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Ray Sharkey

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


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.


TV Appearances

Main cast 
The Man in the Family (1991)As: Sal Bavasso
Episode Cast Credits 

The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985) 
  By the Numbers 06x08: (Sep/11/1992) As Father / Sgt. Cress 

Jake and the Fatman (1987) 
  Beautiful Dreamer (a.k.a. Mickey Daytona) 05x22: (May/06/1992) As Michael "Mickey" Daytona Da Silva 

The Hitchhiker (1983) 
  In Living Colour 04x02: (Apr/29/1989) As Eric Coleman 

Wiseguy (1987) 
  White Noise 02x12: (Feb/15/1989) As Sonny Steelgrave 
  The Marriage of Heaven and Hell 01x09: (Nov/05/1987) As Sonny Steelgrave 
  A Deal's a Deal 01x08: (Oct/29/1987) As Sonny Steelgrave 
  Prodigal Son 01x07: (Oct/22/1987) As Sonny Steelgrave 

Crime Story (1986) 
  Fatal Crossroads 01x15: (Jan/09/1987) As Harry Breitel 
  Strange Bedfellows 01x14: (Dec/26/1986) As Harry Breitel 
  Crime Pays 01x12: (Dec/12/1986) As Harry Breitel 
  Justice Hits the Skids 01x10: (Nov/11/1986) As Harry Breitel 

The Equalizer (1985) 
  Desperately 01x11: (Dec/04/1985) As Geoffery Dryden 

Miami Vice (1984) 
  Tale of the Goat 02x07: (Nov/15/1985) As Bobby Profile 

The Golden Globes (1944) 
  The 38th Annual Golden Globe Awards 38x01: (Jan/31/1981) As Winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (for 'The Idolmaker') 

Saturday Night Live (1975) 
  Ray Sharkey/Jack Bruce and Friends 06x06: (Jan/10/1981) As Himself (Host) 

The Streets of San Francisco (1972) 
  Time Out 05x23: (Jun/02/1977) As Benny Lester 

The Jeffersons (1975) 
  Tennis, Anyone? 02x23: (Feb/28/1976) As Robert Phelps 

Barney Miller (1975) 
  Protection 02x14: (Dec/18/1975) As David Salas 
  Experience 01x02: (Jan/30/1975) As Hold-Up Man 

All in the Family (1971) 
  Chain Letter 06x06: (Oct/20/1975) As Man At Clinic 

Kojak (1973) (1973) 
  Nursemaid 02x07: (Oct/20/1974) As Gallagher 

Chopper One (1974) 
  The Copperhead 01x08: (Mar/07/1974) As Daniels 
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Trivia

Ray's birthday falls under the Year of the Dragon.

Ray's Zodiac Sign is Scorpio.

In 1988, Ray won the Founder's Award for his work on Wiseguy (1987) at the Viewers for Quality Television Awards.

In 1981, Ray won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/Comedy for: The Idolmaker (1980).

In 1982, Ray was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for: The Ordeal of Bill Carney (1981).

Ray is believed to have developed the AIDS virus through sharing dirty needles.

Ray was involved in four drug-related car wrecks (two required microsurgery on his eyes).

Ray's father, also named Ray, a professional drummer, abandoned the family when he was 5 years old. He later died in 1984.

At Ray's worst his cocaine and heroin addiction cost him $400 a day.

Ray Sharkey: (on becoming an actor) I was kind of bored and didn't know what to do. It was either join the Marines and go to Vietnam or go down to the Village and go to acting school. So, I opted for the latter.

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