107 Facts About George Raft


George Raft was born in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, to a family of German descent, the son of Eva, a German immigrant, and Conrad Ranft, who was born in Massachusetts to German immigrant parents.


George Raft's parents were married on November 17,1895 in Manhattan.


George Raft's older sister Eva, known as Katie, was born on April 18,1896.


George Raft's grandfather had emigrated from Germany and worked on merry-go-rounds and prospected for gold.


George Raft's father worked in carnivals before settling in New York.


However, Raft is recorded in the New York City Birth Index as having been born on September 26,1901 in Manhattan as "George Rauft".


George Raft grew up on 41st Street and worked as an errand boy and a fishwrapper after school.


George Raft's parents sent him to live at his grandparents' house on 164th Street.


George Raft left school at the age of 12, and left home at 13.


George Raft worked as an apprentice electrician for a year, then boxed professionally for two years beginning at the age of 15.


George Raft played minor-league baseball, reportedly with Springfield of the Eastern League, as a utility outfielder with pitching aspirations.


George Raft's mother taught him how to dance, and he danced at outdoor amusement parks and carnivals with his parents.


George Raft started performing exhibition dances in the afternoon at Healy's, Murray's, Rectors and Churchills in New York.


George Raft then started working in New York City nightclubs, often in the same venues as did Rudolph Valentino before Valentino became a film actor.


George Raft went on tour as a dancer and helped popularize the tango in Paris, Vienna, Rome, London and New York.


George Raft became part of the stage act of flamboyant speakeasy and nightclub hostess Texas Guinan at the 300 Club, and he produced some of her shows.


George Raft's success led him to Broadway, where he again worked as a dancer.


George Raft later starred in the film Broadway, a fictionalized account of his life when he was working the Paramount-Publix circuit and performing in stage shows that were presented before movies.


In 1927, George Raft relocated to Hollywood, where he first danced in clubs to pay the bills.


In October 1928, George Raft appeared in a stage show presented by Texas Guinan called Night Club.


George Raft goaled the audience, being the big punch of the show.


George Raft followed this with small roles in Gold Diggers of Broadway and Side Street.


George Raft was third-billed in an extremely large role as a gangster in Dancers in the Dark, below Miriam Hopkins as a dancer and Jack Oakie as a bandleader.


When Scarface was released, public response was so strong that George Raft was offered the lead role in a film based on a story by Louis Bromfeld, originally titled Number 55 and then changed to Night After Night.


George Raft starred in Under-Cover Man and was announced for Bodyguard, which was never made.


George Raft refused to appear in The Story of Temple Drake with Miriam Hopkins, as he did not want to play a sadist.


George Raft was replaced by Jack La Rue, who had been originally cast for Raft's role in Scarface.


George Raft was removed from suspension in April 1933, and he returned to Hollywood to appear in Midnight Club, set in London.


George Raft appeared in the studio's first film, Raoul Walsh's highly popular and energetic period piece The Bowery, as Steve Brodie, supposedly the first man to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and survive.


Zanuck wanted him for Blood Money, but George Raft was too busy at Paramount.


George Raft was meant to appear in It's a Pleasure to Lose, based on the life of Nick the Greek, but instead was slated to star in Bolero, playing a dancer with Carole Lombard.


George Raft initially refused the film until it was re-written, and the studio suspended him, but George Raft eventually made the film, which became a great success.


The exterior attractiveness which Mr George Raft brings to the role gives 'Bolero' considerable color, nevertheless.


In March 1934, George Raft was suspended a second time for having refused the male lead in Mae West's It Ain't No Sin because his part was subordinate to West's.


In May 1934, George Raft signed a new contract with Paramount to reflect his star status.


George Raft next appeared in The Trumpet Blows, playing a matador.


George Raft starred in Stolen Harmony and was slated to appear in Gambler's Maxim from a story by James Edward Grant, but the film was not made.


George Raft starred in a brutal and fast-paced adaptation of Dashiell Hammett's The Glass Key.


George Raft tried a comedy, Every Night at Eight, and was borrowed by Columbia Pictures to appear in She Couldn't Take It, a comedy in the vein of It Happened One Night.


George Raft then was borrowed by 20th Century-Fox for It Had to Happen and starred in Paramount's Yours for the Asking.


George Raft was meant to team with Lombard for a third time in The Princess Comes Across, but refused to make the film as he was unhappy with the choice of cameraman.


George Raft was replaced by Fred MacMurray and was suspended again in February 1936.


George Raft was scheduled to star in You and Me, the directorial debut of Norman Krasna, but he refused to work for a first-time director.


George Raft was put on suspension and $24,000 of his salary was withheld.


George Raft was offered a part opposite the studio's top male star Gary Cooper in Souls at Sea, directed by Henry Hathaway.


George Raft originally turned it down as his character was a coward, leaving Paramount and his $4,000-per-week contract in November 1936, though the contract still had two years remaining.


George Raft was discussing a three-films-per-year deal with United Artists for three years, to start with Dead End.


However, George Raft agreed to return to Paramount and Souls at Sea when his part was re-written to be more sympathetic.


Souls at Sea was a great hit, and in 1937 George Raft was the third-highest-paid star in Hollywood, earning $202,666.


In May 1937, George Raft reportedly tested for the role of Rhett Butler for the film Gone with the Wind.


George Raft was announced for the films The World Applauds and Two-Time Loser.


Paramount wanted George Raft to appear in St Louis Blues, but he refused and was replaced by Lloyd Nolan.


George Raft was suspended again, then allowed to do a comedy, The Lady's from Kentucky.


George Raft next appeared in I Stole a Million for Universal.


George Raft was slated to appear in a remake of The Patent Leather Kid, one of his favorite films, and a John Dillinger film with Cagney, but both projects were canceled.


George Raft was assigned to Invisible Stripes with William Holden, Jane Bryan and Humphrey Bogart.


George Raft was borrowed by Walter Wanger to play a gangster in The House Across the Bay, which was a flop.


George Raft was cast in City for Conquest, but declined the role and was replaced by Anthony Quinn.


George Raft was again placed on suspension, but was intended to appear in The Sea Wolf after the suspension period.


However, George Raft did not like the role and was suspended again, with John Garfield taking his place.


George Raft declined the leads in High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon, and both roles were played by Bogart, catapulting Bogart's career.


George Raft next rejected the lead role in All Through the Night, refusing to appear on the first day of filming because he did not want to play a heel, and Bogart replaced him.


George Raft was unable to accept Fox's offer to appear in To the Shores of Tripoli.


George Raft wanted to appear in Universal's film version of the musical Broadway, but Jack Warner refused to loan him, so George Raft spent eight months on suspension without pay.


George Raft said that he paid $27,500 of his own money so that Warner Bros.


George Raft was reported to have turned down Bogart's role in Casablanca, although according to some Warner Bros.


George Raft was discussed as a possibility for the lead at one stage, as was Ronald Reagan, but was never offered it.


In November 1942, George Raft bought himself out of his Warner Bros.


George Raft toured the US, England and Africa performing for the troops from January through March 1944.


George Raft declined the lead role in Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity.


George Raft next appeared in director Edwin Marin's Johnny Angel for RKO, an unexpected hit that realized a profit of more than a million dollars.


George Raft next appeared in the popular Whistle Stop, a United Artists melodrama that offered a good early role to Ava Gardner.


Mr Ace, with Sylvia Sidney and director Marin for producer Benedict Bogeaus, was a flop, but it did lead to a rather successful radio series starring George Raft entitled The Cases of Mr Ace.


In 1946, George Raft earned a reported $108,000 for the year.


George Raft created his own production company, Star Films, with Sam Bischoff as president, and planned to make three films in two years for $3.5 million.


In June 1947, George Raft received bad publicity when his friend, the Las Vegas mobster Bugsy Siegel, was murdered.


George Raft followed this with a series of thrillers: Johnny Allegro, directed by Ted Tetzlaff for Columbia, Red Light, by Roy Del Ruth for United Artists and A Dangerous Profession by Tetzlaff for RKO.


None of these performed strongly at the box office, and George Raft's standing as a box-office attraction had been damaged.


George Raft went to England to make I'll Get You for This, which was filmed in 1950 but not released for another year.


George Raft appeared in two Lippert Pictures low-budget thrillers, Escape Route, shot in England with Sally Gray, and Loan Shark.


George Raft starred in a syndicated television series titled I'm the Law that ran for one season.


George Raft resumed his dancing career, including an exhibition in Las Vegas.


George Raft took an excellent role as a mob boss supporting Robert Taylor in Rogue Cop, a hit for MGM.


Also popular was Black Widow, a film noir with Ginger Rogers, but A Bullet for Joey, which reunited Raft with Edward G Robinson, was a flop.


George Raft spoofed his tough-guy image in a comedy sketch on the Feb 20,1955 episode of The Jack Benny Program.


George Raft appeared in 3 episodes of The Red Skelton Show, portraying gangster-types in comedy skits.


George Raft agreed, but was rejected for a gaming license because of his alleged associations with underworld figures.


George Raft appealed, arguing that although he knew many gangsters, "I never did business with any of them," and the decision was overturned in December 1955.


However, Fidel Castro took command of the country and closed all of its casinos, and George Raft was in Havana on the night when the rebels arrived.


In July 1958, George Raft was offered a role in his first film in four years, Some Like It Hot, playing a gangster.


The success of Some Like It Hot did not lead to a comeback, but George Raft subsequently appeared as a casino owner in the Rat Pack movie Ocean's 11, and he appeared in a cameo role as himself in The Ladies Man.


George Raft pled guilty to one count and was fined $2,500.


George Raft received an offer from Andy Neatrour to work as a host and part owner of a gambling club in London called the Colony Club.


George Raft went to London in 1966, and while there, he took parts in several films, including a cameo role in the 1967 James Bond spoof Casino Royale, the French film The Upper Hand with Jean Gabin and Five Golden Dragons.


However, George Raft became ill during the making of Madigan's Millions, and he was replaced by Cesar Romero in the title role.


George Raft cohosted an episode of The Mike Douglas Show in 1980.


George Raft was a stockholder in the Parvin-Dohrmann Corporation, a hotel and casino company that owned the Flamingo Las Vegas.


On hearing about the rumor of the hit, George Raft allegedly made a call to have the hit canceled.


George Raft was interviewed by FBI agents in 1938 and 1953.


In 1946, George Raft was sued by an attorney in Australia for assault.


In 1967, George Raft was denied entry into the UK, where he had been installed as casino director at the Colony Club, because of his alleged underworld associations.


George Raft married Grace Mulrooney in 1923, long before his stardom.


George Raft stated publicly that he wanted to marry Norma Shearer, with whom he had a long romance, but his wife's refusal to allow a divorce eventually caused Shearer to end the affair.


George Raft died from emphysema at the age of 79 in Los Angeles on November 24,1980.


George Raft left behind no will, and his estate consisted of only a $10,000 insurance policy and some furniture.


George Raft has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: for movies at 6150 Hollywood Boulevard and for television at 1500 Vine Street.


George Raft excoriated the film upon its release due to inaccuracies.