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No Funeral for Ray Milland

March 11, 1986 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The ashes of Ray Milland, whose half-century screen career took him from dapper ladies’ man to a sympathethic drunk and movie monster, will be scattered at sea, his agent said Tuesday.

″There won’t be a funeral or a memorial service,″ agent Ronnie Leif said. ″He was a very private person and wouldn’t have wanted a service.″

Milland, 78, was cremated hours after he died of cancer Monday at Torrance Memorial Hospital. Leif said his remains will be scattered in the Pacific Ocean off Southern California at an undisclosed date.


The actor, who had learned only within the last few months of the cancer, was hospitalized Friday.

He is survived by his wife, Muriel, who lives in Palos Verdes Estates, his daughter Vicki Graham and two grandchildren. His only son, Daniel David, committed suicide in March 1981.

The sharp-featured Welshman was featured in more than 120 films, from comedies to westerns, thrillers and horror pictures, but it was his riveting portrayal of a tormented, drunken writer in ″The Lost Weekend″ that won him an Academy Award in 1945.

Milland played a squid-wrestling ship salvager in ″Reap The Wild Wind,″ a ghost chaser in ″The Uninvited,″ a man falsely accused of murder in ″The Big Clock″ and a homicidal husband in ″Dial M For Murder.″

Leif said Milland never regretted taking on lesser roles in low-budget horror films in later years.

″He never dwelled in the past that he won the Academy Award, and therefore he could only do those kind of pictures,″ Leif said. ″He talked about what was, not what could be or should be.″

Barbara Stanwyck, who appeared with Milland in ″California,″ said, ″He was a very fine gentleman. I enjoyed knowing him and working with him. He will be missed by all of us in the industry.″

″He was a very good actor, a very talented man,″ said Ginger Rogers, his co-star in several films including ″The Major and the Minor″ and ″Lady in the Dark.″ ″He was somewhat of a distant gentleman in that kept his own counsel.″

His leading lady in ″The Lost Weekend″ was Jane Wyman.

″He devoted himself to researching and analyzing the whole thing,″ said Jane Wyman, his leading lady in ″The Lost Weekend.″ ″He was a terribly dedicated actor.″

He also appeared with such stars as Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert and Grace Kelly.

He made a successful transition to television with ″The Ray Milland Show,″ a 1953-55 situation comedy in which he played the suave head of the English department at a women’s college.

Milland’s last performance was in ″Gold Key,″ a 1985 videocassette mystery that offered a $100,000 prize for a solution, said Dennis Grant, Leif’s assistant.

Other recent projects included the 1985 movie ″Sea Serpent″ with Timothy Bottoms, ″Masks of Death,″ a 1984 television movie, and the 1982 TV movie ″Star Flight 1.″

Milland had a recurring role as Stephanie Powers’ father in the television series ″Hart to Hart,″ and hosted a 1982 TV special on Prince Charles and Princess Diana, ″Charles and Diana: A Rare Romance.″

Other TV roles included the mini-series ″Rich Man, Poor Man″ in 1976, ″Seventh Avenue″ in 1977, ″Testimony of Two Men″ in 1977 and ″The Dream Merchants″ in 1980.