Inspirational Quote of the Day: One by Movie Star Tough Guy George Raft

Wikipedia

George Raft (born George Ranft; September 26, 1901 – November 24, 1980) was an American film actor and dancer identified with portrayals of gangsters in crime melodramas of the 1930s and 1940s. A stylish leading man in dozens of movies, today Raft is mostly known for his gangster roles in the original Scarface (1932), Each Dawn I Die (1939), and Billy Wilder’s 1959 comedy Some Like it Hot, as a dancer in Bolero (1934), and a truck driver in They Drive by Night (1940).[1]

Raft said he never regarded himself as an actor. “I wanted to be me,” he said.[2]

At the end of 1934 Raft was listed in a survey of theatre managers as among Paramount’s secondary tier of stars “if properly cast”. Mae West and Bing Crosby were on top; others on Raft’s level included The Marx Brothers, Carole Lombard, Marlene Dietrich, Claudette Colbert, Gary Cooper, and W.C. Fields.[39]

Raft received an offer from Andy Neatrour to work as a host and part owner of a gambling club in London, the Colony Club. Raft went there in 1966.[80] While in there he had parts in several movies, including a cameo in 1967’s James Bond spoof Casino Royale, a French film with Jean Gabin The Upper Hand (1966) and Five Golden Dragons (1967). The club was a success. However after he went to the US for a short holiday he was banned from re-entering London in 1967 as an “undesirable”.[10]

Raft was interviewed by FBI agents in 1938 and 1953. The 1938 interview was about his knowledge of Louis Lepke Buchalter and Jacob Shapiro.[85]
Raft was investigated for tax evasion in 1942.[86]
In 1944 Raft’s name was mentioned in connection with an illegal dice game.
In 1944 he gave evidence when Bugsy Siegel was on trial for bookmaking.[87]
In 1946 Raft was sued by an attorney for assault.[88]
Raft was present with Bugsy Siegel in 1946 when the latter was arrested for bookmaking. Raft attended the opening of the Flamingo Hotel.
In 1953 Raft vouched for John Capone when he got out of prison.
In 1967, Raft was denied entry into the UK (where he had been installed as casino director at a casino known as the “Colony Club”) due to his underworld associations.[89]

Raft died from leukemia at the age of 79 in Los Angeles, California, on November 24, 1980. Two days earlier, Mae West had died, and their bodies were at one point alongside each other in the hallway of the mortuary for a coincidental silent reunion almost half a century after their first film together.

Raft left behind no will. His estate consisted of a $10,000 insurance policy and some furniture. In the last years of his life he had mainly lived on $800 a month, a combination of social security and his pension. [90]

Watch George Raft in Outpost in Morocco.

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