Steven Geray

Steven Geray (born István Gyergyay, 10 November 1904  26 December 1973) was a Hungarian-born American film actor who appeared in over 100 films and dozens of television programs.[1] Geray appeared in Spellbound (1945), Gilda (1946), In a Lonely Place (1950), All About Eve (1950), Call Me Madam (1953) and To Catch a Thief (1955).[2]

Steven Geray
Born
István Gyergyay

(1904-11-10)10 November 1904
Died26 December 1973(1973-12-26) (aged 69)
NationalityHungarian
Years active1929–1966
Spouse(s)
Magda Kun
(m. 1934; died 1945)

Roanne Ollafay Threet
(m. 19??; his death 1973)

Biography

He was born in Ungvár, Austria-Hungary[3] (now Uzhgorod, Ukraine) and educated at the University of Budapest. He made his first stage appearance at the Hungarian National Theater under his real name and after nearly four years he made his London stage debut (as Steven Geray) in 1934, appearing in Happy Week-End!.[4] He began appearing in English-speaking films in 1935 and moved to Hollywood in 1941.[5] He appeared alongside his wife, Magda Kun, whom he married in 1934, in the 1935 film Dance Band.[6][7][8]

Political pressure led to Geray's exit from Europe. His act in the Folies Bergère included impersonations of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, which incurred the wrath of the governments of Germany and Italy. Geray failed to heed their warnings to stop the impersonations. After being beaten up, however, he moved to Hollywood.[9]

Geray was cast as the lead in a low-budget film noir So Dark the Night (1946).[10] Even with its limited budget, it received great critical reviews and enabled its director Joseph H. Lewis to later direct A-pictures.[11] Geray continued to work on television and in films into the 1960s.[1] Among them a guest appearance on Perry Mason in 1962 as extortionist and murder victim Franz Moray in "The Case of the Stand-in Sister",[12] three episodes of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show as French dress designer Gaston Broussard in 1956, including the over the top "A Paris Creation"[13] and various doctor roles on The Danny Thomas Show.[14]

Geray spent some time in the late-1960s in Estes Park, Colorado, where he directed local theater (The Fantasticks). He owned and ran a bar in Estes Park from 1969 to 1970.

Death

Geray died 26 December 1973 in Los Angeles, California. He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his wife.[3]

Selected filmography

References

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