Ray Milland is born in Neath, Wales, 1905. The actor worked for the first time with director Billy WIlder in The Major and the Minor (1942), a comedy starring Milland as an army guy who befriends a grown woman (Ginger Rogers) passing herself off as a 12-year-old girl in order to acquire a cheaper train fare. When it came time to begin filming Wilder’s 1945 release, The Lost Weekend, Wilder looked to Jose Ferrer to portray Don Birnam, an author suffering from writer’s block and an addiction to booze. Paramount vetoed Ferrer, citing the need for more of a box office draw. Cary Grant and a handful of others turned Wilder down; Ray Milland did not and got the role of his career, with Wilder predicting that the actor would win the Academy Award. “On the day it dawned, I knew I couldn't face it and made up my mind not to attend,” Milland recalled about the Oscar ceremony, where he was up for Best Actor against Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Gregory Peck and Cornel Wilde. “At breakfast, I hesitantly told [my wife] Mal of my decision. She slowly put down her fork and just examined me. I didn't know where to look. Then she said, ‘I know that you're erratic, volatile, and the possessor of a foul temper. But I never thought you were a coward!’ Then with a look as cold as a Canadian nun, she said, ‘You'll go the that ceremony tonight if we have to put you in a straitjacket.’” He won and spoke no words of thanks, but instead bowed to the audience and exited the stage.