Mostly Credited As: Ray Sharkey
Birth Name: Ray Sharkey Jr.
Date Of Birth: November 14, 1952 (Age 40)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York
Date Of Death: June 11, 1993
Cause Of Death: AIDS
Height: 5' 8" (1.72 m)
Ray Sharkey was a poor kid raised in a bad neighborhood by his mother after his father abandoned the family. Bright and resourceful, Ray worked his way up finally going on to study acting at the Herbert Berghof Studio in New York. Not long after graduation Ray made his professional debut in The Lords of Flatbush (1974), a street-gang drama that also featured early appearances by Henry Winkler and Sylvester Stallone.
In 1981 he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance in The Idolmaker and the following year was nominated for another Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for his role in "The Ordeal of Bill Carney."
In 1987, Sharkey played the role of Sonny Steelgrave on the first season of the Wiseguy television series. Addicted to alcohol and drugs, in 1992 he was arrested while working in Vancouver, British Columbia and charged with possession of cocaine and heroin.
Sharkey died in New York City at the age of forty in 1993 of AIDS believed to have been contracted from the use of dirty needles. He is interred in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.