Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Raymond Hart Massey (August 30 1896 - July 29 1983) was a Canadian-born American actor. Born in Toronto, Ontario, he was the son of Hart Massey , the wealthy owner of the Massey-Ferguson Tractor Company. He graduated from high school at Appleby College, then furthered his education at University of Toronto and at Balliol College, Oxford, England.
At the outbreak of World War I he joined the Canadian Army. His first stage appearance was in Siberia, where he entertained the American troops who were on occupation duty. Severely wounded in action in France, he was sent home where he eventually worked in the family business, selling farm implements. However, drawn to the theater, in 1922 he appeared on the London stage. His first movie role was High Treason in 1927, and he played Sherlock Holmes in The Speckled Band in the following year. In 1936 he starred in H. G. Wells' Things to Come.
Despite being Canadian, Massey became famous for his quintessential American roles, as Abraham Lincoln in 1940's Abe Lincoln in Illinois (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor), in 1941's Santa Fe Trail, in which he played abolitionist John Brown, and as Lincoln again in 1962's How the West Was Won.
He rejoined the Canadian Army during World War II, and was wounded and invalided out in 1943. Following the war, he became an American citizen. Massey became well-known on television in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in his role as Doctor Gillespie in the series Dr. Kildare. He also dabbled in politics, appearing in a 1964 television advertisement in support of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
Massey has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for movies at 1719 Vine Street and one for television at 6708 Hollywood Blvd.
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