Ted Ray (real name Charlie Olden; 21 November 1905 – 8 November 1977) was a popular English comedian of the 1950s and 1960s.
Ray was born in Wigan, Lancashire. His parents moved to Liverpool within days of his birth and Liverpudlians regard him as a local. As a comedian of the 1940s and 1950s he demonstrated his ad-libbing skills in his weekly radio show, Ray's A Laugh, from 1949 until 1961.
A music hall comedian, Ray usually played violin badly as part of his act. He also played comedy roles in several British films—notably as the headmaster in Carry On Teacher. He is best remembered for Ray's a Laugh, a domestic comedy in which he was accompanied by Australian Kitty Bluett, who played his wife. Other actors and actresses who featured on the show during the run including Peter Sellers, Fred Yule, Patricia Hayes, Kenneth Connor, Pat Coombs and Graham Stark; Sellers' earliest appearances predated The Goon Show by a couple of years. In 1940 and 1950 Ray was King Rat of the Grand Order of Water Rats.
Ray was an accomplished golfer, frequently playing with professional sportsmen. Later in his career he appeared with Jimmy Edwards, Arthur Askey and Cyril Fletcher in the comedy radio panel game Does the Team Think?
Ted Ray appeared on television reading on Jackanory (a children's programme) in the 1960s and 1970s. For several years, Ray presented a radio show on BBC Radio 2 in the early 1970s. He was also involved in Joker's Wild, an ITV celebrity comedy game show (1971–74) which was chaired by Barry Cryer. Arthur Askey was another regular on the show.
He married showgirl Dorothy (née Sibil) and the couple had two sons: Robin Ray, a well known television personality in the 1960s and 1970s, who initiated Call My Bluff and specialist classical music shows, and Andrew Ray, a child star of the 1950s who had a long career on stage, film and television.
Ray's a Laugh (1949–1961)
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