Raymond Bailey: Wikis


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Raymond Bailey
Born Raymond Thomas Bailey
May 6, 1904(1904-05-06)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Died April 15, 1980 (aged 75)
Irvine, California, U.S.
Other name(s) Ray Bailey
Occupation Actor
Years active 1938–1975
Spouse(s) Gaby Aida George (1914-1985)

Raymond Thomas Bailey (May 6, 1904 – April 15, 1980) was an American actor on the Broadway stage, movies, and television. He is best-known for his role as wealthy banker, Milburn Drysdale, in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies.


Early life and attempts at acting

He was born in San Francisco, California, the son of William and Alice (née O'Brien) Bailey. When he was a teenager he went to Hollywood to become a movie star. He found it was harder than he had thought, however, and took a variety of short-term jobs. He worked for a time as a laborer at a movie studio, but was fired for sneaking into a mob scene that was being filmed. He also worked for a while in a bank.

Having no success getting any kind of movie roles, Bailey then went to New York where he had no better success getting roles in theatre. Eventually he became a crewman on a freighter and began sailing to various parts of the world, including China, Japan, the Philippines and the Mediterranean. While docked in Hawaii, he worked on a pineapple plantation, acted at a community theatre and sang on a local radio program.

Success on the second try

In 1938, he decided to try Hollywood again. His luck changed for the better when he actually began getting some bit parts in movies, but after the United States entered World War II he joined the Merchant Marine and went back to sea. When the war was over he returned to Hollywood and eventually began getting bigger character roles.

Early roles in television, Broadway, and movies


1950s television

In the early 1950s, he began being cast in a lot of character roles in TV programs. His numerous appearances include episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tales of Tomorrow (episode "Ice from Space"), Frontier, Crusader, My Friend Flicka (episode "When Bugles Blow"), Gunsmoke, Tightrope, State Trooper, COronado 9, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Playhouse 90, The Rifleman, The Jack Benny Program, Perry Mason, 77 Sunset Strip, The Twilight Zone, Bonanza, The Man and the Challenge, The Untouchables, Have Gun-Will Travel, The Tab Hunter Show, and Mister Ed. In the 1960-1961 season, he had a regular role on My Sister Eileen and guest-starred on Pat O'Brien's ABC sitcom Harrigan and Son.

Broadway plays

He appeared in three plays on Broadway, playing An Unknown Man in The Bat (1953), A.J. Alexander in Sing Till Tomorrow (1953), and Captain Randolph Southard in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1954-1955) starring Henry Fonda.

Movie roles

Bailey's movie roles include playing a member of the board in the comedy/romance Sabrina (1954) starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden; Mr. Benson in the drama Picnic (1955) starring William Holden and Kim Novak; a doctor in Hitchcock's drama/thriller Vertigo (1958) starring James Stewart and Novak; a Colonel in the comedy No Time for Sergeants (1958) starring Andy Griffith; the warden of San Quentin in the crime/drama I Want to Live! (1958) starring Susan Hayward; Lawyer Brancato in the crime drama Al Capone (1959) starring Rod Steiger; and Major General Alexander "Archie" Vandegrift in World War Two drama The Gallant Hours (1960). He also played a plantation owner in the 1957 movie Band of Angels starring Clark Gable, Sidney Poitier and Yvonne De Carlo.

Mr. Drysdale on "The Beverly Hillbillies"

Two years before he was cast as Milburn Drysdale, a greedy bank president, on the hit TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, Bailey appeared on the CBS sitcom My Sister Eileen with Shirley Bonne, Elaine Stritch, Jack Weston, Rose Marie, and Stubby Kaye. His character was D.X. Beaumont, the boss of Stritch's character Ruth Sherwood.

In The Beverly Hillbillies, Nancy Kulp portrayed Bailey's ever loyal and "by the book" secretary, Miss Jane Hathaway. Banker Drysdale managed the millions of dollars in oil money royalties in the bank account of country gentleman Jed Clampett (portrayed by Buddy Ebsen). Often, Mr. Drysdale would be required to talk with Clampett about how strange "city life" and "city folk" are (when compared to Mr. Clampett's view of "normal" country folk). On occasions when Mr. Clampett was considering withdrawing all his funds and returning to the country (his home near Bugtussle), the miserly Mr. Drysdale would often panic and work to try to convince him (and his unusual family) to remain in Beverly Hills (to great comedic effect).

After the show went off the air in 1971, Bailey acted in a few less-noteworthy movie roles. He then retired and became somewhat of a recluse in Laguna Niguel, California, where he and his wife, Gaby Aida George (19141985) lived.


Raymond Bailey died of a heart attack at seventy-five years of age in Irvine, California. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.

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