Nicholas Ray was cinema. The legendary director of such classic films as Rebel Without a Cause was an innovative force who dramatically changed the Hollywood landscape. He was also Nicca Ray’s dad, Nick.
After he disappeared from her life in 1964, Nicca began to imagine her father as a hero who would return and whisk her away from a life in LA where she never felt safe. However, the man who finally reappeared was not the legendary figure she dreamed of. Through his movies and letters along with her intimate interviews of family members and Hollywood icons, Nicca stitches together the seemingly disparate pieces of the real Nicholas Ray: A man so devoted to his craft he insisted on spending the last hours of his life surrounded by a film crew; a man who lost everything to drugs and gambling; an absentee father she longed to connect with.
Both well-researched and deeply personal, Ray by Ray: A Daughter's Take on the Legend of Nicholas Ray unravels the lives entangled in Nick’s, including those of Gloria Grahame, Dennis Hopper, Wim Wenders, and the Ray family itself. Nicca tracks her father’s whereabouts during the years he was missing from her life and works to reconcile his artistry with his persona. In discovering the truth about her father, she navigates her own path beyond the shadows cast by the Golden Age of Hollywood.
An essential new perspective on Nicholas Ray, with more than 50 photos and letters from the author's personal archive, Ray by Ray redefines this legendary figure through the eyes of a daughter searching for the truth about her father.
"Nicholas Ray invented the meme of teenage anguish. His daughter Nicca lived it. The first miracle is that she survived. The second is that she created this beautiful, heart-breaking book, in which she maps the intersecting arcs of her life and her father's, creating a dazzling geometry of self-creation and self-destruction." —Peter Trachtenberg, author, Another Insane Devotion