Ray Walston, a talented actor, comedian, and theater performer, gained notoriety for his portrayal of the beloved Uncle Martin O’Hara in the popular CBS television series “My Favorite Martian” (1963-66). Additionally, he appeared in three “Star Trek” episodes as the character “Boothby.” The Sting (1973), Silver Streak (1976), Fast Time at Ridgemont High (1982), Of Mice and Men (1992), Swing Vote (1999), etc. are just a few of his other notable hits. Additionally, he had notable roles in television productions such as “Hart to Hart” (1982) as “Elliot Laurence,” “Amazing Stories” (1985), “Silver Spoons” (1988) as “Uncle Harry,” “Friday the 13th” (1988) as “Jay Star,” “Picket Fences” (1992-96) as “Judge Henry Bone,” “Adams Family Reunion” (1999) as “Walter Adams,” “T For the Broadway staging of “Damn Yankees,” he received a “Tony Award.” He also gave a performance that won a “Emmy Award” in the television show “Picket Fences” (1992-96). In Beverly Hills, California, Ray Walston passed away on January 1st, 2001, at the age of 86. He endured six long years of lupus pain.
Early Childhood & Life
In Laurel, Mississippi, on November 2, 1914, Herman Raymond Walston was given the name Ray Walston. Harry Norman and Mittie Walston were his parents.
His mother passed away on August 16, 1950, and his lumberjack father passed away in 1946. He had an older brother named Earl and an older sister named Carrie. He was the youngest of three children.
When Ray was quite young, he began performing in modest roles in his town’s community theaters. Additionally, he had minor involvement with stock businesses.
Sometime around 1925, his family relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana. Ray’s father wanted him to work in the oil industry, but he preferred to pursue acting, his lifelong love.
Ray’s father only made $10 a week, but because he loved movies so much, he frequently went to the neighborhood movie theater to see silent films.
He began appearing in traveling productions and going on television auditions in an effort to keep his acting dream alive. Ray didn’t really begin focusing on acting until his family relocated to Houston, Texas.
Earlier Years of Ray Walston
In 1938, Ray moved to Houston and began performing with the “Margo Jones’ Community Players.” He stayed with them for four years, performing in plays and theater. Ray traveled to Cleveland in 1943 with Margo Jones in order to make his stage debut in the play “You Touch Me.”
He spent two years in Cleveland working under contract, appearing in as many as 22 matches during that time. He has participated in a number of workshops to hone his production abilities.
Broadway of Ray Walston
Ray relocated to New York City in 1945 in an effort to succeed. In the same year, he made his Broadway debut in “Hamlet.” By this point, he was married, and his spouse had followed him to New York.
Ray performed in a different play in 1949 titled “Mrs. Gibbon’s Boys.” He played Luther Bills in the 1951 motion picture South Pacific.
He co-starred with Gwen Verdon in the musical “Damn Yankees” in 1955 and achieved great success. His other Broadway appearances include “There Shall be No Night,” “The Front Page,” “Summer & Smoke,” “King Richard III,” “Wish You Were Here,” “House of Flowers,” and “Hungarian Revolution of 1956.”
In “Me and Juliet,” where he acted as the stage manager of a musical within a musical, he had a significant part to perform.
Career in Television
Ray made his television debut in the CBS series “Suspense” in 1949. Between 1949 and 1954, he continued to make appearances in different episodes of the program.
He also made an appearance in the related series “Studio One.” His other appearances were on “Playhouse 90” and “Hallmark Hall of Fame.”
He also made appearances in the television shows Outlaws, Cain’s Hundred, Ben Casey, etc.
His performance as “Uncle Martin O’ Hara” in the CBS network’s premiere of “My Favorite Martian” in 1963 brought him much recognition. Because of his role in the series, he became well-known.
After three years, he made the decision to leave his persona behind, believing that his position prevented him from playing any other characters after his 1967 film “Wilder’s Kiss Me Stupid” had a poor box office performance.
His other television performances include those in the following programs: “Love, American Style” (1969), “The Rookies” (1972), “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1974), “Little House on the Prairie” (1974), “Picket Fences” (1992), “Addams Family Reunion” (1998), etc.
Additionally, he appeared in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1992) in the fifth episode, “The First Duty,” and “Star Trek: Voyager” (1998) in the episode “In the Flesh.” In the fifth season episode of “Star Trek: Voyager,” “The Fight,” he made his final appearance in the “Star Trek” series.
In 2001, he had his final TV appearance in the drama “7th Heaven.” “One Hundred” was the name of the episode.
Movie Career of Ray Walston
Ray debuted in a movie in 1957 with Cary Grant and Jayne Mansfield in “Kiss Them for Me.” Ray made his debut when he was 43 years old.
He played the same characters again in the 1958 motion pictures “South Pacific” and “Damn Yankees.” In 1960, he costarred with Shirley Maclaine and Jack Lemmon in the Oscar-winning film “The Apartment.”
His concentration on his popular sitcom “My Favorite Martian” at this time slightly hurt his movie career. With films like the Academy Award-winning crime comedy “The Sting” (1973), another smash success “Silver Streak,” the science fiction horror “Galaxy of Terror,” and the coming-of-age comedy “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” he made a return (1982).
He reprised his role from his successful TV series of the same name in notable 90s films like “Popcorn” (1991), “Of Mice and Men” (1992), and “My Favorite Martian” (1999).
His final film role was in the 2002 film “Early Bird Special” (2001).
Recognition & Achievements
He received a “Tony Award” in 1956 for the Broadway production of “Damn Yankees.” Additionally, he received three “Emmy Awards” nominations for “Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” for the movie “Picket Fences” (1992-96).
He received two “Emmy Awards” in 1995 and 1996 for “Picket Fences.”
Personal Legacy & Life
Ruth Calvert was married to Ray. Ruth was the great-granddaughter of former Texas Governor Oran Roberts. Their wedding took place on November 3, 1943. Katherine Ann, their daughter, was born.
Ray passed away on January 1st, 2001, following a protracted six-year battle with lupus. He was cremated, and his daughter picked up his remains.
Ray Walston’s Net Worth
Ray is one of the wealthiest and most well-known TV actors. Our research of Ray Walston’s net worth from sources like Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider indicates that it is roughly $1.5 million.