Nicholas Ray

Film Director
Born Aug 7, 1911

Nicholas Ray was an American film director best known for the movie Rebel Without a Cause.

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1911 Birth Born on August 7, 1911.


1929 17 Years Old With strong grades in English & public speaking and failures in Latin, physics, and geometry, he graduated at the bottom (ranked 152nd in a class of 153) of his class at La Crosse Central High School in 1929. … Read More


1946 34 Years Old Ray directed his first and only Broadway production, the Duke Ellington musical Beggar's Holiday, in 1946. … Read More
1950 38 Years Old Ray made several more contributions to film noir, most notably the 1950 Humphrey Bogart movie In a Lonely Place, about a troubled screenwriter, and On Dangerous Ground, a police thriller. … Read More


1955 43 Years Old In 1955, Ray directed Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean in what proved to be his most famous role. … Read More
1956 44 Years Old In 1956, Ray directed the melodrama Bigger Than Life starring James Mason as a small-town school teacher driven insane by the misuse of a new wonder-drug, Cortisone.
1957 45 Years Old In 1957, he directed The True Story of Jesse James, which was supposed to have featured Dean but starred Robert Wagner instead. … Read More


1970 58 Years Old In 1970 at a Grateful Dead concert at the Fillmore East, Ray ran into Dennis Hopper, who asked Ray to join him at his ranch in Taos, New Mexico, where he was editing his new film, The Last Movie. … Read More
1971 59 Years Old From 1971 to 1973, Ray taught filmmaking where he and his students produced We Can't Go Home Again, an autobiographical film employing multiple superimpositions.


1972 60 Years Old In the spring of 1972, Ray was asked to show some footage from the film at a conference. … Read More
1973 61 Years Old 1 More Event
An early version of the film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973, but Ray, never satisfied with the project, continued editing it until his death in 1979.
1979 68 Years Old Shortly before his death he collaborated on the direction of Lightning Over Water (also known as Nick's Film) with German director Wim Wenders. He died of lung cancer on June 16, 1979 in New York City after a two-year illness. … Read More
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