The husky-voiced, thick-necked Aldo Ray, née Aldo DaRe, was one of the more atypical, fascinating leading men of the 1950s.
He had his only conventional leading-man role opposite Judy Holliday in his offical debut film, George Cukor's affecting "The Marrying Kind" (1952), in which he was introduced (oddly) as "Judy's life of love."
Prior to Cukor's film, he acted as Aldo DeRa in two 1951 films, David Miller's "Saturday's Hero" and Mickey Rooney's "My True Story."
Although he starred in another Cukor film, 1952's "Pat and Mike," and in Alexander Hall's "Let's Do It Again" (1953), he never really caught on as a leading man or a light actor, despite his considerable talent.
Aldo Ray, who passed in 1991, was way too aggressively masculine, burly and no-nonsense - intimidating actually - for romantic comedies.
Or for romance in general.
Ray's career-defining roles were in perhaps two Raoul Walsh war epics, "Battle Cry" (1955) and "The Naked and the Dead" (1958), and in two by Anthony Mann, "Men in War" (1957) and "God's Little Acre" (1958), neither of which is included in the Aldo Ray retrospective that Turner Classics is presenting tomorrow, September 25th.
6:00 AM (est) - "My True Story"
7:15 AM - "Saturday's Hero"
9:15 AM - "Let's Do It Again"
11:00 AM - Richard Murphy's "Three Stripes in the Sun" (1955)
12:45 PM - Jacques Tourneur's "Nightfall" (1956)
2:15 PM - Bernard Girard's "Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round" (1966)
4:15 PM - Blake Edwards' "What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?" (1966)
6:15 PM - Michael D. Moore's "Kill a Dragon" (1967)
This limited but pleasing display of his work provides a rare opportunity to become familiar with a criminally neglected actor.
(Artwork: Aldo Ray in a publicity shot for Raoul Walsh's "Battle Cry" and the poster art for Jacques Tourneur's "Nightfall")