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Wednesday, 3 January, 2001, 11:31 GMT
Veteran actor Ray Walston dies
Ray Walston
Ray Walston appeared in more than 100 films and TV shows
Doubly Emmy award-winner Ray Walston died at his home in Beverly Hills on Monday, aged 86.

A veteran of more than 100 films and TV programmes, including The Apartment, South Pacific and The Sting, he was best known in the US for his role in the 1960s sitcom My Favourite Martian.


Ray Walston was a beloved friend and colleague

David E Kelley
Ally McBeal creator

He was awarded an Emmy in 1995 and 1996 for his role as an acerbic judge in the TV programme Picket Fences, and received a Tony for a Broadway production of Damn Yankees.

A slight figure, with an authoritative voice, he made a career playing crusty cranks.

His agent Harry Gold said: "What can you say? He was great... a true character actor.

"He was very serious about his craft, to the end."

'Saddened'

In his 1995 Emmy acceptance speech, Walston said: "I have 30 seconds to tell you I have been waiting 60 years to get on this stage."

The programme's creator, David E Kelley, who also made Ally McBeal, said: "Ray Walston was a beloved friend and colleague and we're deeply saddened at his passing."

Walston was born in New Orleans and started his acting career with a local theatre company.

In the mid 1940s, he had roles in 22 productions by the respected Cleveland Playhouse.

Martian role

By 1945, he had moved to New York to appear on Broadway, where he was cast in his award-winning role by George Abbott as the devil Applegate in Damn Yankees.

The successfuly musical told the story of a frustrated baseball fan who sells his soul.

Millions of TV viewers knew him best as a Martian stranded on Earth, posing as Uncle Martin in My Favourite Martian.

He starred opposite Bill Bixby, who later went on to star in The Incredible Hulk, in the TV show, which ended in 1966.

In 1999 he made a cameo appearance in a movie version of the sitcom.

Walston had co-starring roles and cameos in more than 100 movies and TV shows, including Wives and Lovers, Paint Your Wagon, Silver Streak and Stephen King's The Stand, and Star Trek: Voyager.

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