From bum to banker, Raymond Bailey has lived quite a life
The Beverly Hillbillies star used to be a seaman and a rancher.
How would you describe a character like Milburn Drysdale from The Beverly Hillbillies? Well, for the actor Raymond Bailey, who portrayed Drysdale and spoke to The Wichita Beacon, there's no better description than to call him "a real heel." Specifically, Bailey said that the character began as a "straight businessman" before becoming a "buffoon" and then making the full transition into the heel that we know, loathe, and most importantly, laugh at. Bailey himself has no problem with playing a heel. He said, "I'm a hambone so I'm playing him to the hilt."
However, Bailey wasn't always an actor and spent many years moving around a series of places. When called a drifter, Bailey amended, "A bum would be more correct." As he never stayed in one place, Bailey also found himself taking on a series of jobs, including seaman and rancher.
Bailey said, "My problem was a lack of education — I quit school in the tenth grade and left home when I was fifteen. I've worked for 30 cents a night doing voices for puppet shows and I've known an empty stomach and tears."
However, as many people know, acting can be as tumultuous a profession as any, and Bailey still wasn't able to find any consistency in his work for some time. He said, "I spent a life of frustration." He continued, "My frustration gave me only one goal — to save enough money to get out of where I happened to be."
Finally, at the age of fifty, he found the consistency he needed in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.
He was then able to delve into television afterward, where he was able to begin working in comedy, as well as discover his own talent for it. However, he was able to glean a nugget of wisdom from his previous experiences. He said, "I've discovered that money can buy happiness."