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Carol Raye leaves legacy of stage and television work

“I feel I’ve found a future star in Carol Raye, who sings and dances nearly in addition to any main girl we’ve on the musical comedy stage,” Lupino instructed The Each day Specific.

In 1945 Raye made her display screen debut, starring reverse Billy Hartnell in Strawberry Roan. But it surely was because the Empress Maria, reverse Peter Graves, in Paul L. Stein’s musical romance Waltz Time which launched her worldwide display screen profession on its launch in April 1945. Publicity for the movie took her to America, the place she was instantly provided the lead, reverse George Coulouris, within the musical Bonanza Sure!

Carol Raye and Peter Graves in Waltz Time (1945).

Carol Raye and Peter Graves in Waltz Time (1945).

Raye selected to show down a multi-year Hollywood contract in favour of returning to London, the place she was solid in quite a lot of made-for tv movies for the BBC. She discovered additional success within the West Finish taking part in in Vivian Ellis and A.P. Herbert’s Powerful on the High (1949) and reuniting with Peter Graves for Pricey Miss Phoebe (1950).

It was throughout this time, whereas visiting her lately retired dad and mom in Goring-on-Thames, Studying, that she met and fell in love with a dashing younger Yorkshireman, Robert Ayre-Smith, a scholar on the Royal Veterinary School (London), who was three years her junior.

Ayre-Smith accomplished his research and accepted a Fulbright scholarship. He and Raye have been married in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1951. Raye labored promoting women’ underwear in an area division retailer, whereas Ayre-Smith accomplished his obligations underneath the fellowship. They returned to London the next yr.

Inside weeks of the start of their first daughter, Sally, in August 1952, Ayre-Smith was provided a place by the British authorities to run the 1000-acre experimental farm within the Nice Rift Valley in what was then often called the Kenya Colony in British East Africa. Regardless of the inherent risks imposed by inside battle between the Mau Mau (Kenya Land and Freedom Military) and British authorities, the younger household settled in Naivasha City, situated on Lake Naivasha, west of Mombasa.

Their son Mark was born the next yr. Quickly after, Raye accepted the provide by two younger filmmakers, Alastair Scobie and Humphrey Downes, to look because the lead of their movie No Rain at Timburi, the primary regionally produced characteristic movie.

Over the subsequent decade Raye supported her husband’s profession and, once they moved to Nakuru, took on a significant fundraising position for the Nakuru Hospital Appeals Committee. Their third youngster, daughter Harriet, was born in 1961, by this time Ayre-Smith had been appointed as first assistant secretary within the Ministry of Agriculture. The household relocated to Nairobi and, from 1962, Raye was contracted as producer/director and on-screen expertise for the fledgling multilingual Kenya Broadcasting Company. Raye’s was one of many first faces on tv in British East Africa.

Following Kenya’s independence in October 1963, Ayre-Smith accepted a suggestion to affix the CSIRO in Australia, and the household emigrated in 1964. Raye carried a letter of introduction from the BBC and met with the ABC’s Charles Moses; he in flip really helpful her to James Oswin, CEO of ATN-7.

She took a place working as community assistant to the overall supervisor, and, prompted for concepts, Raye produced the pilot episode of The Mavis Bramston Present. The collection was given the inexperienced mild and commenced broadcast just a few months later in November 1964. Raye co-produced the collection with Michael Plant, and starred alongside Gordon Chater and Barry Creyton, till her departure from this system in late 1965.

Carol Raye and actor Hazel Phillips (right) in 1969 in the stage show Lie Back and Enjoy It.

Carol Raye and actor Hazel Phillips (proper) in 1969 within the stage present Lie Again and Take pleasure in It.Credit score:Fairfax

Raye was then provided her personal selection present at rival Community TEN-10, 66 and All That, supported by Peter Whitford, Barry Crocker and Mike Walsh. David Sale, creator and author of the cleaning soap opera Quantity 96 supplied her subsequent main position because the outrageous Baroness Amanda von Pappenburg; she appeared often all through 1973-1974 earlier than taking over the accountability as inventive director for the present’s producers, Money Harmon Tv, reviewing storylines, casting common characters and producing the numerous spin-offs. She subsequently made a visitor look on The Younger Medical doctors, and was an everyday panelist on Graham Kennedy’s Blankety Blanks.


It was full circle when she was solid alongside Stanley Holloway (with whom she final partnered in pantomime in Manchester in 1940) and Douglas Fairbanks Jnr within the Australasian tour of The Pleasure of His Firm in 1977. It was throughout this manufacturing that she was the topic of That is Your Life.

Over the next 20 years she made a return to the stage, showing on the Ensemble, Hunter Valley, Marian Road and Sydney Theatre Firms.

Raye flirted briefly with politics when she stood for pre-selection as a Liberal candidate for the federal senate within the early 80s. She did, nonetheless, settle for a three-year appointment to the theatre board of the Australia Council. Thereafter, Raye acted in Australian movies and TV motion pictures till formally retiring in 2000, following a visitor look in SeaChange (produced by her daughter Sally).

Carol Raye (left) and actor Wendy Blacklock at the launch of David Sale’s book Number 96, Mavis Bramston and Me, in 2013.

Carol Raye (left) and actor Wendy Blacklock on the launch of David Sale’s e book Quantity 96, Mavis Bramston and Me, in 2013.Credit score:Fairfax

Ayre-Smith retired in 1996. The couple collectively developed a farm at Peat’s Ridge –the place they re-established Australian hardwoods and different timber, and reared cattle –after which they settled in Edgecliff. Later they relocated to a residence on their daughter Sally and her husband Marcus Skipper’s farm within the Macleay Valley. Ayre-Smith died in 2016, after which Raye remained on the property underneath her daughter’s care.


Australian TV and movie historian Andrew Mercado says of Raye, “Anybody who watched Carol on TV will all the time bear in mind her as beautiful, stylish and witty. However she was equally profitable working as a feminine govt behind the scenes, in an period when few ladies have been allowed to take action. Her passing leaves an enormous loss, however her physique of labor will all the time endure.”

Carol Raye is survived by youngsters Sally, Mark and Harriet, and three grandchildren.

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