Actor Ford Rainy dead at 96

July 26, 2005 at 4:38 PM
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SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 26 (UPI) -- Actor Ford Rainey, whose film, TV and stage career spanned more than 50 years, died of complications of a series of strokes in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 96.

Rainey died Monday at St. John's Health Center, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Rainey was well known to fans of TV, film and Broadway.

On the big screen, he appeared in "The Sand Pebbles" with Steve McQueen and "Two Rode Together" with James Stewart and Richard Widmark. On the small screen, he guest-starred on "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke," "Route 66," "Perry Mason" and "The Untouchables." He was the guardian of TV's "The Bionic Woman," a general in "M*A*S*H" and a judge in "The Waltons" and "Matlock." He most recently appeared on "ER" and "The King of Queens."

Rainey made his film debut in 1949 in an uncredited role in James Cagney's "White Heat."

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sheila Hayden Rainey, two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.

A public memorial was being planned.

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