from the trailer for the film Crisis (1950).
|Born||Paula Ramona Wright
November 23, 1924
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Died||December 31, 2003
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Other names||Paula Rae Wright
|Floyd Patterson (1944-1946)(divorced) 1 child
H. Leslie Williams (1965-1966)
|Children||Raeme Dorene Patterson (1946-1993)|
As a child, Raymond studied ballet, piano, and singing. She was a member of both the San Francisco Opera Company and the San Francisco Children's Opera Company. She graduated from Hollywood High School in 1942. Following graduation, she returned to San Francisco to attend college. She also worked with two theater groups there.
Before she became an actress, Raymond was a photographers' model. She told author Leo Verswijver, "I got started modeling at $25 an hour and [I] forgot all about acting, because I was earning a living." Her work included posing for the cover of True Confessions magazine.
Raymond's first acting role was playing Bettina Bowman in Keep Smiling (1938), credited as Paula Rae Wright. In 1950, she was put under contract by MGM, where she played opposite such leading men as Cary Grant and Dick Powell. Earlier in her career, Raymond acted in film noir thrillers such as City That Never Sleeps (with Gig Young and Marie Windsor), but later in her career she developed a horror film reputation.
In 1952, she played the heroine in The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. Her low-budget horror movies included Blood of Dracula's Castle. In 1954, she starred as Queen Berengaria in the film King Richard and the Crusaders. She also starred in a 1955 western, The Gun That Won the West.
Raymond did some work for Paramount Pictures using the screen name Rae Patterson.
In the late 1950s and 1960s, Raymond appeared in many television shows including Perry Mason (five episodes), Maverick, Hawaiian Eye (five episodes), M Squad (three episodes), 77 Sunset Strip (four episodes), as Martha Harrington in Peter Gunn Season 1 Episode 11, The Torch 1958. She turned down the role of prostitute/saloon keeper Kitty Russell in the long-running western classic series Gunsmoke, and the role went instead to Amanda Blake.
Raymond appeared in a 1959 episode "The Paymaster" of the ABC/Desilu western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. In Have Gun - Will Travel, "Lady with a Gun," Season 3, Episode 30, she played Eve McIntosh, a woman seeking revenge for her brother's killing. In 1961, she also played in an episode from the final season of the Western comedy television series Maverick entitled "The Golden Fleecing."
In 1962 she portrayed the role of Franny Wells in the episode "House of the Hunter" on CBS's Rawhide.
In 1962, Raymond was a passenger in a car that crashed into a tree on Sunset Boulevard. Her nose was severed by the rear view mirror. After a little more than a year of extensive plastic surgery and recovery she returned to acting. In 1977, while working on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, after only three appearances, she accidentally tripped on a telephone cord and broke her ankle. She was written out of the show. In 1984, she broke both hips, and in 1994, she broke her shoulder.
In 1944, Raymond married Floyd Leroy Patterson. In 1946, they divorced shortly after the birth of their daughter, Raeme Dorene Patterson. In 1993, Raymond's daughter died.
Paula Raymond is referenced in Joan Didion's Play it as it Lays with an unnamed character remarking "'Gee, Paula Raymond was a pretty girl... Funny she never became a star.'" This quote comes after the protagonist, an actress named Maria, has a traumatic abortion, and seems to be drawing a parallel between Maria and Raymond.