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Subject: ARCHIVE: July 31, 1984 ~Former dancer/actor Bill Raisch, who after a brief screen career as dancer, later joining service in WWII leaving him an amputee, disrupting any film career. But in 1960s reluctantly became a pop culture icon as 'the one armed man' in wildly successful TV series "The Fugitive", dies at 79. ...
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Date Posted:Wednesday, July 31, 02:35:30pm
American dancer, actor, stuntman, and acting coach, best known as the One-Armed Man
pursued by Richard Kimble (David Janssen) on the 19631967 TV series The Fugitive. ...
Carl William Raisch
(April 5, 1905 July 31, 1984)
Carl William Raisch was born on April 5, 1905, in North Bergen, New Jersey. His parents were German immigrants. After graduating high school, Raisch found a job hauling cement in a construction site. He began lifting weights and also became an amateur boxer. As a dancing partner to a young woman whom he took to socials and dances, he was introduced to Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., who signed him to the Ziegfeld Follies dance troupe. Raisch performed on stage in his first American production at the New Amsterdam Roof Theater in the late 1920s. He primarily performed with the dance troupe in New York, and was also an adagio performer. He married Adele Smith, a fellow Ziegfield dancer.
In the beginning of 1945, during his World War II service with the United States Merchant Marine, Raisch's right arm was badly burned in a shipboard fire and had to be amputated at the elbow. Raisch had acted in a few uncredited film roles before the war, but afterwards pursued a film career, moving to Los Angeles in 1946. Raisch appeared in The War Of The Worlds (1953) as "an extra, stand-in, and occasional stuntman", and in Spartacus (1960), playing a character whose arm was hacked off in battle. For the latter stunt, Kirk Douglas as Spartacus chopped off Raisch's prosthetic limb with a sword.
...Raisch's first memorable film role was as a one-armed character who initiates
a barroom brawl with Douglas's cowboy character in Lonely are the Brave (1962).
...The following year, Raisch became the "One-Armed Man" in the television series The Fugitive, which ran from 1963 to 1967 Raisch filmed the role over the course of four days, but his character was frequently mentioned and seen in flashbacks. In the series' final episode, Raisch's character was proved to be the true killer of the wife of Dr. Richard Kimble, played by David Janssen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDb7pligfRA
Raisch worked as actor Burt Lancaster's stand-in in several films, although Lancaster was four inches taller than he.
Raisch's disability led to his being typecast, usually as a criminal. He subsequently worked in Los Angeles as an acting coach. He died of lung cancer in a Santa Monica, California, hospital on July 31, 1984, aged 79. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.