Bourbon appeared as an extra or had bit parts in a number of films, particularly
during the silent era.
page will attempt to document those film appearances.
you have access to or information on specific films of Ray, including
news footage, home movies of his nightclub act, speaking parts in sound
films, or other related material, please send me an email.
am particularly interested in short films that feature Ray which may have
been produced in the 1920's or early 30's. At one point, Ray claims to
have appeared in "the worst series of short subjects ever produced";
no specific references to or documentation of these films has yet been
discovered. Ray was known to have worked in films and have contacts at
Paramount, MGM, and Warner Brothers during this period. Individuals with
specific information on short subjects of these studios, or smaller independent
studios of the time, are encouraged to send me an email.
In this Rudolph Valentino film, Ray plays a young man at the beginning
of the film that is gored by a bull; he dies in Valentino's arms. Later
in the film, he pops up as a guard in one scene. Ray also
has bit parts in other Valentino films.
"The Ten Commandments"
Ray had several bit roles in the original silent version of this DeMille
film. In his autobiography, he tells about the wild cast party that
got many people that worked on the movie fired from the studio at the
end of the shooting.
"Hip Zip Hooray!" (RKO short, 1934)
In this short film produced by RKO, Ray has a significant role in several
scenes as a gay designer of ladies undergarments. The plot of the movie
involves a sheriff with an escaped prisoner and the husband of a rather
butch female state governer accidentally buying a "salon" when he goes
out drinking one night, thinking he's bought a "saloon". The "salon"
sells fashionable women's undergarments. Ray noted in his autobiography
that he appeared in a series of comedy shorts and this may be one in
the series. Unfortunately, the RKO shorts have passed through many
companies over the years and aren't well documented. A copy of "Hip
Zip Hooray!" was provided to the webmaster by Jonathan Sanders who
recorded the short off of BBC television in the 1980s - a lucky find!
About mid-way through this film, Ray is seen dancing at a pool party
in a closeup. He mentions the appearance in his autobiography.