Ray Smith

Ray Smith (1 May 1936 – 15 December 1991) was a Welsh actor who notably played the tough-talking police chief, Detective Superintendent Gordon Spikings, in the television series, Dempsey & Makepeace. Smith was born in Trealaw in the Rhondda Valley but lived most of his adult life in Dinas Powys. He became interested in acting while at school and was determined not to become a miner like his father who had been killed in a pit accident when Smith was only three years old. After leaving school he became a builder's labourer and, after national service in the Army, obtained an acting role at The Prince of Wales Theatre in Cardiff. He then joined the Swansea Grand Theatre as an assistant stage manager. After moving to London, Smith spent a year unemployed, before landing a part in a play about a Hungarian uprising. The acting jobs then followed thick and fast, but it was to be in television that he would make his mark. Smith made his TV debut in Shadows of Heroes in 1959, and appearances in series such as Z-Cars and A Family at War made him known to the public. He also appeared as Detective Insp. Firbank in Public Eye, which started in 1971.


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