in the Broadway play Roberta. Later in 1938, he appeared in the musical Knickerbocker Holiday.[1] During the early 1940s, he appeared in the movies Gangs of Chicago, the original Hurricane Smith (playing the title role), and Lady for a Night, which starred Joan Blondell and John Wayne.[4] He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, appearing in the Air Forces show Winged Victory. In 1946, he co-starred with Ethel Merman in the Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun. In 1948, he starred in Love Life with Nanette Fabray.[1]

In 1950, he co-starred with Mary Martin in South Pacific, succeeding Ezio Pinza.[2] In 1965, he played the innkeeper in Man of La Mancha.[1]

In television, Middleton's appearances included The Ed Sullivan Show (once as a guest host), the Colgate Comedy Hour, and Chrysler's Shower of Stars in the 1950s. He co-starred with Phil Silvers and Lee Remick in a 1967 TV adaptation of Damn Yankees!.

During the 1970s, Middleton appeared in the TV movie Hec Ramsey as a judge, in the musical movie 1776,[4] as Colonel Thomas McKean, and in the first TV adaptation of Helter Skelter as ranch-owner George Spahn.[4] He also voiced the character Pepperino in the cartoon Tubby the Tuba.

Middleton's last appearances were as Cardinal Reardon in an episode of M*A*S*H[4] ("Blood Brothers", featuring Patrick Swayze), and as grandfather Huey Rush in the comedy Too Close for Comfort.[4]

Middleton died in Panorama City, California at the age of 77.



Year Title Role Notes
1938 You and Me Salesman Uncredited
1940 Gangs of Chicago Bill Whitaker
1941 Lady from Louisiana Blackburn 'Blackie' Williams
1941 Hurricane Smith 'Hurricane' Smith
1941 Mercy Island Warren Ramsey
1942 Lady for a Night Alan Alderson
1942 The Girl from Alaska Steve Bently
1952 I Dream of Jeanie Edwin P. Christy
1953 Sweethearts On Parade Cameron "Cam" Ellerby
1954 Jubilee Trail Charles Hale
1955 I Cover the Underworld Police Chief Corbett
1955 The Road to Denver John Sutton
1972 1776 Col. Thomas McKean
1975 Tubby the Tuba The Great Pepperino Voice


Year Title Role Notes
1954 The Jackie Gleason Show J.J. Marshall 2 episodes, uncredited
1954 The Colgate Comedy Hour Carlos, the Miller adaptation of Revenge with Music
1954 The Best of Broadway Nick Bullett adaptation of Cole Porter's Panama Hattie
1955 Shower of Stars Fred/Ghost of Christmas Present 2 adaptations of A Christmas Carol
1967 Damn Yankees! Joe Boyd TV movie
1967 Coronet Blue Chief Loomis episode "The Rebels"
1972 Hec Ramsey Judge Leroy Tate pilot episode
1972 Ironside Judge 1 episode
1975 S.W.A.T. Gregory Kenyon episode "Strike Force"
1976 Helter Skelter George Spahn TV movie
1977 Charlie's Angels Hal Jardine 1 episode
1981 M*A*S*H Cardinal Reardon episode "Blood Brothers"
1981 Border Pals Old John TV movie
1984 Too Close for Comfort Huey Rush 4 episodes


  1. ^ a b c d "Ray Middleton". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on January 5, 2020. Retrieved January 5, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Perry, Lawrence (November 19, 1950). "New York Skylines". The Pittsburgh Press. Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. p. Section 4-1. Retrieved January 4, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Majestic". Shamokin News-Dispatch. Pennsylvania, Shamokin. June 27, 1940. p. 8. Retrieved January 5, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ray Middleton". TVGuide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved 16 December 2020.

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