Texas Guinan & George Raft
Texas Guinan remembers her former protege on his birthday: September 26th.
• • George Raft [26 September 1895 — 24 November 1980] was an American film actor most closely identified with his portrayals of gangsters in crime melodramas of the 1930s and 1940s.
• • Born George Ranft in Hell's Kitchen, New York City to Conrad Ranft (a German immigrant), he adopted a slick "tough guy" persona that he would later use in his films.
• • His mother, who taught dancing to theatre people, gave him lessons. His smooth tango and dance-floor style led to performances at some of Times Square's most fashionable nightspots. He became part of the stage act of "Texas Guinan and Her Gang."
• • In 1929 Raft moved to Hollywood and took small roles. His success came in Scarface , the role that was originally offered to Jack LaRue, an actor who played opposite Mae West in her 1928 Broadway hit Diamond Lil. George Raft's convincing portrayal of the gangster led to speculation that he himself was a mobster — — not far from the truth.
• • When the studio was casting Raft's next feature Night after Night, the role of Maudie Triplett, a former girlfriend, was to go to a very well known actress and personality: Texas Guinan. Raft suggested Mae West for this cameo, and Mae's three little scenes set the so-so film on fire.
• • Photo: George Raft in cap (circa 1926?) • • Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel [28 February 1906 - - June 20, 1947] with George Raft • • circa 1940 • •