Paula Raymond (November 23, 1924 – December 31, 2003) was an American model and actress. She was the granddaughter of American pulps editor Farnsworth Wright.
Paula Ramona Wright was born in 1924, in San Francisco, California. Her 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. In the late 1950s and 1960s, Raymond appeared in many television shows and low-budget horror movies including Perry Mason (five episodes), Maverick, Hawaiian Eye (five episodes), M Squad (three episodes), 77 Sunset Strip (four episodes), and Blood of Dracula’s Castle with Alexander D’Arcy and John Carradine.
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.
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 appeared in a 1959 episode “The Paymaster” of the ABC/Desilu western series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O’Brian.
In the story line, she plays Miss Crystal, an unsuspecting accomplice to a retiring United States Army major (Mark Dana) who is plotting to steal a $15,000 Army payroll being transported by stagecoach across desert country from Tombstone to Benson, Arizona.
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 opposite Jack Kelly 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.
Raymond was cast as former Union Army spy Pauline Cushman in the 1964 episode, “The Wooing of Perilous Pauline” of the syndicated western series, Death Valley Days. I
n the story line, set in Casa Grande in Arizona Territory, the feisty Miss Cushman was operating a saloon, she is wooed by her future husband, Jere Fryer (Ray Danton), who makes a bet with a friend that he convince her to marry him within a week. He later becomes a sheriff; the couple separated in 1890.
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 only 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.
Raymond was previously married. 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. In 2003, Raymond died at the age of 79 from a series of respiratory ailments.
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.