Versatile Entertainer Dies At 85 Guy Raymond Performed On Stage, Screen, Television

Guy Raymond, dancer, stand-up comedian and venerable character actor for seven decades who became a fixture on stage, film and television, has died. He was 85.

Raymond, who also appeared in television commercials, including a long-running one for Autumn margarine, died last Sunday in Santa Monica, Calif.

He won rave reviews a decade ago for the role of Milton Perry in Mark Harelik’s 1986 regional theater production “The Immigrant.”

The play co-starred Raymond’s wife, Ann Guilbert, as his onstage spouse.

“When we get on stage,” Raymond told the Los Angeles Times, “there’s a chemistry involved that wouldn’t be there between two people who weren’t married.”

Raymond, born Raymond Guyer in Niagara Falls, N.Y., began his career in his teens as a solo comedy dancer at Chin Lee’s Restaurant in New York City. He later joined Jimmy Shea as Shea & Raymond, which became one of the top dance teams in the country. The duo toured the United States and Europe and performed with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, among others.

Raymond next developed a standup comedy act, which he performed in nightclubs and on early television variety shows, including the “Ed Sullivan Show.”

The actor made his Broadway debut in 1935 in “George White’s Scandals.” His other credits included “Hook and Ladder,” “Pipe Dream” and, most notably, “Mrs. McThing” with Helen Hayes.

In films, Raymond had roles in “The Undefeated,” “Gypsy,” “Marjorie Morningstar,” “Bandolero,” “The Reluctant Astronaut” and “The Russians Are Coming.”

He performed in recurring TV roles on “Mr. Peepers,” “90 Bristol Court,” “Ichabod and Me,” “Green Acres” and “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.” He also appeared in several television movies, including “Who’s Happy Now” and “Queen of the Stardust Ballroom,” and in series such as “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

On “Star Trek” he was remembered as the bartender in the perennially popular episode “The Trouble With Tribbles.”

Raymond’s face with the wrinkling forehead was familiar in television commercials, as in the margarine ad in which he portrayed Mr. Pruitt, boasting the slogan “Tastes like Pruitt grew it!”

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