Alfred Reginald Jones (1907 - 1986) MP

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Nicknames: "Raymond Alton Milland"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Glamorgan, Neath, Wales
Death: Died in Torrance, Los Angeles, California, United States
Cause of death: Lung cancer
Occupation: Actor, Director, Producer
Managed by: Erica Howton, (c)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Alfred Reginald Jones

Ray Milland (3 January 1907 – 10 March 1986) was a Welsh actor and director. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985, and he is best remembered for his Academy Award–winning portrayal of an alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend (1945), a sophisticated leading man opposite a corrupt John Wayne in Reap the Wild Wind (1942), the murder-plotting husband in Dial M for Murder (1954), and as Oliver Barrett III in Love Story (1970).

Personal quotes:

  • The Celtic mind in its lonely moments is a tumbling sea of love and compassion and romanticism and neurotic hates.

Brief Biography

The pinnacle of Milland's career and acknowledgment of his serious dramatic abilities came in 1946 when he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of an alcoholic in Billy Wilder's film The Lost Weekend (1945). He was the first Welsh actor to ever win an Oscar. He was also the first actor not to have spoken a single word during his acceptance speech, preferring to simply bow his appreciation before casually walking to the stage exit.  His performance had been so convincing that Milland was beleaguered for years by rumors that he actually was an alcoholic despite the fact that he wasn't.

In the 1960s, he is remembered for such horror films as ""The Premature Burial" (1962), "Panic in the Year Zero" (1962), "The Man with the X-ray Eyes" (1963), "The Thing with Two Heads" (1972), "The House in Nightmare Park" (1973), and "Terror in the Wax Museum" (1973). Starting in 1955, he directed himself in several films, with surprising proficiency, but the films failed to make him successful. He also directed and produced several television shows, and was considered a solid and capable director and producer. His last film was "The Sea Serpent" (1986), after which his declining health forced him to retire.

Family life

Milland was born Alfred Reginald Jones (not Reginald Alfred John Truscott-Jones as has often been stated). His birth was registered in the March Quarter of 1907 in Neath, Wales, and he was the son of Elizabeth Annie (née Truscott) and Alfred Jones. 

Of his parents, Milland wrote in his 1974 autobiography Wide-Eyed in Babylon, "My father was not a cruel or harsh man. Just a very quiet one. I think he was an incurable romantic and consequently a little afraid of his emotions and perhaps ashamed of them... he had been a young hussar in the Boer War and had been present at the relief of Mafeking. He never held long conversations with anyone, except perhaps with me, possibly because I was the only other male in our family. The household consisted of my mother, a rather flighty and coquettish woman much concerned with propriety and what the neighbours thought.."

He married Muriel Weber [Malvina Warner] on 30 September 1932, and they remained together until his death. The couple had a son and a daughter, Victoria (adopted).  Milland's son, Daniel Milland, appeared in several minor acting roles in the 1960s; he died in 1981 in an apparent suicide.

During the 1954 shooting of their film Dial M for Murder Milland and his co-star, Grace Kelly, were reported to have had an affair which almost destroyed both their careers. The scandal was kept secret with the aid of the movie's studio, Warner Bros.

Milland's son, Daniel Milland appeared in several minor acting roles in the 1960s; he died in 1981 in an apparent suicide.

Milland died of lung cancer in Torrance, California, in 1986, aged 79. He was survived by his wife and their daughter.

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Ray Milland's Timeline

1907
January 3, 1907
Glamorgan, Neath, Wales
1986
March 10, 1986
Age 79
Torrance, Los Angeles, California, United States
????
Redondo Beach, California, United States