Ray Danton (September 19, 1931, New York City, New York – February 11, 1992, Los Angeles, California) also known as Raymond Danton was a smooth looking radio, film, stage, and television actor, director, and producer whose most famous role was The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960). He was married to actress Julie Adams from 1955 - 1974.
Ray Danton, born Raymond Kaplan, entered show business as a child radio actor on NBC radio's Let's Pretend show in 1943. Danton did many stage roles whilst attending the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Technical School and in 1950 went to London to appear on stage in the Tyrone Power production Mister Roberts.
Danton made his film debut in Chief Crazy Horse in 1955 and became contracted to Universal Pictures His second film I'll Cry Tomorrow led to his typecasting as a smooth but dangerous villain. His third film for Universal The Looters was where he met his future wife Julie Adams. He was prolific in television work as well as film where he received the Golden Globe Award in 1956 for the new male star of the year in film.
Beginning with Onionhead Danton worked with both Warner Bros. film and Warner Bros. Television This led to his most famous role The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond where he played the gangster of the title for director Budd Boetticher. Danton played his role using dynamic body language with his smooth persona fitting the character like a glove. Danton reprised the role in Vic Morrow's Portrait of a Mobster. Danton also kept up his gangster persona with the title role in The George Raft Story, a screen biography of 1930s actor/dancer George Raft. Danton was also a semi-regular on The Alaskans and made several television pilots playing spies such as Big Time, Solitare, and Our Man Flint-Dead on Target (1976).
Danton formed a production company in Europe producing films like The Last Mercenary and began directing with Deathmaster (1972). Danton continued directing as well as acting and started producing films such as Triangle in 1971.
Danton died of complications from a kidney ailment in Los Angeles.