Ray Walston died 12 years ago, on New Year's Day 2001.
There was a time when actor Ray Walston worried that he would always be a Martian.
Photo of Ray Walston as Uncle Martin from the television program My Favorite Martian. (Wikimedia Commons/CBS Television)
For the generation that watched Walston play Uncle Martin on My Favorite Martian, the actor may as well have had antennae growing out of his head – he was that strongly identified with the role.
But when My Favorite Martian was cancelled after its third season, Walston's fans learned that he was so much more than a Martian. A versatile actor, he went on to a wide variety of roles, both light and serious. Among other things, Ray Walston was the dad of a sailor man (in Popeye)…
…A farmhand, in 1992's Of Mice and Men…
…A judge, in Picket Fences…
…And, of course, the role that made him famous to a new generation, when he played tough teacher Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Ray Walston died at 86 years of age, after a career that lasted more than 40 years. We hope he'll excuse the many fans who still remember him as a Martian - most of us remember him for that and much more.
Written by Linnea Crowther