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Nicholas Ray

Nicholas Ray (born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle) (August 7, 1911 - June 16, 1979) was an American film director.

Coming out of a radio background, Ray directed his first film, They Live By Night, in 1947. It was released two years later due to the chaotic conditions surrounding Howard Hughes' takeover of RKO Studios.

Ray's most productive and successful period was the 1950s, although his sympathy for society's outsiders and rebels clearly predated the 1960s counterculture. Amongst his films from this period are Rebel Without A Cause, In A Lonely Place, Johnny Guitar and Party Girl. His films frequently feature an outsider who is trying to break into mainstream society.

Although best known for his work in the film noir genre, he worked in a number of genres, including western films and social drama.

A bisexual and heavy user of drugs and alcohol, Ray found himself increasingly shut out of the Hollywood film industry in the early 1960s. After collapsing on the set of 55 Days At Peking (1963), he would not direct again until the mid-1970s. Shortly before his death he collaborated on the direction of Lightning Over Water with German director Wim Wenders.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Nicholas Ray Facts

Birth NameRaymond Nicholas Kienzle
BirthdayAugust 7, 1911
Date of deathJune 16, 1979 (age 67)

Selected Filmography

King of Kings
They Live By Night
Rebel Without a Cause
TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Romantic Dramas
Johnny Guitar
In a Lonely Place
Flying Leathernecks
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