Born in Toronto, Ontario August of 1896, Raymond was the son of Chester D. Massey, the wealthy owner of the Massey-Ferguson Tractor Company.
At the outbreak of World War I, Raymond Massey joined the Canadian Army, serving with the artillery in the Western Front. After suffering shell-shock, he returned to Canada and became and army instructor for USA officers in Yale for a short time, before he was sent to serve at Siberia. 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.
The draw to the theater eventually won over the family business, and 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.
Later he scored a great triumph on Broadway in Robert E. Sherwood's play Abe Lincoln in Illinois,
and repeated his role in the 1940 film version. Early in Massey's career, the late President Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln (1843-1926), heard Massey perform and was struck by the close similarity of Massey's speaking voice to that of his father.
He rejoined the Canadian Army for World War II, and when released from service become an American citizen and returned in acting starring in some of his most memorable film roles – portraying the husband of Joan Crawford during her Oscar-nominated role from 1947's Possessed
and the doomed publishing tycoon Gail Wynand in 1949's The Fountainhead,
opposite Gary Cooper.
Massey became well-known on television in the 1950s and 1960s as Doctor Gillespie in the popular series Dr. Kildare.
Massey and his wife, noted London and Broadway stage actress Adrianne Allen (born February 7 1907, died September 14, 1993), had two children who followed him into acting: Anna Massey CBE, and the late Daniel Massey. His brother was the late Vincent Massey, the first Canadian-born Governor General of Canada.
He died of pneumonia on Friday, July 29th, 1983 at the age of 86 in Los Angeles, California, United States.
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.
Raymond Massey's notable movie credits include...
Massey in Arsenic And Old Lace.